Scandinavian Interior Design – The Design Style Guide

If you’re looking for a modern and calm interior design style, you might want to consider Scandinavian Interior Design.

This post is part of a Design Style Guide Series, where I teach you all about different design styles and how you can be inspired by them, and choose any of them to define your personal and brand style.

In this style guide, we discover:

  • what is considered a Scandinavian Interior Design style?
  • what are the elements of the Scandinavian Interior Design style?
  • what are the typical colors used in the Scandinavian Interior Design style?

Let’s talk about the Scandinavian Interior Design style!

Key Takeaways

  • Scandinavian interior design is a popular and timeless design style that emphasizes minimalism, functionality, and natural light.
  • The design style originated in the Nordic countries and has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century.
  • Key principles of Scandinavian design include the use of a neutral color palette, natural materials, and clean lines.
Scandinavian Interior Design - TheMediterra.com
Scandinavian Interior Design

What is Scandinavian Interior Design Style

Scandinavian interior design is a popular and timeless design style that has gained popularity over the years. It is widely known for its minimalistic and functional approach that emphasizes clean lines, natural light, and a neutral color palette.

This design style has been widely embraced by homeowners and designers alike, and it continues to be a popular choice for those looking to create a cozy and inviting space.

Scandinavian interior design has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. It originated in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and it was largely influenced by the harsh winters and long periods of darkness experienced in these regions.

The design style was born out of a need for warmth, comfort, and functionality, and it has since evolved into a popular design style that is loved for its simplicity and elegance.

Scandinavian Interior Design - The Design Style Guide
Scandinavian Interior Design – The Design Style Guide

History of Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design has a rich and varied history, which has resulted in a highly coveted design style. The design style originated in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland in the early 20th century. The movement was a response to the industrial revolution and the ornate art nouveau style that was popular at the time.

During World War I, the Scandinavian countries were cut off from the rest of Europe, which led to a renewed focus on local craftsmanship and design. This focus on local craft and design continued after the war and led to the emergence of the Skønvirke movement in Denmark, which promoted local crafts and accessibility.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the influence of the art deco movement could be seen in Scandinavian design. However, the style was still characterized by simplicity, functionality, and a focus on natural materials.

World War II had a significant impact on Scandinavian design, with many designers fleeing to the United States. However, the post-war period saw a resurgence of the style, with designers such as Arne Jacobsen becoming household names.

Scandinavian Interior Design
Scandinavian Interior Design

One of the most iconic pieces of Scandinavian design is the Egg Chair, designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958. The chair’s unique shape and comfortable design have made it a design classic that is still popular today.

Overall, Scandinavian design has a rich and varied history that has been shaped by the unique cultural and historical context of the Nordic countries. The style’s focus on simplicity, functionality, and natural materials has made it a popular design style around the world.

Scandinavian Interior Design - The Design Style Guide
Scandinavian Interior Design - The Design Style Guide

Key Principles of Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design is a design style that emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and minimalism. It is a design philosophy that values quality, clean lines, and a connection to nature. Here are some key principles of Scandinavian design:

Natural Light and Airy Spaces

The scandinavian design makes use of natural light and airy spaces to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Large windows and light-colored walls help to maximize the amount of natural light that enters a room, while open floor plans and minimal furniture create a sense of spaciousness.

Cozy and Warm

Despite the emphasis on minimalism and simplicity, the Scandinavian design also values warmth and coziness. This is achieved through the use of natural materials such as wood and textiles, as well as warm lighting and soft textures.

Clean Lines and Simple Forms

Scandinavian design is characterized by clean lines and simple forms. Furniture and decor are often designed with function in mind, and unnecessary ornamentation is avoided. This creates a sense of simplicity and clarity in the design.

Neutral Colors and Natural Textures

Neutral colors such as white, gray, and beige are commonly used in Scandinavian design, as they help to create a sense of calm and serenity. Natural textures such as wood, wool, and linen are also used to add warmth and texture to a space.

Scandinavian design is characterized by clean lines and simple forms

Hygge

Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates to “coziness” or “contentment.” It is a central concept in Scandinavian design and is achieved through the use of warm lighting, soft textures, and comfortable furniture. Hygge is all about creating a sense of comfort and well-being in a space.

Connection to Nature and Sustainability

Scandinavian design is deeply connected to nature and often incorporates natural materials and elements into the design. Sustainability is also an important consideration, with many designers and manufacturers focusing on environmentally-friendly materials and production methods.

Overall, Scandinavian design is a design style that values simplicity, functionality, and a connection to nature. It is a warm and inviting style that emphasizes coziness and comfort, while also prioritizing clean lines and minimalism.

Scandinavian Color Palette

Scandinavian interior design is known for its minimalism, simplicity, and functionality. The color palette used in Scandinavian design is a reflection of these principles. The main colors used in this design style are white, black, and shades of gray. These colors are used to create a clean, bright, and airy look that is characteristic of Scandinavian interiors.

Scandinavian interior design is known for its minimalism, simplicity, and functionality
Scandinavian interior design is known for its minimalism, simplicity, and functionality

In addition to the primary colors, the Scandinavian design also makes use of muted colors such as pastels, blues, and browns. These colors are used to create a warm and cozy atmosphere, and they are often paired with neutral colors to balance out the overall look.

Neutral colors are an essential part of the Scandinavian color palette. Neutral colors such as beige, cream, and taupe are used to create a calm and relaxing environment. These colors are often used on walls, floors, and furniture to create a cohesive look.

Gray is another essential color in the Scandinavian color palette. It is a versatile color that can be used in a variety of ways. Lighter shades of gray can be used to create a cool and calming effect, while darker shades of gray can be used to create a more dramatic look.

Black is also used in Scandinavian design, but it is used sparingly. Black is used to create contrast and to add depth to the overall look. It is often used in small accents such as light fixtures or picture frames.

The Scandinavian color palette is a combination of neutral colors, muted colors, and primary colors. The use of these colors creates a clean, bright, and airy look that is characteristic of Scandinavian interior design.

Scandinavian Materials and Textures

Scandinavian interior design is characterized by the use of natural materials and raw textures. The materials and textures used in Scandinavian design create a warm and cozy atmosphere that is both inviting and comfortable.

Wood: Wood is a staple material in Scandinavian design. It is used for flooring, furniture, and decorative accents. The wood used in Scandinavian design is typically light in color, such as pine or birch, and has a natural grain pattern that is left exposed.

Stone: Stone is another natural material that is commonly used in Scandinavian design. It is often used for fireplace surrounds, accent walls, and flooring. The use of stone adds a sense of texture and depth to a room.

Leather: Leather is a popular material in Scandinavian design. It is often used for furniture, such as chairs and sofas, and adds a sense of sophistication and elegance to a room.

Wool: Wool is a natural material that is commonly used in Scandinavian design. It is often used for area rugs, throws, and pillows. The use of wool adds a sense of warmth and coziness to a room.

Linen: Linen is a lightweight and breathable material that is commonly used in Scandinavian design. It is often used for bedding, curtains, and table linens. The use of linen adds a sense of freshness and airiness to a room.

Natural Materials: In addition to wood, stone, leather, wool, and linen, Scandinavian design also incorporates other natural materials, such as cork, rattan, and jute. These materials add a sense of texture and depth to a room.

Raw Textures: Raw textures, such as unfinished wood and exposed brick, are also commonly used in Scandinavian design. These textures add a sense of authenticity and simplicity to a room.

Scandinavian Furniture and Accessories

Scandinavian furniture is known for its minimalist and functional design. It is often made of natural materials, such as wood, leather, and linen, and features clean lines and simple shapes. Some popular Scandinavian furniture brands include IKEA, Muuto, and Hay.

One of the most iconic pieces of Scandinavian furniture is the Eames Lounge Chair. This chair was designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1956 and is still considered a classic today. It is made of molded plywood and leather and is known for its comfort and style.

In addition to furniture, Scandinavian design also places a strong emphasis on accessories. Rugs, throw pillows, and blankets are all popular accessories that can add warmth and texture to a room. Look for pieces made of natural materials, such as wool or cotton, and in neutral colors like gray, beige, and white.

Quality craftsmanship is also an important aspect of Scandinavian design. Furniture and accessories are often made by skilled artisans who take pride in their work. This attention to detail is what makes Scandinavian design so timeless and enduring.

Overall, if you’re looking to incorporate Scandinavian design into your home, focus on finding furniture and accessories that are functional, made of natural materials, and feature clean lines and simple shapes. And don’t forget to appreciate the quality craftsmanship that goes into each piece.

Art in Scandinavian Interior Design

Art plays a significant role in Scandinavian interior design. It adds character and personality to a space while enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. Here are some ways to incorporate art into your Scandinavian-inspired home:

Nature-Inspired Artwork

Scandinavian wall decor often depicts or alludes to nature or the human form. You can showcase your favorite monochrome artwork by itself, in a series, or a larger arrangement. A gallery wall is a great way to display a collection of artwork, and it’s easy to achieve with a little planning.

Simple Patterns

Scandinavian design is known for its simplicity, and this applies to patterns as well. When choosing artwork, consider simple patterns such as stripes, dots, or geometric shapes. These patterns add visual interest without overwhelming the space.

Black and White Photography

Black and white photography is a popular choice for Scandinavian interior design. It’s timeless, elegant, and adds a touch of sophistication to any room. Choose a few of your favorite black and white photos and display them in simple frames.

Bold Graphics

While Scandinavian design is known for its simplicity, bold graphics can also work well in this style. Choose artwork with bold, graphic patterns and colors to create a focal point in the room.

Gallery Wall

A gallery wall is a great way to display a collection of artwork, and it’s easy to achieve with a little planning. Choose a mix of artwork, including photographs, prints, and paintings, and arrange them in a cohesive manner. Use frames of the same color or material to tie the collection together.

Scandinavian Design in Different Rooms

Scandinavian design is a versatile and timeless style that can be applied to any room in your home. The key principles of Scandinavian design, such as simplicity, functionality, and minimalism, can be adapted to fit the unique needs of each room.

Living Room

The living room is often the heart of the home, and Scandinavian design can make it a cozy and inviting space. Start with a neutral color palette, such as white walls and wood floors, and add pops of color with cozy textiles like blankets and pillows. Choose furniture that is both functional and stylish, like a comfortable sofa with clean lines and a coffee table with storage.

Bedroom

In the bedroom, Scandinavian design can create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Stick to a neutral color palette, with white walls and bedding, and add warmth with natural wood accents. Keep the room clutter-free with smart storage solutions, like a bed frame with built-in drawers or a wardrobe with sliding doors. Cozy textiles, like a soft rug or fluffy throw, can add texture and comfort.

Cozy Textiles

Cozy textiles are a key component of Scandinavian design, adding warmth and texture to any room. Look for natural materials like wool, cotton, and linen, and choose colors that complement your existing color palette. Layering different textures, like a chunky knit blanket and a woven rug, can create a cozy and inviting space.

White Walls

White walls are a hallmark of Scandinavian design, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. But don’t be afraid to add color and texture with art and decor. A gallery wall of black and white prints can add visual interest, while a statement piece of art can add a pop of color.

Wood Floors

Natural wood floors are a staple of Scandinavian design, adding warmth and texture to any room. Choose light-colored woods, like oak or maple, for a bright and airy feel. If you prefer a darker wood, balance it out with light-colored furniture and textiles.

Overall, Scandinavian design is a versatile and timeless style that can be adapted to fit any room in your home. Stick to the key principles of simplicity, functionality, and minimalism, and add warmth and texture with cozy textiles and natural materials.

Influence of Scandinavian Design on Modern Interior Styles

Scandinavian design has had a significant influence on modern interior styles, particularly in the mid-century modern movement. The clean lines, simplicity, and functionality of Scandinavian design have inspired many designers to create contemporary interiors that are both stylish and functional.

One of the most significant ways that Scandinavian design has influenced modern interior styles is through the use of natural materials. Scandinavian design has always emphasized the use of natural materials such as wood, leather, and wool. This emphasis on natural materials has carried over into modern interior styles, where designers often incorporate natural materials into their designs to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Another way that Scandinavian design has influenced modern interior styles is through the use of minimalism. Scandinavian design is known for its simplicity and minimalism, and this aesthetic has become increasingly popular in modern interior styles. Minimalism emphasizes the use of clean lines, simple shapes, and a limited color palette to create a sense of calm and order in a space.

Scandinavian design has also influenced modern interior styles through the use of functional design. Scandinavian design is known for its emphasis on functionality, and this focus on functionality has become increasingly important in modern interior styles. Designers are now creating spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional, with furniture and decor that serve a specific purpose.

Scandinavian Design and Sustainability

Scandinavian interior design is not only about aesthetics but also about sustainability. The design style emphasizes the use of natural materials and elements, making it a perfect fit for eco-friendly and sustainable living.

One of the key elements of Scandinavian design is the use of natural light. This design style maximizes the use of natural light, which not only reduces the need for artificial lighting but also creates a warm and inviting atmosphere in the home. This approach to lighting also helps to reduce energy consumption, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Another important aspect of Scandinavian design is the use of natural materials such as wood, stone, and wool. These materials are renewable and biodegradable, making them a sustainable choice for interior design. Additionally, using natural materials in your home can help to create a connection with nature and promote a sense of well-being.

In addition to using natural materials, Scandinavian design also emphasizes the use of sustainable practices. This includes choosing furniture and decor made from sustainable materials, using energy-efficient appliances, and reducing waste through recycling and composting.

Overall, Scandinavian design is a friendly and sustainable approach to interior design that emphasizes the use of natural materials, natural light, and sustainable practices. By incorporating these elements into your home, you can create a warm and inviting space that is both beautiful and eco-friendly.

An important aspect of Scandinavian design is the use of natural materials such as wood, stone, and wool
An important aspect of Scandinavian design is the use of natural materials such as wood, stone, and wool

Scandinavian Design in Social Media

Scandinavian design has become increasingly popular in recent years, and social media has played a significant role in this trend. Instagram, in particular, has become a hub for design enthusiasts to share their love for Scandinavian interior design.

On Instagram, users can find a plethora of accounts dedicated to showcasing the beauty and simplicity of Scandinavian design. These accounts often feature stunning photographs of Scandinavian-inspired homes, showcasing the use of natural materials, neutral color palettes, and minimalist decor.

Some popular Instagram accounts to follow for Scandinavian design inspiration include @scandinavianhomes and @nordicliving. These accounts feature a mix of both professional and amateur photographs, giving users a diverse range of design inspiration to choose from.

In addition to individual accounts, there are also several hashtags that are commonly used to share Scandinavian designs on Instagram. Some popular hashtags include #scandinaviandesign, #nordicstyle, and #scandinavianhome.

Social media has played an important role in the rise of Scandinavian design’s popularity. With the help of platforms like Instagram, design enthusiasts from all over the world can connect and share their love for this timeless and elegant design style.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Scandinavian interior design style?

Scandinavian interior design style is a minimalistic and functional design style that emerged in the early 20th century in the Nordic countries. It emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and the use of natural materials. The style is characterized by clean lines, neutral colors, and a focus on light.

What are the key elements of Scandinavian interior design?

The key elements of Scandinavian interior design include simplicity, functionality, and the use of natural materials. The style emphasizes clean lines, neutral colors, and a focus on light. Furniture is typically functional and unadorned, with a focus on comfort and practicality.

What are the rules of the Scandinavian interior?

The rules of Scandinavian interior design are based on simplicity, functionality, and the use of natural materials. The style emphasizes clean lines, neutral colors, and a focus on light. Furniture is typically functional and unadorned, with a focus on comfort and practicality. There are no hard and fast rules, but the style is characterized by a minimalistic approach to design.

What is the difference between the Scandinavian and Nordic styles?

Scandinavian and Nordic styles are often used interchangeably, but there are some differences. Nordic style encompasses the design styles of the Nordic countries, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The scandinavian style specifically refers to the design style of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

What are some characteristics of Scandinavian interior design?

Some characteristics of Scandinavian interior design include simplicity, functionality, and the use of natural materials. The style emphasizes clean lines, neutral colors, and a focus on light. Furniture is typically functional and unadorned, with a focus on comfort and practicality.

What furniture is typically used in Scandinavian interior design?

Furniture used in Scandinavian interior design is typically functional and unadorned, with a focus on comfort and practicality. Examples include simple, unadorned sofas and chairs made from natural materials like leather and wood. The style also emphasizes the use of light, so lamps and other lighting fixtures are often an important part of Scandinavian interior design.


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