How to Decorate Scandinavian Style

September 27, 2022

Real photo of a bright home office interior with a sofa, graphics, desk with a computer and lamp and modern clock

Scandinavian styles refer to trends of interior design in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The style is meant to be a mix of old and new to complement both traditional and modern looks, and there is a large emphasis on natural materials. When decorating in the Scandinavian style, there are a few traditional elements to keep in mind.


Because Scandinavian homes were once designed to be small, there was a large focus on minimalism; homes in Scandinavian countries are larger now, but this element of Scandinavian design remains. In Scandinavian design, minimalism and functionality are one and the same; the furniture within a space must not only be minimal but also serve a purpose. Furniture like sofas, tables, and chairs are multi-functional, while small trinkets and antiques take up space.

It's fine to keep decorations within your home but try to retain ones that fit the style you are trying to create in a room.


Color is very important in the Scandinavian style. The style calls for muted colors to serve as accents to neutral tones.

  • Neutral Palette: For the most part, a neutral color palette is used in Scandinavian design. Neutral tones like black, gray, and white are commonly used for walls and trimmings, with complimentary accent colors in pastels.
  • Contrast: Contrasting colors are a large part of Scandinavian design. Within rooms, the neutral colors were contrasted with darker colors; popular options were black and white contrasts. In your own home, you don't have to use black and white, but try to have a few color contrasts.

Earthy colors like brown, dark green, and clay red are commonly found in the Scandinavian style.


Wood is a key material found in Scandinavian furniture; not only are the furniture and fixtures crafted from wood but so is the flooring. A typical Scandinavian home usually has wooden chairs and coffee tables, and newer trends incorporate metallic finishes as well.

Natural Light

Scandinavia is known for its cold, dark winters; Scandinavians don't see much natural light during this time. Because of this, lighting is very important in Scandinavian interior design. This style of decor usually has different forms of lighting to achieve enough illumination. Homes in Scandinavia were designed with larger windows to allow in more light.

In your own home, opt either for bare windows or window coverings crafted from light fabrics, like sheer, to allow in more natural light. Incorporating candlelight and chandeliers as an additional source of light can make a space feel warm and romantic.


In the past, natural resources were scarce in Scandinavian countries due to multiple factors; because of the scarcity, Scandinavians have an appreciation for nature. Within the Scandinavian Style, natural elements are always Incorporated. Natural elements like different shades of wood, natural textiles like wool and mohair, and even small house plants can help you bring a little bit of the outdoors indoors. Incorporating the vibrant colors of nature into your home can also help you bring a small pop of color to any space.


Hygge; the term means comfortable or cozy. It's included in all aspects of Scandinavian decor because Scandinavian Winters are dark and very cold. The feeling of comfort can easily be achieved by adding a fur rug or a throw blanket to a space. If the room has a fireplace, you can make it a focal point.

Scandinavian style is an easy form of interior design to emulate, and it's a simple way to bring warmth and nature into your home.


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