Scandinavian Interior Design took the world by storm in the 1950s, appealing to modernist designers with its functionalism combined with natural elements. In the 21st century, it has made a huge comeback and we get tons of clients requesting Nordic-Chic design for their own homes!
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the Scandinavian style is its simplicity. The combination of clean lines, warm textiles, and naturally occurring shapes and textures is easy to pull off and even easier to maintain.
So what are the elements you need to make your Nordic-Chic fantasy come to life?
Read on for our comprehensive guide to Scandinavian Interior Design and get to styling!
The Color Palette
Scandinavian Interior Design relies on primarily neutral tones with interspersed pops of color. By using a lot of white, off-white, and light charcoal tones, you can optimize the natural light in any living space. Nothing says Nordic-Chic like soft, natural light!
You'll typically see white or off-white walls with grey, black, and brown furniture. Not only do lighter walls create the illusion of more light but they allow for the bold lines and darker colors in the furniture and decor to really stand out.
One way to incorporate some of your blacks and browns is to use natural materials like metal and wood. For example, dining room chairs with wooden legs and light fixtures made of black iron are always welcome in Scandinavian design! To shop the look, check out the Annie chair, complete with leather seats and wooden legs.
Finally, throw in your pops of color. Think of colors that are found in nature, like blue, sea green, and red. Avoid unnatural colors. Anything that's neon is out of place in this design!
Rugs, textiles, and artwork are great places to incorporate your pops of color. Look for a handful of bold pieces that you love, as they will be a focal point in your neutral-toned space!
Scandinavian countries are known for the cool summers and below-freezing winters. The average temperature in February, their coldest month, is about 12 degrees F, while their average temperature in July hovers just below 70 degrees F.
For that reason, warm and cozy textiles are a must in Scandinavian Interior Design. Choose from options such as wool, mohair, and sheepskin for your throws and even your rugs.
Add in some pieces that are soft and richly textured. Thick or chunky knitted blankets make a great counterpoint to the clean lines of the furniture and invite you to snuggle up on a cold winter night!
As we've mentioned, Scandinavian Interior Design is marked by its clean, bold lines. Angles create drama while a mix of different shapes creates visual interest.
Avoid over-stuffed couches and armchairs, as these tend to break up the shape and become uneven over time. Instead, opt for pieces with straight backs and sides and cushions that are firm and supportive. If you're concerned about comfort, don't forget that you get to fluff up your seating with throw pillows and thick blankets!
Add visual interest with round tables, globe-shaped lamp coverings, and pointed or triangular table legs. The key is for every piece to be functional but that doesn't mean they can't be fun!
Like any modern style of design, there is a minimalist element to Scandinavian home decorating. As you pick your accessories, think quality over quantity. You want a few statement pieces that are eye-catching but that won't clutter your walls or other surfaces.
On the walls, hang large prints that balance negative space with bold designs. This is one of the places where you can play with color, but do so mindfully.
For example, if you've fallen in love with a large blue picture frame, consider using it to display a black and white print. If you're crazy about a print that has splashes of greens and yellows, use a neutral-toned frame. Avoid creating chaos with your accessories.
As far as knick-knacks go, the fewer the better. Remember that you're going for a functional feel. Clocks, vases, and candle holders are all functional and can be found in funky shapes that contribute to the texture of the room. Combine geometric pieces with organic or less angular pieces to diversify your look.
The Natural Elements
Nature is an important component of Scandinavian Interior Design. You see it in the color palette, the textiles, and the materials like wood, leather, and metal. Plus, you can (and should) incorporate nature throughout with potted plants and cut flowers!
Play with proportion and scale by mixing and matching plants of different sizes. Brighten up corners with tall potted trees like fiddle leaf figs and money trees. Use succulents or other small greenery to decorate side tables, coffee tables, and shelving.
Feel free to fill vases with cut flowers or greens. Look for softer tones like whites and blues and let the greens do most of the talking. Of course, you should pick the cut flowers that make you the happiest, but certain colors, like hot pinks or bright oranges, may look out of place with the rest of your Nordic-Chic design!
If you love Scandinavian Interior Design but you're worried about transitioning to such a minimalist appearance, plants and flowers will be your best friend. While everything else should be used sparingly and only where it will make the most sense and impact, plants and flowers can go just about anywhere and you can use as many or as few as you'd like!
Fall in Love with Scandinavian Interior Design
We love Scandinavian Interior Design not just for its beauty but for its practicality. With all of its lightness, warmth, and greenery, walking into a Nordic-Chic room is like taking a breath of fresh air.
If you're looking for Scandinavian inspiration or help from a professional interior designer, you're looking in the right place!
Visit our design centre to find out what we can do for you!