Scandinavian Interior Design: Time for the Nordic Makeover | 2024

Scandinavian interior design is one of the ways to embellish your 2023 home decor. This guide will share steps, tips & elements Nordics use.

Scandinavian Interior Design

While sitting on my most comfy minimalist-boho cornered sofa, I was checking on the latest home magazines for better ideas to refurbish my office space according to the latest vibes. Surprisingly, all the magazines have one common suggestion of adoring a modern Scandinavian interior design or a scandi-industrial look. I, therefore, began hunting for ideas, inspiration, and tips through Instagram, Pinterest, old catalogs, Ikea catalogs, and designer books to at least try to understand the interiors. It was vivid to find out more about Scandinavian interiors, but in the end, I was left with a heavy mess of brainy thoughts trying to figure out what to do next. It didn’t seem to be a huge problem until I redecorated my living space last year and saw a complete rupture. We were drowned in paint, leaving upholsteries in a mess and flooring tough to handle and more of it. So, this time, I pledged to initiate everything in order. Apart from that, I must write something for you before I bid my office goodbye for the time being. Hey, I am not putting you in nostalgia because it is simply impossible to take a break again from work after the recent holidays I called in for myself. It is just a temporary movement but a Work From Sofa thing! So enjoy this epic read on redecorating your entire place per Scandinavian interior design.

But before that, why must you stick to the article till the end? An important question you might raise in your mind! Reading this article will help you to spend more time with me, a cooperatively compelling company! Well, I can’t help myself to keep it straight without any drama as my New Year’s resolution entitles me to do so. Anyway, you must read it because I am saving your precious time to evaluate tens of designer magazines, books, and catalogs with my quick yet deep basics and inspirations. I think you got a big one to help you stick it with me. So, let’s get started.

What Is Scandinavian Interior Design?

To allow you to magnify your sublime personality by simply rooting down the text among others, I will give you a proper definition of Scandinavian interiors. But before that, I have something else to share. You must know the origins as it will help you to choose relatable items for bedecking your space.

Scandinavian interior design living room
By Peter Janov / Behance

If you look at the term Scandinavia, it refers to the geographical region around Scandia, the mountain running along Norway and Sweden. Most people know this area as the Nordic region, which includes nations like Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Now, any object designed in this area is called Scandinavian.

You must know why this style came into existence. Until the end of the 19th century, this region had a disastrous economy due to poor agricultural practices. The money was short- leading people to own a better home for a living (not only decor). Hence, they decided to put a functional design for their homes with a simple look. Most of the decoratives were for the upper-class population, having a pattern similar to that of France, Germany, and Britain. Then came an elegant combination of modern lines and traditional detailing, which appealed to the middle-class section, ultimately pouring life into Scandinavian interior design. So, yes, it is not a new design, but it is older than you think.

It is time for the definition that you waited for so long.

Scandinavian design, developed in the Nordic region, is a recurring theme to building living in the surrounding landscape with a modern yet simple architecture, blending them into a highly infused drama.

Oh, My GOD, I just built a definition without even taking help from an encyclopedia. Who knew I could come this far?

Moving on to our conversation, let me give you the seven elementary components of this design so that you can combine them and beat the designers with your creativity!

(P.S. This over-confident buddy came to me, saying, “No harsh feelings for you designers except for the fact you guys are out of budget for us.” I always loved you.)

7 Crucial Elements of Scandinavian Interiors.

Starting with the seven-layer components, you will eventually reach the top of the pyramid and grow an extensive knowledge of Scandinavian decor. So, let me hit all of them below for you with a not-so-boring description and how to do it.

1. Wood.

The first thing you can bring to accomplish your goal of making a Scandinavian home is wood. How? I will tell you briefly later in this section. First, let me tell you that each of the countries has its favorite wood- Danes use beech, while Finns prefer birch. The Scandinavian interiors have wooden floors, ceilings, and stairwells as well. But of course, we are just into renovating the interiors without extensive changes or construction. So, you can use bowls, plates, sculptures, chairs, tables, spoons, and serving trays, all made of wood. But there is a twist. I would suggest you- except for food, let us pledge to use recycled wood for furnishings so that we can entertain ourselves while not disturbing nature. The few best Scandinavian designer items include Finn Juhl’s wooden bowls (Andrew Pearce Bowls as a little affordable option) and The Chieftain Chair, and Figur Table by Swedese.

2. Glass.

It is a crucial element as it was a new concept to the Scandinavians, even though the leading glassware belonged back in the 1920s. Glass is the uncompromisingly easy element to hunt down for your Scandinavian interior design in making. From Finnish glasses, which are flirtatious looking to the Swedish Grace-style vases, you must let your interiors carry the jibe. I am definitely not talking about the antique mirrors, stupid wall separators, or anything crazy like them.

Now there is one more thing you must know about them. Handmade glass is something where each piece is different, and in Finnish culture, it resembles the closeness to nature through its shape and color as the end of winter melted ice seems. So you have to be very careful when you pick one for your Scandinavian decor. Some of the classics include Kaj Frack’s 1950 Kartio series, Aino Aalto’s 1930 Aino series, and Homlegaard and Kastrup glassware of 1950. I am not asking you to buy antiques at the highest bid, but you can try to get an idea of using the correct glassware.

Iittala Glassware Finish Style for Scandinavian Interior Design
Finish Style Glasswares by Iittala

3. Textiles.

Textiles are the source of warmth and colors to your interiors, so one inexpensive way of transforming an empty room and filling the gaps of emptiness is the quick use of Fabrics and rugs. Intelligent people know it well as they have seen their room changing drastically through them. Similarly, textiles for Scandinavian interior design do bring drama to your place. The favored natural material such as cane and rattan with curved forms is the appropriate kind of Scandinavian textile. If you are getting too confused about picking them, let me give you a quick tip. Any upholstery natural fabric with a colorful abstract design, which is handwoven, is your perfect choice.

Marimekko is a good option for checking on the patterns. Try choosing wood fiber mixed with cotton or wool kind of fabrics for Scandinavian decor.

Scandinavian Decor Fabric
Cotton Linen Fabric by Marimekko

4. Ceramics.

The use of innovative and colorful ceramics in your space is what you need to display your taste ostentatiously. Now, do not get cheap ceramics of any order to ruin your place. Instead, go for Danish ceramics, including vases and bowls, which can make your guests wild on your choice. You can pick a few geometric dishes, experimental pottery vessels, and rounded bowls to stand on a windowsill in your home. Furthermore, it is best if you could visit small studios or shops dotted across Denmark to hand-pick a simple, rustic, and handcrafted style of ceramics. For instance, the Suomi series of Timo Sarpaneva in 1974 was the best seller in this category. You can check a few other articles for inspiration from Rosenthal and Arabia’s website.

5. Metal.

In Scandinavia, you must be very wise to add each element in a way they don’t look overloaded. Metal is one of them that you must include in your interiors. I remember the last time my close relative read something from a recognized magazine and added all the elements randomly in an unarranged way, which certainly looked like a hooker’s dress. Please don’t bring that into your Scandinavian interiors unless your fantasies allow you to.

For metal, let us keep it simple and go for the Viking silver metalware. Now not to stress much, but your dining area can perfectly flaunt them. I would advise you to visit India’s local silver shops and give them a form with handmade craftsmanship. Or if you want to buy online, visit Georg Jensen’s website. One of the finest examples of Scandinavian metalware comes with the epic Maya cutlery series designed by Tias Eckhoff for North Stalpress.

Premium metal bowl for Scandinavian interior design
Cobra Bowl | Source: Georg Jensen

6. Plastic.

You might be surprised to hear that during the 1960s and 70s, the Italians were immense fans of plastic’s success and in the same period, two Scandinavians, Eero Aarnio and Verner Panton made a groundbreaking design in plastic. Hence, try to include the colorful blasts of the plastic artifacts with their extraordinary sleek hi-fi designs. A few classics include the Margarethe mixing bowl by Rosti, the Futuristic Ball Chair by Helsinki in 1962, and the Panthella Floor Lamp by Louis Poulsen.

One quick tip is for any of your classic or boring corners, try to enhance the welcome through this terrifically designed plasticware like a lamp, chair, or coffee table. And you are good to go!

Fiberglass ball chair for modern scandinavian interior design
White Ball Chair | Source: Finnish Design Shop

7. Light.

You already know that Scandinavian interior design focuses on natural light and the splash of fresh air. But have you ever considered the reason? It is because of the Nordic summer nights, which are warm and light, whereas winters with limited hours of sun every day. So, to maximize the quality of light each season, they designed homes appropriately, which we see in Scandinavian design.

Now, I am not asking you to break every wall to turn them into windows. Well, if you could, it would be great. In either case, pH lamps are an excellent option to add to your interiors. These have a shade screen with a glare of the bulb, which helps in the even distribution of light. Choose abstractly designed modern lamps with soothing light for your living!

Colorful designed ph pendant lamps for Scandinavian interiors
PH 5 Pendant Lamp | Source: Lumens by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen

Step Guide to Adore Nordic Interior Design in Your Space.

1. Choose the Best Color Palette.

Whenever we discuss home decor, I usually tell you one common thing- how to make your own color palette. So if you are a keen reader, you might know it already. However, I am repeating it for the new readers. So, mates, all you need to do is take a board and make three columns- Wall, Floorings, and Furnishings. Now, experiment with colors and design a palette that suits your eyes and is suitable for the decor style.

Knowing wood is a crucial element for Scandinavian interior design, try choosing the fabric of your furnishings in contrast to navy blue, baby pink, off-greys, and something you love to be around (in case you have wooden elements like flooring and ceiling).

And for those with conventional walls, you can paint them with neutral colors and try wild combinations for making a color palette.

A quick tip is to try to use off-whites, creme, or natural color tones for your walls because Nordic colors will eventually include orange, pink, and pastel blue shades. We will keep them for our furnishings or artifacts.

2. Plan the Best Scandi-Furnishings.

If you are already sticking to the color palette, it should be easy to determine the appropriate furnishings for your interiors. Still, I will share the easiest tip to pick some. Always go for the furnishing, which has those thin model legs of shining steel or any other metal. Further, you can try to exemplify the look by maintaining the color theme. For instance, if you chose an all-white look, then you can try ottomans and dining chairs with off-white or similar-tone colors. However, you can plump for matte black or rustic wood colors for your center table and dining table with shiny legs. Try to choose comfortable furnishing with an expensive look, as the Scandinavian interior design recommends. Further, try to include abstract-shaped furnishings, but don’t include mid-century or minimalist furnishing here.

3. Play With Texture.

Now that you know your house is experiencing a monotonous and soothing look, you have to include a few colors through texture so that it doesn’t seem void. Let your brain run in either direction to find a way. Or I can tell you a few tips. First, you can add a rug of similar color but with a different texture to your interiors. Next, you can add ceramic vases from the Scandinavian region and tot up beautiful flowers to provide a contrasting appearance to your interiors. Or you can use a striped organic material (wool+wood fiber) throw blanket to intensify the touch of Scandinavian interior design. Arrange them as per your taste.

A living room with nordic textiles for Scandinavian living room
By Another Ballroom / Via Nordic Design

4. Explore Options for Lights.

For lighting options, you have to figure out what’s best for maximum lighting in your space. Firstly, I’d suggest you use transparent or sheer curtains because they allow natural light to arrive in your living. Checking on artificial lighting options, you can go for pH lamps and easy-looking floor lamps to make your room airy and less cluttered. Or I can give you a few more suggestions to stand out. You can go for stelling mouth glass pendants, thin stem floor lamps or table lamps, Oxford lamps, and soothing shade table lamps. Many of them can give a bold look to your Scandinavian interior design. All you have to do is choose wisely and place them correctly.

5. Try to Choose Odd in Even Through Accessories.

You are yet to reach your goal. The major outlook of your home is ready, but as you know, it is incomplete without proper decorative artifacts and daily use items. So, it is time to accessorize your home to give it broader visibility. I have earlier stated to you the elements of Scandinavian interior design. All you need to do is pick from them in a ratio. For instance, the ratio of ceramics to glass artifacts must be 3:1. Try to add ceramic crockery in your kitchen and hot serving pots in your dining. One better suggestion is to use them in a blended mode- utility+decoration. Make a rack touching the ceiling the same color as your wall in your dining area without any doors. Assemble the colorful ceramic plates, jugs, and other items to show off your taste. Further, you can use vases and serving trays of a different material. It must look sophisticated and uncluttered instead of a big mess.

Danish ceramic dining ware for Scandinavian interior design
By Ditte Fischer

6. Combine the Interiors With a Touch of Metal and Plastic.

See, you finally have crafted the Scandinavian interior design for your home, but there are still a few things you can’t neglect. Like this step, you have to combine metal and plastic for your corners to give them an extraordinary look. In the empty corners, you can add a dramatic influence through a colorful plastic chair and any indoor plant (preferably Ficus). Besides, anywhere on cabinets and platforms, metalware works. You can choose an appropriate style of arranging them.

You have finished an epic read combined with a simple Scandinavian decor. Wait, we’re not finished yet. Some of us know everything but are unable to process the ideas that inspire us. And so this time especially, I am starting the tips section separately. Check on them for your different areas of the home.

Tips to Enhance Your Scandinavian Decor.

Tips for Scandinavian Living Room.

  • Opt for an odd color to make your eye catchy. You can, for example, choose a colorful plastic chair with an abstract shape or place a floor cushion in an odd color.
  • If you want to connect your space with Nordic specialties, use a Lavonen painting.
  • On the center table, you can use a plain shaded lamp with a thin leg.
  • Always go for a wool-wood fiber rug to keep your living warm and cozy.

Tips for Scadi Exteriors.

  • Include aluminum chairs, barbeque, and rounded tables in your exteriors for a bonafide Scandi exterior look.
  • Include wild plants and grass potted in ceramic pots for a natural-looking escape.

Tips for Scandinavian Kitchen.

  • Sack your large shelving units with a colorful collection of ceramics, making a color shade, preferably telling you a story through it.
  • Try including a circular dining table with a suspended hanging lamp for a dining option.
  • You can always use your kitchen shelves as open storage to daily use glasses and ceramics for easy cooking and serving with an appropriate look.
  • Use ocean vases or bowls in the dining area to keep it occupied.

Tips for Scandinavian Office.

  • Try to place your office space near the south-facing window so that you can have most of the natural light and fresh air, helping you to focus better.
  • For bringing Scandinavian interior design into your office space, you can use cabinets and cupboards of wood with stainless-steel handles.
  • From the middle of the sides of your standing open book cabinets, you can hang standing lamps with adjustable lights of an odd color (preferably bold).
  • Try to keep free space in your office to help your brain invite more thoughts. Keep your furnishing minimal and thin-legged with uncompromising comfort so that you don’t move until you are done.

End Words.

Your never-ending read has come to an end, Legends. It is the time when I appreciate your time for holding me for so long. I hope I have clarified enough on the long words- Scandinavian interior design. Shoot me if you have any queries or pieces of advice in the comments. Bidding you bye for this time!

Frequently Asked Questions.

What is Scandinavian decor called?

Scandinavian or Nordic decor is a common interior theme for the Nordic regions, namely Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Some of the recurrent terms used for this philosophy are Hygge, Lagom, and Lykke.

What are the characteristics of Scandinavian interior design?

Scandinavian interior design was originally meant to bring elegance to middle-class houses. The concept was derived from modern lines and traditional detailing, which now makes a modern living around the landscapes with minimal architecture and highly infused drama.

What are the key elements of Scandinavian design?

There are seven key elements of Scandinavian interior design namely wood, glass, textiles, ceramics, metal, plastic and light. To learn more about them individually and their importance in making Scandinavian designs, refer to this guide.

What colours are in the Scandinavian interior design style?

Neutral colours for walls and nordic colours like orange, pink and pastel blue for furniture and artefacts make the best for Scandinavian interior design.

What are the benefits of Scandinavian design?

The most crucial benefit of Scandinavian design is its clean and organised nature while making a space calming and cozy.


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