Scandinavian is a style in interior design that implies white, beige and pastel colors, and is characterized by four main components: simplicity, practicality, clean lines and restrained elegance. The mixture of styles of several Scandinavian countries gave birth to a cozy and homey type of space that is filled with purity, light, furniture and decor made of natural materials and a light color palette. And as a result, there is a feeling of absolute unity with nature in such interiors. The revival of the style happened in 1990, when designers began to actively use each element of the decor as an essential piece of furniture.
How did the Scandinavian style in interior design appear? It arose in the harsh natural conditions of Northern Europe, where there are long winters and little daylight. Most of the year, people spent indoors and often cramped houses needed light, space and comfort. That is why it is dominated by the need for sources of light, practicality and things that are easily accessible. This is how this design style, which confidently combines beauty and functionality, was born.
- Scandinavian style apartment interior design: the distinctive features of the northern aesthetics
- Color scheme
- Scandinavian style furniture
- Wall decoration
- How to choose decor
- Scandinavian kitchen
- Living room
- Kids room
- Country house in Scandinavian style
- New home, new philosophy
Want to turn the interiors of your apartment into an elegant, functional and at the same time cozy space? Then the Scandinavian style is the right decision. Here are some basic rules to follow when choosing this design approach:
- Let in daylight, use mirrors and reflective surfaces;
- Choose dazzling white and light shades – ivory, beige, light brown, milky, creamy;
- Do not use complex fittings and bulky pieces of furniture. Furniture should be simple and have strict lines;
- Choose furniture of natural wood in light shades;
- Focus on one or two bright accessories;
- Built-in furniture must be simple and light;
- Every detail is an integral piece of design, so put on display only beautiful things;
- Create coziness with the help of comfy things, such as fluffy cushions and soft rugs.
Feel free to choose the lightest shade of white, as well as muted tones. Calm tones, such as beige, milky and ivory in combination with white, will bring more light into the room even on the cloudiest day.
Why else the white color is so good in Scandinavian style? White is a clean canvas or background on which you can safely play with the color accents from soft pastel to bright black accents. It should be noted that the cool white color is more suitable for rooms that face the south side, because they get more light and warmth. The warmer tones of white will fit perfectly into rooms to the north side. In addition, white color will visually make any room more spacious than it actually is.
Think beige is boring? The advantage of calm and soft tones does not mean that the Scandinavian-style design is devoid of energy and dynamics. On the contrary, correctly placed bright accents, such as ceramic products, rugs and sofa cushions in bright colors will give your room charisma. For combining with white, colors such as gray, black, red and yellow are usually chosen.
Nature in the house is a principle that Scandinavians adhere to. That is why their homes are finished mainly of wood which is the main building and decorative material. The favorites are furniture and the floor of pine, beech and ash in light tones that fits perfectly with the idea of “style of naturalness”. Wooden floors are placed in all rooms, with the exception of the bathroom. Carpets on the floor are not necessary, but if you do not imagine an interior in Scandinavian style without a carpet – choose it in light and beige colors or dilute with a small bright rug. Also, recent trend is a flooring from carelessly trimmed boards, which can be painted white.
Choose cabinets, beds, tables and chairs made of natural wood or white-painted furniture – dressers, bookshelves and coffee tables. At the same time, furniture should go without unnecessary decorative elements. For example, a sofa with a wooden frame and cushions in a large white and gray plaid print, as well as a coffee table made of wood will be suitable. The furniture with open wooden legs also looks great.
Scandinavian style in apartment design and thick massive curtains are incompatible things. What texture is suitable for northern interior? Light curtains made of natural fabric are ideal: transparent and light silk, chiffon, finest linen, muslin or mesh. Give up options with ruffles and bows, as well as curtains with glitter. A great option – long cuts from white airy fabric.
What length is suitable for the curtaince? It can be long curtains to the floor on large loops or grommet, air and weightless, as well as light curtains. Blinds and roller blinds can also be used. The main rule – curtains should be simple, matched to the setting and perform their main function.
- White paint. The walls are painted with emulsion to get a smooth surface. This is a very popular solution. It significantly brightens the room and visually expands even the smallest apartment, and also serves as a backdrop for wooden doors, windows and furniture.
- Wallpaper. There are many options – from geometric patterns to stripes and plain wallpaper. You can also choose options with a minimalist pattern and elegant texture and paste over the entire room. Or make a bright accent on one wall with the help of rich-patterned wallpaper.
- Tile. Just choose which effect you want to achieve – imitating wood, stone or brick. You can also put a tile with a beautiful folk ornament. Ceramic tiles are a great choice for living room and bathroom.
Chandeliers, lamps, wall lamps, mirrors and candles are the integral companions of Scandinavian-style kitchen-living room as well bedrooms. Such spaces usually have big windows. Simply put, the more reflectors and light sources, the better the idea is conveyed. Mirrors that are strategically located to expand the space and reflect the surrounding light are also important. A chandelier with candles, as the main source of artificial light, as well as electric lamps with simple lines and shapes that will illuminate the room and not give it the effect of cluttering, will fit perfectly here.
Decorate the walls with Scandinavian-style paintings or Scandinavian nature photos in frames. These can be images of Norwegian fjords, waterfalls of Iceland, majestic deer and narwhals. Insert photos into a rough wooden frame to get a complete look. Place the mirrors, decorate the curtains with an inconspicuous ribbon; you can also divide the room with a double-sided wall. It should be noted that traditional textiles are natural cotton. To convey authenticity, pay attention to plaid textiles, especially the white-red and white-blue combination.
If you have an ultra-small kitchen and need to use every inch – the Scandinavian style in kitchen interior design will be your best assistant. The biggest plus is that this bright and airy design is capable of expanding the most narrow kitchens, despite its laconism and restraint.
In addition to the main white color, the most popular shades for the kitchen are those that can vary depending on the lighting (ivory, dairy, creamy). On such a background kitchen utensils with floral patterns, as well as bright green and yellow shades and geometric lines will look great.
Nothing superfluous – this is the main rule of kitchen design in Scandinavian style. Modular wall cabinets, perfectly smooth hanging shelves and ergonomic kitchen surfaces, which include glass, wood and metal elements, form the basis of this design. The top shelves are most often open, leaving kitchen accessories open to the eyes. In the corners you can place cabinets and canisters with a smooth surface and without unnecessary fittings. In the center of the composition of the kitchen interior can be a small table, a bar and chairs of the same or different models, as well as objects with a touch of rustic – coarse wicker chairs or even garden furniture.
The airy and at the same time bright, but relaxing atmosphere of the bedroom sets the perfect rest. At the same time the room is completely white in color – not a common color solution. Inserts of rich colors in the form of wallpaper at the head of the bed, bedding, lamps, paintings and bright accessories will be ideal. The interior of a bedroom in Scandinavian style usually includes a wide bed, bedside tables, floor lamps, lamps and wardrobes.
In the bedroom, you can focus on the wall at the head of the bed or perpendicular to the wall. To do this, traditionally use wallpaper with a contrasting pattern or decorate the selected wall with paintings, posters or photographs. The bedroom can be decorated with any objects – pillows, handicrafts, bedspreads with ornaments and large plants in pots. You can also use photo wallpaper in Scandinavian bedroom design.
When designing a living room, you should take into account the particularities of the room, namely the presence of massive windows and high ceilings. The choice of color palette is traditional for this style: soft shades of white, milky, ivory and whipped cream. They are often combined with gray, brown, pale blue shades that decorate window frames and the surface of the fireplace.
To make the living room look Scandinavian, you need to choose furniture rationally. There is no place for bulky closets and complex objects, only functionality. For the living room, you can create a furniture composition from a combination of glass, metal and wood textures. The contents of the shelves are usually on display, and the shelves themselves perfectly balance the living room if it contains asymmetric elements. The soft zone can be represented exclusively by a sofa. It is also important to have one or two color accents.
Less is more is the main principle to be adhered to when designing a Scandinavian-style bathroom. Keep the number of necessary plumbing to a minimum. Only a bathtub or shower, a washbasin and a toilet will be enough. Plumbing of dazzling white color with faucets of matte metal color is ideal for the realization of the idea of Scandinavian interior. You can complement a bathroom with reflective surfaces and mirrors on the walls and shelves. A bathroom becomes very comfortable thanks to the furniture made of natural wood or stone. Complete a room with bright bath accessories.
A skillfully decorated kids room in Scandinavian style will seem more light and spacious. Paint the walls white or use finishing with light brown wooden clapboard, which adds a sense of warmth and space, and also serves as a backdrop for your bright accents. You can also experiment with colored vinyl stickers and boldly stretch one or more garlands along the wall or ceiling. In addition, there is always a place for an amusing little lamp in the shape of an animal.
The entrance hall or corridor in Scandinavian style initially implies a lot of space and a minimum amount of furniture: a clothes hanger, a wicker basket for storing shoes, and an umbrella stand upon entering the room. In the hall area you can put a bench or sofa, as well as put a small rug and decorate the walls with black and white photos. Small lamp will be enough. The main feature is the balance of quiet tones in the design of the walls and floor, which you dilute with bright accessories.
A house in Scandinavian style involves the use of an abundance of natural materials and allowing plenty of light. The result is a functional space filled with simple lines with a small amount of decoration. You can easily recognize such a house, since its hallmark is massive windows through which the interior of the house is visible, and glass doors in combination with wooden frames.
The facade of the house and cottage in Scandinavian style is made mainly of wood, the most reliable and natural finishing material. In most cases, choose wooden lining, environmentally friendly material that effectively retains heat inside the house. Also popular are thermopanels, giving the exterior a maximum of uniqueness.
What color of lining should we choose? It can be bold solutions, such as a mix of bright colors for the facade with dark shades of window and door frames. Such a contrast looks particularly advantageous in snowy winter. Also there are completely white houses, without a hint of lining, just painted with facade paint. White color in the exterior fits well with dark door and window openings. If the house is completely in tones of dark wood, then there are definitely huge panoramic windows. The roof is usually gable, the attic space is used as an office or bedroom.
The Scandinavian style in interior design of a country house is characterized by rigor and functionality in the design, both for interior and exterior decoration. A minimum of decoration in finishing – and you get a cottage, which is perfect for country living or in a residential area of the big city. If you like this “strict” comfort, choose a Danish design, as it will never go out of fashion.
The Hygge philosophy (from Danish “comfort”) is the secret ingredient in the Scandinavian interior design. It involves enjoying the simple pleasures of life from day to day – whether it is a cup of coffee, drunk in a cozy home environment, chatting with a friend and family, or spending time alone with yourself. Who among us would not like to create a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere in the house for a comfortable stay? Whatever the weather outside the window, there is always time to bring a bit of Hygge into your home.
And this is how it looks live – here we have some beautiful video tours of true Scandinavian homes:
See also some of our photo tours: