12 Scandinavian Design Tips

If you want your home to feel modern, clean, and warm, then try out Scandinavian design tips.

Do you want to make your home feel more modern and welcoming? Do you wish to brighten up a dark room and make it flow smoothly? If you said yes, Scandinavian interior design is for you.

Hygge is a phrase used in various Nordic nations to describe the feeling you get when you’re surrounded by warmth and coziness — and it’s at the heart of any Northern European design style. Scandinavian design does a good job at capturing it.

Scandinavian design has a minimalist aesthetic that is highlighted by clean lines, light hues, and luxurious materials, making it easy to bring any area together. It’s a style that will last for decades because of its form, quality, and practicality.

Adding a Scandi touch to any of your rooms isn’t as tough as you imagine. If you follow these recommendations, you’ll have a room that you’ll never want to leave.

An all white room interior with hints of lightwood furniture.

11 Ways to Bring Scandinavian Style Into Your Space

1. Go With a Neutral Color Palette

One of the foundations of Scandinavian interiors is a bright and airy feel, and the easiest place to start is with your room’s color palette. The Scandinavian design style is full of neutral tones like whites, soft grays, and light wood tones.

Sticking with these tones will automatically make your room feel bigger and more modern. Plus, the reflection of light will make everything feel warm. 

A bright living room with neutral tones like white, soft grays and contrast of black.

2. Pick Uncomplicated Furniture

When you choose furniture for your Scandi-influenced room, keep in mind that the furniture of the 1950s was heavily inspired by Scandinavian home design. Clean lines and thin hardwoods are used to make spaces feel more minimal and open.

Whether you’re purchasing a sofa or a coffee table, remember to look for quality construction and lines that make pieces that offer a timeless and weightless appearance. 

Classic clean lines and thin hardwood living room interior.

3. Wood and Metal is a Winning Combo

The almost futuristic look of Scandi furniture comes from the unique way that wood and metal have been combined. As you’re shopping to complete your redesign, look for pieces that allow both elements to shine. 

The modern, industrial look of metal married with wood’s natural warmth and charm will never go out of style. Keep your eye out for brass and copper accents around table legs and lamp bases — it’s the perfect touch.

Simple but functional kitchen with clean  furnishings and stainless appliances.

4. Bring in a Little of the Outdoors

Adding a few pops of greenery around your room is the chef’s kiss for any room, but it’s a fundamental part of the Scandinavian look. You don’t need to have the greenest thumb in the neighborhood or start a giant collection. 

Including a few strategically placed plants around your room will an extra layer of comfort and keep things feeling natural. 

A spacious white room with colorful decors and patterns.

5. Incorporate Texture With Textiles 

Because you’re working with such a neutral palette, Scandinavian homes are filled with textiles that add texture and warmth. From patterned wool wall hangings to sheepskin rugs, the simplicity of luxurious textiles ties the room together.

Make sure you add plenty of velvet pillows and thick fabrics, too; they’ll add a lot to the swag factor. 

A cozy corner chair with floor pillows and warm light.

6. Add Color With a Sneaky Approach

Yes, Scandinavian rooms are mostly neutral with colors typically found in a wintery, outdoor landscape. It doesn’t mean you should shy away from adding pops of colors or framed patterns to your space, though. 

While you should try to keep accents to a minimum, adding a colorful pillow, piece of art or vase will pull your eye around and add a sense of personalization. 

A cozy blue chair beside a built-in fireplace.

7. Design From the Floor Up

The first thing you probably think of when you’re looking for ways to make a room feel brighter is the paint color. In Scandinavian rooms, the floor is the first place to start. 

Light wood floors like pine and ash are great alternatives to traditionally darker hardwood floors. However, it could be as simple as painting your existing floors white. 

A wooden cabinet against a plain white wall with frame decors.

8. Keep it Organized With Clever Storage

Staying organized is part of making any space look good, but Scandinavian furniture designers have made it a stylish affair. Made to be both efficient and attractive Scandanavian furniture can be displayed almost anywhere in your home.

No matter which room you’re modernizing, slim linen closets, functional office desks, and streamlined dressers will give you the look.

A white colored cabinet for bedside storage.

9. Barely There Window Treatments

Soft neutral walls and flooring will accentuate and reflect the natural light your room receives. Go without curtains or use sheer panels instead of covering your windows with heavy curtains and dark blinds. 

Combined with the right lighting, your room will be a bright and welcome space any time of the day. 

A non-curtained open window for natural light.

10. Don’t Complicate Lighting

Lighter walls and floors mean that you don’t need to go extreme with lighting fixtures. In keeping with the design goal, you’ll want to choose lighting that almost blends into the room.  

For the living room, try floor lamps accented with metal. If you’re redoing the kitchen or bathroom, think about simple pendant lamps for track lighting. 

A cozy room with complementary lighting fixtures.

11. Shy Away From Too Many Decorations

It might be tempting to add all the family photos to your Scandinavian living room, but it requires a lighter touch. Artwork, photos, and decorations should also be neutral and sparse.

Going overboard with the decorations can bring back a cluttered feel and take away from your sleek overall style. 

A white chair beside a window.

12. Minimize Your Existing Furniture

As hard as it may be to get rid of the bulky pieces of furniture you’ve had for years, you have to allow yourself space. Your new design will only be successful if it has room to shine. 

Scandinavian rooms thrive when there’s a little room to move around, and that might mean sacrificing some of the things you have. 

A modern and well-arranged couch and sofa in front of a fireplace.

Getting that hygge feeling at home is only a few shopping trips and a decluttering session away. Incorporating the minimalist approach of Scandinavian design can make your world feel like a brighter and more organized world. Add of few of these tips in at a time, and you’ll have a magazine-worthy space.

Teresa Burns
Teresa Burns is a design specialist who has been in the business for over 20 years. She has seen design trends change from traditional designs to more simplistic modern designs. She not only has seen it all, she understands it all. She has a large collection of articles to help spread her love for design.
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