21 Scandi Interior Design Ideas & Decor Updates
Scandinavian design is still one of the most popular interior design trends. Rising in popularity just a few short years ago, it’s easy to see why the Scandi interior design approach is still so in demand to this day. The Scandi style involves living and breathing stylish and functional design, meaning every piece in the home has a purpose and is also aesthetically pleasing.
The blend of styles from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway results in spaces filled with light, with heavy use of neutral colour palettes, clean lines and natural elements. The ideal style for those who favour minimalism, quality and cosiness, the Scandi approach to design can be implemented in almost any interior to create a simple and homely feel.
Read on to discover 21 Scandi interior design ideas, both big and small, to add a Nordic vibe to your home now…
1. Strip it back
Scandinavian interior design is known for its use of simple and humble materials in their raw form, using lots of unfinished wood in Nordic homes. Wooden floorboards are a must to create a Scandinavian style. Try pale wood flooring to enhance the light in your home, and use throughout (apart from the bathroom) to create continuity.
2. Mix up textures
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Traditionally Scandi interior design uses a lot of whites and greys to create a simple and streamlined feel. While this trend is all about a simple and humble approach, it is important to add warmth and interest with soft furnishings and different textures. Add in unfinished wood, long pile rugs, chunky knit throws and cushions with knitted details such as pompoms.
3. Painted exposed brick
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Exposing the raw materials of your home is a great way to show appreciation to the different elements that make up the building. While red exposed red brick might not look quite right in otherwise neutral interiors, try exposing a brick wall and painting it white. This will look great in living rooms, kitchens and hallways. The exposed brick will add texture, while the white paint will keep things bright and simple.
4. Layered lighting
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Light is key to Scandinavian design – with long winters large windows are used in Scandi homes to make the most of the natural light, but with light limited in the winter creating artificial light at different levels is key to the hygge vibe.
To create a cosy feel that echoes the Scandi approach layer lighting to create brighter light and lower light for functionality and comfort. Try pendant lighting for bright lights and lamps for a cosier feel. In bedrooms and living rooms build lighting up with tall floor standing lamps and tabletop lamps.
5. Maximise space
The Scandi interior design style puts a lot of emphasis on using the space you have available wisely. Rooms shouldn’t be cluttered, and should only contain essential items. The Nordic approach also considers decorative items, such as lamps, cushions, and throws to be essential, as creating a comforting and aesthetically pleasing interior is key.
Take a scandi approach to your space planning, by decluttering and choosing quality pieces that enhance your lifestyle.
Try creating better balance for yourself in the home by choosing to go tech-free in a number of rooms. In a world where we are constantly switched on to social media, email and more, it is important to find time and space to step away from this.
The obvious choice is the bedroom. Choose to go TV free, and leave smartphones and laptops at the door – instead choose to add relaxing and calming items, such as books, candles and simple soft cushions and knitted throws.
7. Add interest with art
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Minimal interiors need to be lifted with textiles and artwork. Add a little personality and interest with carefully selected artwork in each room. Keep the look from becoming cluttered by placing prints in just one or two areas of each room – spreading art work out will make a room look busy and un-styled. Try a gallery wall above your sofa, or draw attention to a key piece of furniture by installing a large piece of artwork above. Choose complimentary tones, such as deep greys or blues, or soft pastels and neutrals.
8. Open shelving
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In Scandinavian style, there is a strong focus on livability, which means leaving things out in the open and on display. Because of this, every item in the home must be beautiful as well as useful. Consider open shelving in the kitchen and lounge, styled with essential everyday items that also add to the overall feel of the room.
9. A pop of greenery
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Houseplants are key to the Scandi interior design style and are a great way to introduce more natural materials and a pop of vibrant green. Try arranging plants in groups of three, and layer up different heights and sizes. A floor standing plant looks striking among a few tabletop plants.
10. Mix and match
Scandi interior design can be eclectic in its own way. If you favour the eclectic look but want to benefit from calming Nordic interiors try mixing and matching in the same colour palettes. For example, select vintage and antique dining room chairs in the same tone of wood – the unique combination of different chairs will add interest, while choosing the same tone will keep the look streamlined.
11. Add black
Add depth and anchor your scheme by adding some black elements. The contrasting look is huge in Scandinavian interiors, and will help you highlight the white elements in your home. Try introducing black through simple printed textiles, a black framed mirror, or a black painted console table.
12. Create negative space
Scandi interior design isn’t about strict minimalism, it’s about making every piece in your home count. If you have a lot of items that add value to your everyday life, the look won’t look busy if you choose to create a muted colour palette. Balance out areas that contain lots of items, such as sofas with throws, cushions and artwork above, or bookcases by making use of the negative space available, keeping it bare to allow the eye to rest.
If you want to add a Nordic style on a budget, try upcycling furniture that you already own. If your furniture doesn’t work in white and minimal interiors, try sanding back and painting to give it a new lease of life. Try painting tables, chairs, sideboards and chests of drawers in white or grey chalk paint, sealing with wax to make the finish last.
14. Add industrial elements
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Just like embracing wood is key in Scandi interiors, embracing raw materials is too. Consider introducing concrete and unpolished metals to your scheme. A collection of concrete planters can be very effective, as can unpolished metals such as steel, brass or copper. Stick to one metal to keep the look simple and introduce through lighting, chair legs, wire baskets, bins, and frames.
15. Introduce soft colours
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If the idea of an all-neutral colour scheme scares you a little, try adding a hint of colour through soft furnishings and accessories. Add a pale blush pink to add warmth with a few cushions and a stack of books – the key is to only add a hint, to avoid taking away from the otherwise neutral palette.
16. Simple form
When it comes to furniture, it’s all about clean lines and simplicity. The style embraces the mid-century modern tendencies, with smoothed edges in natural hues. Think simple box- -like sideboards, tall chests on legs, open and unfussy shelving and simple single tier coffee tables. For an easy update, try swapping out a boxy coffee table for a white round table on legs, or take down over the top shelving units and replace for simple unfinished boards.
17. Fresh flowers
A simple way to update a room regularly making the space continually interesting is to invest in fresh flowers every week. This may seem a little indulgent, but Scandinavians swear by the wellbeing enhancing factor that a home with fresh flowers can provide.
18. Simple shelf styling
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Open shelving is a great way to make the most of unused space, but it’s key to choose what you display on the shelves carefully, and style with the rest of the room in mind. Keep the colour scheme uniform, and introduce interest with different materials. Shelving is a great opportunity to add some dark greys and black tones. Try styling shelves with books stacked vertically with white, grey and black spines, add a plant or two in concrete or black pots and introduce a few items in pale wood, such as candle holders or a simple storage box.
19. Layer up monochrome shades
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Add depth to a room by layering up different monochrome shades, rather than sticking to just one tone. Use white as the base, building the look by adding pale greys, mid greys, charcoals and black. Try painting walls white and opting for light wood flooring, adding a sofa or bed sheets and headboard in mid-grey, dressing with black, grey and white textured cushions and throws. Complete the Scandi interior design look with accessories and framed prints in the same differing tones.
20. Stylish storage
Create the ultimate hygge feel by having extra throws and blankets on hand for guests and particularly cold evenings. Invest in soft woven seagrass baskets to store extra blankets in. Pop one or two in varying heights to the side of the sofa and layer up black and grey blankets. Keep the look simple by folding neatly and allowing the corner of one blanket to drape softly over the edge. Try a pompom blanket to add soft texture and interest. Dress sofas and beds with throws and blankets too, don’t be afraid to use more than one, just keep the look uniform with neutral shades.
21. Stripped back windows
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Because Scandi style is all about letting the light in, in Nordic countries the windows tend to be left undressed. This also helps to open up the space, maximising the light and the space available. Consider leaving windows bare, or in a situation where you need added privacy, try a simple white blind or a plain sheer panel curtain in grey or white.
Adding a Scandi vibe to your home can be really effective, creating a calming, stylish and cosy interior. If you follow a few simple rules, such as layering neutral tones, choosing items that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, add warmth and texture with soft furnishings and include materials in their raw and natural form, you can create the perfect hygge home.
Which Scandi interior design ideas will you be trying, or have you already implemented some of these Scandinavian ideas in your home? Comment and share your tips and ideas.