How to Achieve Scandinavian Interior Design

A theme that’s been steadily growing in popularity the last few decades, but particularly so now (possibly thanks to the rise in the budget, Dutch home décor store Ikea), is Scandinavian interior design.

Scandinavian interior design is categorised by the perfect blending of functionality with aesthetics; named after its geographical origins from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland.

The interior design theme more specifically is comprised of ample light, heavily utilising natural elements, natural colour palettes, clean lines and uncluttered spaces.

The theme evolved mainly to compensate the harsh environment of Nordic countries. Long winters meant little daylight, and people often had small houses – this spelt a need for bright, airy, cosy homes that utilised and accentuate space and light.

Craig Ritche, Ikea’s Communication, and Interior Design Manager explained that “Scandinavian style has categories by three key components – functionality, simplicity, and beauty. Although simple in design, clean lines are often incorporated with understated elegance and warm functionality, which creates a very homely feel.”

It’s no surprise then that lots of people are after this clean, crisp and open atmosphere. Are you wondering how to achieve the Scandinavian interior design in your home?

How to Achieve Scandinavian Interior Design:



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While the colour palette is typically (in other instances) very simple, it underpins the whole theme in this case.

White, or its variants (such as cream), are the main colours. It can lead to rooms looking sparse when uncluttered (such as the Nordic design); however, you can avoid this with the use of natural materials like wood, which add warmth and texture.

White is the best base for introducing colour combinations, such as soft pastels or black accents. For instance, grey and white palettes are great for creating serene atmospheres and is a common combination in Scandinavian interior design. Just ensure that white is always your base or main colour.


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If you’d like to experiment more with colour, it’s a commonplace to incorporate colour popping to brighten a room; yellow, green and blue are great natural tones that work well both within the theme and to counteract the sometimes-gloomy tone of grey. However, traditionally function is placed over aesthetics, and so colour is usually kept to a minimum.

Over time, though, other styles are in combination with the ‘standard’ Nordic approach to creating unique style and personality.

An easy way to introduce a colour pop is by having one piece of furniture (sofa, armchair or another large item) to add a splash of colour. Then anchor this colour with a couple of home décor pieces that match the chosen tone; be careful not to over decorate as simplicity is the key to Scandinavian interiors.


Scandi Interior Design BlackGrey/ how to achieve Scandinavian Interior design in your bathroom
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Black is a good choice. It’s stark contrast to the white base helps highlight your features of choice. While the Scandinavians are known for their clean white interiors, dark shades are regularly introduced and balanced with light and dark accessories.



Incorporating lots of light into your Scandinavian interior design theme is paramount and a non-negotiable. Earthy, muted tones categorise the theme by natural light hitting honest materials.



Wall to wall carpets never become popular in the Nordic countries, and so all truly Scandinavian interiors will have a wooden, preferably light, floor in all rooms (apart from the bathrooms of course).

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Scandinavian winters are extremely colder to those in the UK, so most older houses will have a chimney or wood burner in the living room. However, unlike our fireplaces that are usually the focal point of the room, in Nordic countries they’re traditionally in the corner – often in simple columns.

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How to achieve Scandinavian interior design? One answer is by being greener.

When it comes to being eco-friendly, the Swedes are leagues ahead of most countries; they’ve been implementing ways to create greener homes forever. Features like triple-glazing, wall and roof insulation and ground source heat pumps are all standard aspects of Swedish houses.



Declutter! We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again – Scandi design features functionality over aesthetics; that is the crux of the theme!


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