The Beauty and Simplicity Behind Scandinavian Interior Design

Living room designed with scandinavian design in mind.

Beautiful to its core, Scandinavian design serves one purpose and it serves it well. Space management, minimal, clean lines and preserving the cosy feel of a home are the signature traits of Scandinavian design.

Thinking of decorating your home with less furniture?
Though it might not sound so good on paper, once you do it, it’s an amazing way to free up some space. You won’t even need the help of a handyman to do it. Just a little imagination.

The History Behind Scandinavian Interior Design

Spending a lot of time indoors is what made Scandinavian designers come with such different vision for the interior of a home. Long nights in the nordic countries made people stay home way more than we do. Because of that, Scandinavian designers have come up with some pretty clever, yet simple ways to make your living space feel brighter and more spacious.

Before Scandinavian design came to the scene, Europe’s interior design mainly consisted of heavy colours, dark wood floors, brick walls, and everything that reminds you of a palace. That’s okay if you live in spacious houses. In the Nordic countries, however, people’s homes are a fair bit smaller.

Contrary to the European lavish design inspired by aristocrats and the royal families homes at the time, Scandinavian design is…

Lagom – meaning “just the right amount” in Scandinavian

What Is Scandinavian Design All About?

Clean lines, beautifully shaped decorations, and natural materials are used to make you feel one with nature. The easiest way one can describe Scandinavian design is minimalism.

Making its grand reveal to the world in 1947, the design has proved to be timeless over and over again.

The heavy furniture and royal colours of the European interior design are interchanged with light appliances in neutral colours meant to make the room feel bright and lively.

Minimal since the beginning, the northern style is inspired by the lifestyle of Scandinavians. The goal is to create an illusion of open space while still giving off the warm and cosy feeling a home should have.

No matter where you live on the globe, people all over the world have implemented the functionality of the design in the interior of their homes.

The Design

Minimalism and making a home feel bigger than it is is one thing. Where Scandinavian design stands out is its functionality. Everything serves more than one function. The mirrors that we look ourselves at are always strategically placed to make the room look bigger. That coffee table in front of the sofa can be hollow in the middle and give you space to store your books and magazines. Everything has its place and purpose.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is often times one of the rooms where you spend a lot of time in. Depending on the architecture, there are different types of kitchens that may suit your needs.

No matter how big the kitchen is there are some things that stay the same.

We mentioned that Scandinavian design is all about minimalism and functionality. The rule still applies for the kitchen space.

The striking difference in kitchens designed within Scandinavian guidelines is how clean they look. Drawers and cabinets are favoured instead of using racks for your pans and glassware. The main idea of open spaces still apply. The kitchen shouldn’t be equipped with heavy over top shelves. The design should look light and airy.

Colours play a big part in that. Light colours like white and light grey are preferred to dark, heavy colours.

Wood is preferred as a material for the drawers, while you can still go for tops made out of stone.

The kitchen table is what should be on display. Scandinavian people love to spend time with their family and the dining table is a place where all the family gathers every day. They even have a word for the time they spend with loved ones – “hygge”.

The Living Room

The ideal living room should give off a cosy feeling. Sticking to the colour scheme is still primarily made of light colours, yet there is room for experimentation.

The big buzz right now is hanging lamps, leather couches and accenting the whole room through colourful decorations like vases, cushions and rugs, flowers and paintings.

Utilise the natural light. Let the light come in from all the windows you have. Make sure to utilise this advantage.

Bringing nature inside with real plants is a great option too. Not only that, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to introduce more colour into the room.

The Bedroom

Usually the most personal space in a home, the bedroom is a place where it should be cosy, yet functional.

Clean lines and beautiful decorations are still in power here. Floor lamps with an industrial design fit great in this environment while serving a great purpose.

Using racks instead of wardrobes leaves a lot of open space and isn’t something that you can see every day.

Wood is still the favoured material used for furniture, but here is the place where you can incorporate cloth materials most. Sheets, rugs, curtains etc. can be used to give more dimension and personality to the room.

The Bathroom

Often the bathroom is one of the smallest places in the house/apartment. Having to fit a lot of things in such little amount of space is a struggle. Оften times, you end up with a cluttered bathroom or you end up calling a handyman to install additional shelves, which serves functionality, but it still makes it difficult to keep it minimal. Too much clutter and it becomes a place that it doesn’t even serve its core function.

Small spaces are where Scandinavian design excels. In order to achieve the illusion of open space, you can use clean lines, light colours and powerful lamps. If you have the luxury of big and open windows in your bathroom then take advantage of it. Most of us, however, don’t have them so we should utilise whatever we have available.

Stick to light colours and light tiles. Great, curvy bathtubs are awesome if you have room, if you have a shower it’s best to stick with glass dividers. Either clear or tinted, glass makes the room feel more open rather than a curtain or a wall.


In conclusion, we can safely say that nordic people know their designs. It’s oftentimes hard to incorporate beautiful design with simplicity and functionality but the Scandinavian designers did it. Investing into designing your home within the Scandinavian guidelines is sure an investment that you will no regret. Even though it looks quite lavish, modern and expensive, opting for this design can turn out cheaper at the end. Because of the natural materials used and the minimal design, companies are selling more and more items designed that way. It’s easier than ever to assemble furniture of this design and also to buy one.

Because of its timeless demeanour, your house will look modern for decades ahead.


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