Scandinavian Bohemian Interior
Hornsby Residence by Conrad Architects

Scandinavian interior design is known for its minimalistic and simplistic approach together with soft hues and an affection for nature.

For over 10 years, curating Scandinavian interior design spaces have become my norm. With that I figured out it is now time to go a bit deeper into the information. All to become more aware of where this design philosophy comes from and how to get the right look.

Scandinavian interior design
Fredenborgs house by norm architects

What is Scandinavian interior design?

As touched on briefly above Scandinavian interior style is based on a philosophy on functional and simple designs. A need for warm, light and airy spaces together with a closeness to nature and natural materials are important elements. Investing in natural materials like leather and wood of quality is common and can be seen in almost any home. A focus on quality over quantity is visible. And with that you will also see Scandinavian design companies bringing up topics like sustainability.

A need for warm, light and airy spaces together with a closeness to nature

Scandinavian interior design characteristics and features

More specific what type of features and characteristics that are known to this design style can be seen in the principles and elements below:

  • Simple clean lines: No fuss.
Scandinavian interior design kitchen
Photo from Alvhem
  • Greenery: Mother nature is important to Scandi people.
Scandinavian interior design
Photo from Alvhem

Photo credit to Historiska hem
  • Natural light: Usually these interior settings are full of light, this due to the lack of natural light during the longer winter months.
Found via Coco Lapine, styled by Grey Deco, photographed by Anders Bergstedt for Alvhem
Scandinavian interior design
Found via Coco Lapine, styled by Grey Deco, photographed by Anders Bergstedt for Alvhem
  • Less is more: A minimalism approach to decoration.
Scandinavian interior design
Photo from Alvhem
  • Functional decoration: Usually decorational objects serves a purpose.
Scandinavian interior design
Photo from Alvhem
  • Wood floors and details: A la natural preferable throughout the living space except in bathrooms where tiles is most common.
Interior design by Joanna Laajisto
  • Fire places and stoves: In older homes you can find fireplaces almost in every room.
Scandinavian interior design
Photo from Alvhem
  • Carpets: Area rugs are placed in almost every room.
Scandinavian interior design
Found via Coco Lapine, styled by Grey Deco, photographed by Anders Bergstedt for Alvhem
  • Colors are usually rather subtle: White, grey, blue etc.
Scandinavian interior design
Photo from Alvhem
Photo from Alvhem

  • Juxtaposing: Stark lines with a cozy feel.
Interior by AnnaLena.Interiors and found via MyParadissi
  • Graphic posters: Say it through forms and words on the wall.
Scandinavian interior design
Photo from Alvhem

While the above design characteristics are still words to describe Scandinavian interior design, new trends are challenging this list.

Some of the things we are seeing in our favourite Scandi Instagram accounts….

– Dark wood: Used in kitchens and flooring
Darker and more musty colors: Can be found on furniture and walls.
– Form before function: Decoration pieces don’t serve a purpose as much as before, but can be there purely for the look.
– No longer only less is more: More decorative rooms filled with objects from travels instead of clean surfaces.
– Plants indoor: And plenty of them.

SEE MORE STORIES  How To Design A Creative Home


Scandinavian interior design
Photo from Alvhem

Scandinavian colours

So what about colors? When it comes to Scandinavian interior colors in these type of spaces there is a difference between traditional and more contemporary colors.

The traditional homes usually had red hue, cream color, blue navy, yellow, and green. This changed and later became a mix of stark whites combined with bold graphical prints. Other known Scandinavian colors are subtle and warm hues.


Scandinavian interior design color chaty

Minimalism

Close to my heart is not only the Scandinavian design, but also the minimalism approach. These two aspects is most probably why I am leaning towards this design philosophy when I decorate my own spaces.

When looking at minimalism and simplistic interior design one can spot a difference between Scandinavian Minimalism and other regions. While they keep the same approach of using the different design principles, nordic designs usually have a more closeness to natural materials than some other minimalism spaces.

Mother nature is important to Scandi people

A question that I have been thinking about a lot lately. With around 2,940,086 images on Instagram attached to the hashtag, Scandinavian design, and around 60,000 searchers monthly on Google, it is clear that this style have made an online impact on the design community. So with that information, why do I think that this style is so popular?

Here are my thoughts:

1. The impact the Scandinavian interior design bloggers had on the online design world early on for sure had some impact. Scandinavian countires were early adaptors for blogging and influencing.

2. An increasing interest for minimalism. The wish of down sizing and having a sleek yet warm interior makes Scandinavian homes attractive.

3. More awareness abroad of Scandinavian shops like Ikea.

Where can I buy Scandinavian decor?

It is super easy today to find online Scandinavian interior shops and Scandinavian designed furniture. Some pointers here is to source different shops and to look for the one that offers free shipping, as the shipping really varies depending where you are located.

Scandinavian design on a budget – is it possible? 

While the word budget can mean different things to different people. I have here listed some ideas what you can do and where to source the products.

  • There are plenty of DIY ideas and step by step guides to save some bucks for the person who feels brave or for the one with the lucky DIY gene. An example that I really like is this lamp by Scandinavian feeling.
  • Auctions and flea markets: If you constantly keep a look out you might be lucky to jump into some good pieces.
  • Look in some mainstream shops. Check out Huffposts list of Scandinavian online shops.
  • Look out for companies that partner with Ikea products, like Reform.

A minimalism approach to decoration.

DESIGN PHILOSPHY

Where does this Scandinavian interior design style come from?

So lastly lets look back a bit at the history of this design style. Traditional Scandinavian interior design originates from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. These three countries make up the Scandinavian region, north of Europe.

(One thing to add is that Finland geographically do not belong to Scandinavia, but in the design world is often included in the Scandi design style.)

The term Scandinavian interior design originates from around the 1950’s. The design style was influenced by clean lines, simplistic and functional designs. During this time there was a hype around modern furniture designers, like Alvar Alto and Hans J Wegner. All which had similar design philosophy and who’s name for sure pops up if you search for the history of this design style.

And with that little history lesson I hope you have enjoyed this Scandinavian interior design guide. Since I am collecting all things about Scandinavia I would love to hear below your go-to design shops, blogs for inspiration, instagram accounts etc.

Scandinavian interior design
Scandinavian Bohemian Interior
Hornsby Residence by Conrad Architects