Unveiling the Tranquility of Scandinavian Minimalist Interior Design

Scandinavian minimalist interior design

With your home being the escape from a busy overcrowded world – overwhelmed with clutter (visual and noise), the attraction to Scandinavian minimalist Interior design stands out.

Rooted in Scandinavia in 1950s and part of the Scandinavian interior design style, this now newer concept of talking about – Scandinavian minimalism has captivated countless design enthusiasts seeking; functionality, simplicity, and quality design. And where the key focus is even more on de-cluttered spaces more towards the minimalistic interior design style and movement.

Scandianvian white minimalistic bedroom

In this blog post, we will jump into the concept of Scandinavian minimalism, understand its distinctive characteristics,- as well as comparing the Scandinavian minimalist interior design style to the minimalism style.

And most importantly some budget-friendly ways on how you can get this minimalistic Scandi style without breaking the bank.

Understanding Scandinavian Minimalism

To understand the Scandinavian Minimalist interior design style more – it is helpful to understand what Scandinavian minimalism is.

The ethos of the Scandinavian minimalist is to create spaces that emphasize well-being and that have a connection to nature. As well as keeping in mind, simplifying life for an active lifestyle – while keeping things light and airy to combat the harsh winter months. Sustainability is an important key factor as well with a love for nature hence functionality is also important here.

Scandinavian minimalism is not a trend but also a way of life in the Nordic regions.

Credit: Architect architect Emil Dervish found via Trendland

A marriage between Minimalism style and Scandinavian interior design style that creates calming, uncluttered spaces with a fresh yet warm feeling and where function is at key- where focus is on less- than more.

Caroline, DesignStudio210

What is Scandinavian minimalist interior design?

The Scandinavian minimalist interior design derives from the Scandinavian minimalism ethos: a clear focus on simplicity and functionality – with the approach of less is more.

In the Scandinavian minimalist interior design; clean lines, uncluttered spaces, materials from nature, and lots of light creates calming, uncluttered spaces with a fresh yet warm feeling.

A neutral color palette is dominating in this style – with white being the dominant color combined with greys, greiges, and other subtle tones.

What is of value to emphasize is that, in the Scandinavian minimalist interior design, the focus is on less – before the more, which is evident with minimalism as a focus word here.

See below for how you can get this look – and without breaking the bank.

Credit: Architect architect Emil Dervish found via Trendland

Top 11 Tips How To Get The Scandinavian Minimalist Interior Design Look On Budget

Creating a Scandinavian minimalist interior does not need to break the bank at all.

In fact, the focus should be on fewer items – with a emphasis on quality over quantity. And that embodies a functional simple design.

Since the focus is on functional design within this design style and mindset, thinking outside the box and also decorating with everyday pieces is one way of making sure that the decor is stylish to look at while being practical in use.

Finding pieces to support your interior, can be done through Ikea, thrift stores, Ebay, Facebook Market Place, or possibly even handy downs – if you are lucky having some Scandi relatives or Scandi design enthusiastic friends 🙂

What is of value to emphasize is that, in the Scandinavian minimalism design, the focus on less – before the more is evident with minimalism as a focus word here.

Caroline, DesignStudio210

1. Make Your Own Simple Art

Find inspiration online to support your own creative process in creating art whether printable digital art, minimalistic photos or actually getting the paintbrush out to create your own art.

Or find printables that are free to use online.

Scandinavian minimalistic interior design printable
Credit: Raw Pixel
Credit: Credit: Simon Strömstedt (Instagram account) Styling: Pella Hedeby
Photos: Ragnar Omarsson for Residence
found via Nordic Design

2. Decorate Kitchen Items Only With Functional Items You Use

To avoid clutter – make sure that you only decorate with functional items that you actually use.

Investing in that nice, coffee machine or every week buying a fresh pot of coriander for your taco nights – is the way to go.

Credit: Bolig Magasinet

3. Avoid Curtains

Avoiding heavier drapery of curtains creates a more open and airy feeling, which gives the whole space a more simple and minimalistic feel.

Of course let’s be practical, to stay within the Scandinavian minimalism ethos of being functional, let’s make sure that you have something covering the windows (blinds of some sort) to avoid sunlight and exposure.

Credit: Coco Lapine
Credit: Belongs to Hannah Thinnesen Trickett and found via 91Magazine

4. Decorate Your Window Sills with Designer Paper Cuttings

Collect your favorite free furniture brochures or scraps of papers that you find and that look aesthetic together and place them on window sills.

These are not the most functional suggestions, unless, these are actually something that you are currently ‘needing to remind yourself on’ or if it inspires and motivates you towards your vision in life (a little like manifestation daily through decor).

Credit: Found via The Cozy Space

5. Invest In A Few Scandi Design Pieces

Saving up to invest in a few Scandi design pieces, whether it is the Flowerpot portable table lamp VP9 from &Tradition, Arne Jacobsen City Hall Clock or the E 27 pendant lamp from Muuto could add the Scandinavian minimalism vibe to your space.

Let these pieces take center stage in your decor – in order to truly highlight them.

6. Remove Doors

If you are living in a smaller space, removing doors (unless you need privacy) is something seen in plenty of Scandinavian minimalist interior design spaces. This will create a feeling of more space and room.

A tip could be to use a light curtain instead for the doorway.

7. Allow White Space and Empty Walls

Do not feel the need to clutter your walls with art. Having walls completely empty – is just what this style should be having.

Credit: Simon Strömstedt (Instagram account) Styling: Pella Hedeby
Photos: Ragnar Omarsson for Residence
found via Nordic Design

8. Add Quality Wood Storage Pieces

Investing in quality yet budget-friendly pieces, for example, the Ivar cabinets, will scream Swedish minimalism and Scandinavian minimalism.

Here adding some touch of wood (unless you decide to paint it), will juxtapose itself very nicely to the otherwise whiter typical space – and will also bring a touch of nature. All for that all-rounded simple, functional, and well-being style.

Credit: Nordic Notes

9. Fill A Vase With Water and Add A Few Leaves

Keeping flowers and plants to a minimum is key here.

While the Scandinavian interior design, is more focused on adding more greenery – which also can be seen in the Hygge interior style.

When focusing on Minimalism Scandinavian design – less is more here, even in regard to green plants.

Credit: Architect: Kanstantsin Remez Photographer​​​​​​​: Yevhenii Avramenko found via Behance

10. Remove Kitchen Upper Cabinets

Removing the upper kitchen cabinets will create a more airy and spacey feeling, something very much in line with this style.

With a more minimalistic kitchen de-cluttered this should not be a problem.

11. Invest in Light Fabrics

Investing in fabric that feels light, and airy, for example, linen is a smart move here.

Credit: Found via Coco Lapine


See Also
Dark Scandinavian bedroom interior design

Keep Colors Minimal on your Everyday Items Inside Cabinets

In regards to plates, boxes, etc, invest in a uniform color palette for keeping the inside of your cabinets feeling simplistic and minimalistic.

Okay, we do not need to go crazy restocking all things into all sorts of containers, be smart about it.

Sometimes we can even find nice reusable glass containers while purchasing food items.

If you are a habit of creature eating the same item and have a few of the same containers- this could be a budget-friendly way of storing your food, or items, even pegs or nick knacks etc.

What is the difference between Scandinavian minimalism and minimalism?

Minimalism alone focuses on making sure the space is clutter-free but also focus is on removing excess in your home and also – at times this culture can feel, very much focused on throwing away things.

Scandinavian minimalism on the other hand, while being focused on the minimalism side, makes sure that the focus stays on functionality and quality.

As well as adding a sense of slight warmth and coziness – all to create a more well-being feeling while still having the ethos of minimalism in mind. This softness is different compared to minimalist design which can feel stark and cold.

In a simple way – think – minimalism meets a touch of Hygge which is also focused on creating comfort, peace, and contentment. Or minimalism meets the Swedish ‘lagom’ – not too little or too much – just enough.

Or think of a marriage between Scandinavian interior design and minimalism where the values of the Scandinavian lifestyle and style, are brought into the minimalism approach. Creating both functional and calming spaces.

What is ‘Lagom’?

‘Lagom’ is a Swedish term that composes ‘not too little – nor not too much – just the right amount’.

The idea behind is, is to have a balanced approach to all things, whether interior design, artistic expression, or even diet. The balance ties very much into -a well-being type of lifestyle.

As a Swede, we use ‘lagom’ in plenty of conversations, and the interesting bit is that all Swedes seem to understand what the ‘right amount’ for this ‘lagom’ actually is.

What is ‘Hygge’?

Hygge is a Danish term used for well-being and feeling of contentment. This can be used in different settings and has become very popular to categorize Scandinavian cozy interior designs as the Hygge interior style.

Scandinavian Minimalism FAQ

What is the difference between Japanese and Swedish minimalism?

The two styles both emphasize simplicity and minimalism. The difference is found in the design ethos: Japanese minimalism is focused on Zen philosophy (creating calmness) and the Swedish minimalism style is focused on functionality.

What is Swedish minimalism?

Swedish minimalism is all focused on the concept of ‘lagom’, meaning not too little and not too much. A concept we use for, pretty much everything.

If you are on the other hand interested in going the complete opposite with your design style, then opting for more ideas around a more Maximalism Scandinavian interior design might be for you.


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