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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
9. Fill A Vase With Water and Add A Few Leaves
Keeping flowers and plants to a minimum is key here.
When focusing on Minimalism Scandinavian design – less is more here, even in regard to green plants.
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.
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.
I am Caroline, an ex interior design consultant, turned into a content creator, 30+ something Swedish born with an insane passion and interest for design, blogging, and living a meaningful and creative life. Design to me is about creating a (your) story – it is about understanding what matters and how to create something unique and meaningful which speaks and motivates you.