10 Scandinavian Interior Design Hacks That Bring the Hygge Vibe In

Defining the Scandinavian Interior Design Style

Are you tired of your old, monotonous living space? Do you want to give your home a fresh and stylish makeover? Then, look no further than Scandinavian interior design! This popular interior design style is about simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. With its clean lines, neutral color palettes, and natural materials, it can transform any space into a cozy and inviting retreat.

Yet, is it a cozy and stylish home that feels effortlessly inviting that you are craving? This design trend, hailing from the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland, is about creating a beautiful and functional space.

Whether you're a fan of the hygge lifestyle or simply want to update your home decor, this guide to Scandinavian interior design will give you all the tips and inspiration you need to create a beautiful and functional living environment.


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Img.1- Modern Nordic kitchen in a loft apartment, Photo: decoraid.com

Nordic or Scandinavian design🛈 goes beyond just trendy aesthetics. It's a philosophy of living that prioritizes simplicity, functionality, and a deep connection to nature.  So, ditch the clutter and embrace the light with this ultimate guide to bringing Scandinavian magic into your home!

🛈 Distinguishing Between Nordic and Scandinavian Interior Design Styles

Nordic and Scandinavian interior design styles are closely related and often used interchangeably, but there are some slight distinctions between them:

  • Nordic encompasses influences from all Nordic countries, while Scandinavian refers to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
  • Nordic uses a wide color palette and emphasizes texture, while Scandinavian focuses on light, muted colors, and minimalism.


"Hygge" Terminology Concerns

... But before diving deeper into the Scandinavian design, I think it's time to have a closer look at the origin of the term "hygge" which will be mentioned many times within this blog post.

Hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga") is a Danish concept that goes beyond just "coziness" although that's a core element. It's a feeling of comfort, contentment, and well-being cultivated through a focus on creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Here's a research of what hygge entails:

  1. Togetherness: Hygge is often experienced with loved ones, whether curling up with a good book by a crackling fireplace with a partner or enjoying a board game night with friends. It's about fostering a sense of connection and belonging.
  2. Simple Enjoyments: Hygge celebrates the little things in life. Sipping on a hot cup of tea on a chilly day, indulging in a delicious homemade meal, or enjoying the soft glow of candlelight are all ways to embrace hygge.
  3. Comfort and Relaxation: Creating a calming and comfortable environment is key to achieving hygge. Think soft throws, fluffy pillows, and warm lighting. It's about feeling relaxed and at ease in your surroundings.

History and Emergence of Hygge and Functionality

Yet, I did mention where this style has emerged from. As its name indicates, Scandinavian or Nordic interior design is a design aesthetic that originated in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. (See the map Img.2 below)


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Img.2- The Nordic countries are characterized by their cold weather. Photo: Pinterest

The Scandinavian design rests on a few core principles that, when combined, create a light, airy, and inviting atmosphere. The story of Scandinavian design is intrinsically linked to the concept of the term hygge, which roughly translates to "coziness" or "well-being."  The long, dark winters of the Nordic countries necessitated a design approach that prioritized creating warm, and inviting spaces.

Early design movements like Skønvirke (meaning "Graceful Work") in Denmark emphasized simplicity, functionality, and a focus on natural materials like wood – all elements that contribute to the cozy and inviting feel we associate with Scandinavian design today.

After World War II, Scandinavian design truly exploded onto the global scene.  Pioneering designers like Arne Jacobsen and Alvar Aalto rose to prominence, championing clean lines, functionality, and a deep respect for natural materials.

Their work, often referred to as Scandinavian Modern, became a global phenomenon, influencing furniture design, architecture, and everyday objects. The influence of Scandinavian design continues to be felt today, offering a timeless approach to creating beautiful and functional living spaces.


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Img.3- Living room featuring large window openings allowing light to penetrate inside the room, Photo: tarkett-asia.com

What Sets Apart Scandinavian Design from Minimalist?

Minimalism and Scandinavian or Nordic design are close cousins but with distinct personalities; While both favor clean lines and simplicity, Scandinavian design leans warmer, as noted before. It incorporates natural materials like wood and sheepskin rugs, aiming for a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Minimalism can veer towards cooler tones and a more stark aesthetic, with a wider range of materials like metal and high-tech plastics.  Think of minimalism as the capsule wardrobe – focusing on just the essentials – while Scandinavian design is like your favorite comfy sweater – simple yet undeniably inviting.

Again, Scandinavian interior design, flourishing in the Nordic countries, is a design aesthetic that prioritizes creating light, airy, and inviting spaces that seamlessly blend beauty and functionality.  Shaped by long, harsh winters, Nordic design emphasizes maximizing natural light. Large windows are a hallmark feature, allowing sunshine to flood the room and fostering a sense of spaciousness. (Img.1 and 3)

To further enhance the feeling of openness, a neutral color palette reigns supreme. Whites, creams, beiges, and light grays dominate walls, ceilings, and furniture, creating a bright and airy base that reflects light beautifully.

Also, natural materials are another cornerstone of Scandinavian design. Wood, particularly light-colored varieties like oak, birch, and ash, takes center stage in furniture and flooring, bringing warmth and texture into the space. Stone floors or countertops, sheepskin rugs, and woven baskets are other popular elements that blur the lines between indoors and outdoors.


Key Elements and Characteristics of the Scandinavian Design

Let's delve into these elements and see how you can incorporate them into your own space.

  • Light and Air:  Long, harsh winters in Scandinavia fostered a design emphasis on maximizing natural light. Large windows are a must-have, allowing sunshine to flood the room and create a sense of spaciousness. (Img.2) If natural light is limited, consider incorporating strategically placed "lamps" with warm white bulbs to mimic natural light.
  • Neutral Color Palette: Scandinavian homes are known for their calming and serene feel, achieved largely through the use of a "neutral color palette".  Whites, creams, beiges, and light grays dominate the walls, ceilings, and furniture. This light and airy base creates a sense of openness and allows for pops of color through accents and artwork.
  • Natural Materials: Bringing the outdoors in is a big part of Scandinavian design.  "Natural materials" like wood (think light-colored oak, birch, or ash) take center stage,  adding warmth and texture to the space. Stone floors or countertops, sheepskin rugs, and woven baskets further connect your home to nature.
  • Functionality and Clean Lines: Form follows function in Scandinavian design.  Furniture is characterized by clean lines, simple shapes, and uncluttered silhouettes. Every piece should serve a purpose and contribute to the overall functionality of the space. Look for pieces with multiple uses, like ottomans with storage or nesting tables.
  • Cozy Touches: Don't be fooled by the minimalism – Scandinavian design is all about creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Woolen throws, plush pillows, and textured rugs add warmth and comfort.  Candles are a staple, providing soft light and a touch of hygge – that quintessential Scandinavian feeling of coziness and well-being.

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Img.4- Scandinavian interiors feature a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Image generated with AI.

🛈 Pro Tip: When it comes to furniture arrangement, keep things simple and uncluttered.  Leave ample space for walking around and avoid overcrowding the room.


10 Tips on Achieving Impressive Scandinavian Interior Design

As mentioned, Scandinavian interior design is known for its minimalistic, simple, and functional features. Despite originating in the 1950s, it continues to be a prominent trend in the world of interior design today. Scandinavian design, part of the modernism movement, is known for its emphasis on functionality and simplicity.

It involves the usage of natural elements like leather, wood, and hemp. In addition, it is frequently inspired by a link to nature, blending organic forms, abstract concepts, and the incorporation of natural materials.

If you're unsure how to achieve a Scandinavian design for your space, don't be worry, our interior designers from Homm Dekor Pro have shared 10 top tips on creating a stunning Scandinavian interior design. Enjoy!


1- EMBELLISH WITH WARM FABRICS

The majority of countries in the Scandinavian region experience very low temperatures in their climates. Therefore, it is typical to utilize warm textiles in Scandinavian home decoration. These fabrics are available as throws and rugs crafted from wool, sheepskins, or mohair.

Adding warm textiles as accessories can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in a Scandinavian living room, especially in the colder months. (Img.5)


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Img.5- Adding warm textiles can create a cozy and inviting ambiance in a Scandinavian living room, especially in the colder months. Photo: decoraid.com

2- GARNISH WITH PLANTS AND FRESH BLOOMS

Homm Dékor Pro's interior designers highly recommend incorporating natural elements into your Scandinavian interior design to bring a vibrant touch of color and beauty into your space. When it comes to decorating your Scandinavian living room, think about incorporating indoor plants and fresh flowers.

Our designers feel that having fresh flowers in every Scandinavian home is essential. In the Nordic region, streets frequently have flower shops on the sidewalks where fresh flowers and tulips in various colors are sold. Thus, your Scandinavian design needs to incorporate floral elements and fresh flowers.


3- SELECT BASIC DECORATIVE DETAILS

As previously stated, simplicity is key in Scandinavian interior design. Hence, opt for decorative accessories with unadorned designs when decorating a Scandinavian living room. Maybe you could adorn your coffee table with lovely ceramic vases. Incorporate simple geometric-printed throws and pillows to enhance the texture and add a hint of color to your Scandinavian interior design. (Img.6)


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Img.6- Use simple ornamented items when decorating with Scandinavian style. Photo: decoraid.com

4- MAINTAIN A TIDY INTERIOR, CLUTTER-FREE

Ensuring that the space is free of clutter is a key aspect of Scandinavian interior design. Avoid unnecessary clutter and organize storage spaces efficiently. In Scandinavian decor, it is important to embrace the idea of "less is more" to maintain a visually peaceful and uncluttered space. Read more...


5- MIX WOOD AND METAL SURFACES

Scandinavian design incorporates wooden elements in the flooring, furniture, and fixtures. In this way, furniture in a Scandinavian home typically includes wooden coffee tables and chairs. Nevertheless, the current trend in Scandinavian interior design melds metallic touches with wooden components. For example, a wooden ceiling is adorned with copper sconces and brass pendants to bring sparkle and brightness to the whole area. (Img.7)


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Img.7- The current trend in Scandinavian interior design melds metallic touches with wooden components. Photo: decoraid.com

6- CONCENTRATE ON USING NEUTRAL SHADES

The Scandinavian decor is characterized by a specific color scheme which consists of shades of grey, white, brown, and black. When styling a Scandinavian living room, emphasize the importance of utilizing neutral colors to achieve a fresh and calming ambiance in your Scandinavian home decor.

Homm Dekor Pro's designers have also recommended incorporating pops of color like fuchsia and sea greens. In a common Scandinavian house design, walls are frequently white to make furniture and decorations stand out.


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Img.8- When decorating with Scandinavian design, focus on the neutral colors. Photo: decoraid.com

7- SELECT BRIGHT FLOORING

Scandinavian design does not find wall-to-wall carpeting appealing. The flooring is typically constructed from light hardwood materials, either in its natural light color or painted white. Laminated light flooring is an excellent choice for your Scandinavian interior design.

The flooring in a Scandinavian home can create a brighter and more spacious appearance, while also giving off a more inviting and welcoming feel. Heated tiles can be installed on bathroom floors to increase warmth during the cold winter season. (Img.9)

Read more...


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Img.9- Flooring in Scandinavian design. Photo: decoraid.com


8- AVOID USING EXCESSIVE WINDOW TREATMENTS

To create a welcoming atmosphere in a Scandinavian living room, it is important to ensure that there is ample natural light entering the space. Window treatments should be minimal in a Scandinavian design to avoid obstructing the light.

If you want to incorporate window coverings into your Scandinavian design, choose light materials like sheer curtains. Moreover, when the sheer curtains are illuminated at night, the reflected lights can enhance the romantic ambiance of your Scandinavian living room.


9- GOOD LIGHTING IS CRUCIAL

The majority of Scandinavian homes receive sunlight for only seven hours a day, as they are located in the Nordic region. Therefore, the use of lighting plays a crucial role in this interior design style. Lighting is seen as essential for life and Scandinavian design should incorporate various types of lighting to ensure proper luminance throughout the entire area.

Good illumination plays a role in creating the atmosphere of a Scandinavian design style. Our designers suggest utilizing contemporary lighting options like wall sconces and pendant lamps with an industrial aesthetic. Candle lights and candelabras can create a warm, cozy, and romantic atmosphere in a Nordic living room.


10- FURNITURE: CONSIDER BOTH THE AESTHETIC AND FUNCTIONALITY

When integrating furniture into Scandinavian design, it is important to focus on clean lines. Scandinavian furniture like tables, chairs, and sofas should be updated with a contemporary style that features sleek and curved edges.

Scandinavian design is known for its creative and practical utilization of space, often featuring multi-level wall shelves in the living rooms. These storage units are creative and efficient in utilizing space, enhancing the visual appeal of the area.


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Img.10- Scandinavian design often features multi-level wall shelves. Photo: decoraid.com

By following these 10 tips, you can design a beautiful space that embodies the simplicity, beauty, and functionality of Scandinavian design style. Should you require further help in creating a Scandinavian style for your house, feel free to consult with one of our interior designers.


Last Word Concerning the Scandinavian Furniture Style

The Scandinavian furniture style is an embodiment of the overall Scandinavian design aesthetic. It prioritizes clean lines, functionality, and natural materials. Think light-colored wood furniture in oak, birch, or ash, often paired with soft fabrics and plush textures for a touch of hygge.

Every piece serves a purpose, with an emphasis on multi-functionality and avoiding clutter. This simplicity, combined with a focus on warmth and comfort, is what makes Scandinavian furniture so timeless and appealing.


Last but not least, Scandinavian interior design as we know it today wasn't born overnight. It has roots that stretch back to the early 1900s when a rebellion against the opulent, cluttered styles of the past began brewing in Nordic countries.

People desired a more practical and beautiful way of living, especially considering the long, dark winters... The decades following World War II saw a true flourishing of Scandinavian design. This "Scandinavian Modern" style became a global phenomenon, and its influence continues to shape our interiors to our days!

Nadim Maani

Hello,
From discussing cutting-edge architectural trends to analyzing iconic structures, and home improvement topics, my articles delve into the intricacies of design, offering thought-provoking perspectives and practical tips.
So, welcome and visit my blogs today; I'm sure you will find what you are looking for!

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