Scandinavian interior design has become one of the most beloved home styles over the last few decades. Renowned for its minimalist approach, neutral color palette, and close connection to nature, this design aesthetic transcends mere decoration to embody a way of life focused on simplicity and sustainability.
What is Scandinavian Interior Design?
Originating from the group of countries known as Scandinavia, which includes Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, Scandinavian interior design reflects the shared history, culture, and geography of these nations. While each country has its unique style, the core principles of simplicity, minimalism, and functionality unite them.
The style gained international recognition in the 1950s, during the modern movement in Europe and North America. It was characterized by a desire to make design accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy. To achieve this, designers blended industrialization with craftsmanship, resulting in practical, affordable, and timeless pieces. Notable Nordic designers such as Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, and Verner Panton left a lasting impact on the movement.
Scandinavian Interior Design Basics:
Simplicity: The hallmark of Scandinavian interior design is its simplicity and uncluttered aesthetic, creating an environment free from unnecessary distractions.
Nature-Inspired: Scandinavians cherish their bond with nature, which is reflected in the abundant use of natural materials such as wood, stone, glass, wool, and cotton.
Neutral Color Palette: The design embraces light and neutral colors, such as white, cream, beige, and gray, which serve to brighten interiors during the region’s dark and long winters.
Form Follows Function: Furniture and decor boast clean lines and a lack of superfluous ornamentation, aligning with the philosophy that each element should serve a purpose.
Scandinavian Interior Design in Practice:
Neutral Color Foundation: Light and neutral-colored walls and foundational furniture form the basis of a cozy Scandinavian interior. Warm and nuanced neutrals create a seamless and inviting environment.
Earth Tone Accents: Vivid earth tones inspired by the natural world add pops of color to the neutral backdrop. Think sky blue, burnt sienna, evergreen, and deep ochre in accents like throw pillows, art, rugs, and furniture.
Embrace Balance: Strive for a balanced space, avoiding excess clutter. The Swedish concept of “lagom,” meaning “just right,” promotes moderation in your home decor choices.
Add Natural Elements: Incorporate materials like stone, wood, glass, and organic textiles to maintain a strong connection with nature indoors.
Open Concept Living Areas: Scandinavian design favors open floor plans that maximize light and minimize visual separation between rooms, creating a sense of spaciousness.
Choose Scandinavian Furniture: Opt for furniture with clean lines and a mid-century modern touch, emphasizing quality pieces that stand the test of time.
Focus on the Foundation: Wood flooring is a popular choice, reflecting the earthy texture and warmth of Scandinavian interiors. Large-area rugs can also define spaces and introduce color.
Consider Contrast: Utilize high contrast to create visual interest, whether through light and dark colors, differing shapes, or a mix of vintage and modern elements.
Natural and Artificial Light: Maximize natural light by keeping windows open and adding warm artificial light sources to create a cozy atmosphere.
Add Some Hygge: Embrace the Danish concept of hygge, meaning warmth and comfort, by incorporating plush textures, candles, and items that exude coziness.
New Trends in Scandinavian Interior Design Style:
While Scandinavian design maintains its timeless allure, contemporary trends include brighter colors, retro elements from the 80s and 90s, and a broader use of patterns and luxurious materials.
Adding Scandinavian Interior Design to Your Home:
To infuse your space with a Scandi touch, start by changing the foundational colors of your rooms to light neutrals. Gradually introduce natural decor elements and prioritize functionality in furniture choices. Embrace simplicity and balance while incorporating elements that foster a deep connection to nature.
Scandinavian interior design is more than just a passing trend; it offers a way to live harmoniously with our surroundings and promote a sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle. By embracing its principles, we can create spaces that inspire tranquility, beauty, and a profound appreciation for the beauty of simplicity.