Scandinavian interior design is an aesthetic concept that aims for the perfect balance between comfort, beauty and the lack of clutter. It is one of the interior design styles developed in the modernist era of the 20th century, in the countries from the Scandinavian Peninsula, in Europe.
Before World War I, the world witnessed the German Bauhaus design movement, the Swiss Dadaists, and after 1918 – the Art Nouveau. Then the roaring 20s made way for the Art Deco design styles, only to be offset by the Great Depression of the 30s. After the devastations of World War II, beauty in the home was just the privilege of a few.
As a result of the half-century destructions, the world was looking for something new in politics, economics and art. The Scandinavian interior design style took shape in the 40s in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. In the 1950s, it took center stage thanks to some significant figures such as Alvar Aalto, Olav Haug, Kaare Klint, or Bruno Mathsson.
What Are The Elements of Scandinavian Interior Design?
The main elements of Scandinavian Design are utility, clarity, craftsmanship and a preference for natural materials, such as wood, wool, linen, leather or glass.
Before we go into more detail about what a Scandinavian interior entails, let’s play a little game. How many of these designs do you recognize?
Do you know Alvar Aalto’s famous stools from the Apple stores?
What about the pendant lamp series designed by Poul Henningsen?
Or the egg chair – you couldn’t have missed the egg chair!?
The Spanish Chair?
All of these are iconic products that belong to this Nordic design movement and its creators. They all adhere to the same principles:
- Incorporate the minimalist techniques and principles of design that follow function
- Integrate the light, neutral colors from minimalism, but it also uses darker hues, specific for the Nordic nature of wintry landscapes and skies
- Focus a lot on nature, and the airy spaces that are filled with natural light
- Wood is present everywhere, from flooring, furniture and to different kinds of accents on the walls; steel, brass or copper are also present as accents
- Every Scandinavian design living room has a central artwork that represents the focal point of the room
- The artificial light sources in a Scandinavian interior are usually suspended, hanging from the ceiling, and they are highly decorative, making a statement
- Multifunctionality and flexibility in everything design
- The sofas and fabrics are plush and comfy
- Every Scandinavian home design should also include some greenery, hanging plants maybe
- For a Scandinavian design bedroom, natural textiles are a must!
How Do You Make a Scandinavian Interior?
Scandinavian interior design focuses a lot on nature and the outdoors. The wood floors are light-toned and bare. Live plants bring something from nature outside into your home.
In Scandinavian design, hygge is the essence. It means achieving a complete sense of coziness and warmth with the minimum of furniture and décor. It applies to every space in your home.
Scandinavian Kitchen Design
- Large wooden table with comfortable chairs
- Wooden flooring (there are a couple of options here – laminate, textured vinyl etc.)
- Hanging lights
- The walls are painted in light or neutral tones
- A combination of light and dark cabinets for bold contrasts
- Efficient storing solutions
- Creative artworks or accessories that can also serve a practical goal
- Wall clocks are also popular in a Scandinavian kitchen design
Scandinavian Design Living Room
- Remove any clutter or wild patterns you might have on the walls or floors
- Consider a plush rug with a toned-down texture for the floors – it brings that hygge feeling we were talking about
- The walls should be white or in any neutral color
- Remove carpets from wooden floors or, if possible, install new wooden flooring
- Decorate existing furniture with natural fabrics and textiles
- Pick a hanging light as the center focus of your room
- Include a few plant pots, and simple decorative wood items, and some blue accents for the lights in your Scandinavian Design Living Room
Scandinavian Design Bedroom
- Fluffy duvets, soft pillows, natural wool throw, all-around natural fabrics
- Choose a simple nightstand and place a minimalist lamp on it
- Wooden flooring is a must
- Include a fluffy rug to relax your feet when you go to bed in the evening or get out of bed in the morning
- Keep a bit of nature in with a plant or two
- Pick an artwork for your wall, but keep it simple
What is Scandinavian Design Furniture?
First of all, it should be practical and straightforward. Often, it is only made of solid wood. The most recognizable pieces of Scandinavian design furniture are the Nordic chairs, tables and sofas.
The Nordic design movement is all about natural elements – leather or linen that decorates the wood. For function and practicality, the Scandinavian design furniture implies a lot of hidden storage spaces, modular and flexible pieces.
Why is Scandinavian Design So Popular?
Scandinavian design is very popular today because it offers the perfect balance between self-expression, comfort and airy, clutter-free living space.
As we were saying, Scandinavian design is not just about making it as simple as possible. It removes some clutter from your life and allows you to indulge in the warm, fuzzy feeling of a comfy rug and wool throw. It should be the perfect balance between minimalism and fluffy comfort.
It’s simple, elegant and natural. It has also given us some pretty impressive interior design pieces, such as the Egg Chair or the PH Lamp. This is Scandinavian Interior Design, and you can start redecorating right now.