top of page

Scandinavian Interior Design: A Guide For Nordic Makeover


Blue theme scandinavian interior design
by Santi Sánchez and Mluke Visualization / Behance

While sitting on my most comfy minimalist-boho cornered sofa, I was checking on the latest home magazines for better ideas to refurbish my office space according to the vibe of 2023. Surprisingly, all the magazines have one common suggestion of adoring a modern Scandinavian interior design or a scandi-industrial look. I, therefore, began hunting for ideas, inspiration, and tips through Instagram, Pinterest, old catalogues, Ikea catalogues, and designer books to at least try to understand the interiors. It was vivid to find out more about Scandinavian interiors, but in the end, I was left with a heavy mess of brainy thoughts trying to figure out what to do next. It didn't seem to be a huge problem until I redecorated my living space last year and saw a complete rupture. We were drowned in paint, leaving upholsteries in a mess and flooring tough to handle and more of it. So, this time, I pledged to initiate everything in order. Apart from that, I must write something for you before I bid my office goodbye for the time being. Hey, I am not putting you in nostalgia because it is simply impossible to take a break again from work after a long gateway of the Christmas holidays. It is just a temporary movement but a Work From Sofa thing! So enjoy this epic read on redecorating your entire place in accordance with Scandinavian interior design.

But before that, why must you stick to the article till the end? An important question you might raise in your mind! Reading this blog will help you to spend more time with me, a cooperatively compelling company! Well, Well, Well, I can't help myself to keep it straight without any drama as my new year's resolution entitles me to do so. Anyways, you must read it because I am saving your precious time to evaluate tens of designer magazines, books and catalogues with my quick yet deep basics and inspirations. I think you got a big one to help you stick it with me. So, let's get started.


What Is Scandinavian Interior Design?


To allow you to magnify your sublime personality by simply rooting down the text among others, I will give you a proper definition of Scandinavian interiors. But before it, I have something else to share. You must know the origins as it will help you to choose relatable items for bedecking your space.


Scandinavian interior design living room
by Peter Janov / Behance

If you look at the term Scandinavia, it refers to the geographical region around Scandia, the mountain running along Norway and Sweden. Most people know this area as the name Nordic region, which includes nations like Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Now, any object designed in this area is called Scandinavian.


You must know why this style came into existence. Until the end of the 19th century, this region had a disastrous economy due to poor agricultural practices. The money was short, leading people to own a better home for living. Hence, they decided to put a functional design for their homes with a simple look. Most of the decoratives were for the upper-class people, having a pattern similar to that of France, Germany and Britain. Then came an elegant combination of modern lines and traditional detailing, which appealed to the middle-class people, ultimately pouring life into Scandinavian interior design. So, yes, it is not a new design, but it is older than you think.


It is time for the definition which you waited for so long.

Scandinavian design, developed in the Nordic region, is a recurring theme to building living in the surrounding landscape with a modern yet simple architecture, blending them into a highly infused drama.

Oh, My GOD, I just built a definition without even taking help from an encyclopedia. Who knew I could come this far?

Moving on to our conversation, let me give you the seven elementary components of this design so that you can combine them and beat the designers with your creativity!


(P.S. This over-confident buddy came to me, saying, "No harsh feelings for you designers except for the fact you guys are out of budget for us." I always loved you.)


7 Crucial Elements Of Scandinavian Interiors.


Starting with the seven-layer components, you will eventually reach the top of the pyramid and grow an extensive knowledge of Scandinavian interior design. So, let me hit all of them below for you with a not-so-boring description and how to do it.


1. Wood.


The first thing you can bring to accomplish your goal of making a Scandinavian home is wood. How? I will tell you briefly later in this section. First, let me tell you that each of the countries has its favourite wood Danes use beech, while Finns prefer birch. The Scandinavian interiors do have wooden floors, ceilings and stairwells as well. But of course, we are just into renovating the interiors. So, you can use bowls, plates, sculptures, chairs, tables, spoons, and serving trays, all made of wood. But there is a twist. I would suggest you, except for food, let us pledge to use recycled wood for furnishings so that we can entertain ourselves while not disturbing nature. The few best Scandinavian designer items include Borge Mogensen's Spanish Chair, Finn Juhl's wooden bowls for Kay Bojensen, and Alvar Aalto's trolley.



2. Glass.


It is a crucial element as it was a new concept to the Scandinavians, even though the leading glassware belonged to back in the 1920s. Glass is the uncompromisingly easy element to hunt down for your Scandinavian interior design in making. From Finnish glasses, which are flirtatious looking to the Swedish Grace-style vases, you must let your interiors carry the jibe. I am definitely not talking about the antique mirrors, stupid wall separators or anything crazy like them.



Now there is one more thing you must know about them. Handmade glass is something where each piece is different, and in Finnish culture, it resembles the closeness to nature through its shape and colour as the end of winter melted ice seems. So you have to be very careful when you pick one for your Scandinavian home. Some of the classics include Kaj Frack's 1950 Kartio series, Aino Aalto's 1930 Aino series, and Homlegaard and Kastrup glassware of 1950. I am not asking you to buy antiques at the highest bid, but you can try to get an idea of using the correct glassware.



3. Textiles.


Textiles are the source of warmth and colours to your interiors, so one inexpensive way of transforming an empty room and filling the gaps of emptiness is the quick use of Fabrics and rugs. Intelligent people know it well as they have seen their room changing drastically through them. Similarly, textiles for Scandinavian design do bring drama to your place. The favoured natural material such as cane and rattan with curved forms is the appropriate kind of Scandivanian textile. If you are getting too confused about picking them, let me give you a quick tip. Any upholstery natural-fabric with a colourful abstract design, which is handwoven, is your perfect choice.


Marimekko is a good option for checking on the patterns. And try choosing wood fibre mixed with cotton or wool kind of fabrics for Scandinavian interior design.


Unikko Linen Fabric for Scandinavian interior design
Unikko Linen Fabric | Source: Marimekko


4. Ceramics.


The use of innovative and colourful ceramics in your space is what you need to display your taste ostentatiously. Now don't get cheap ceramics of any order to ruin your place. Instead, go for danish ceramics, including vases and bowls, which can make your guests wild on your choice. You can pick a few geometric dishes, experimental pottery vessels, and rounded bowls to stand on a windowsill in your home. Furthermore, it is best if you could visit small studios or shops dotted across Denmark to hand-picking a simple, rustic and handcrafted style of ceramics. For instance, the Suomi series of Timo Sarpaneva in 1974 was the best seller in this category. You can check a few other articles for inspiration from Rosenthal and Arabia's website.



5. Metal.


In Scandinavia, you must be very wise to add each element in a way they don't look overloaded. Metal is one of them that you must include in your interiors. I remember the last time my close relative read something from a recognised magazine and added all the elements randomly in an unarranged way, which certainly looked like a hooker's dress. Please don't bring that into your Scandinavian interiors unless your fantasies allow you to.


For metal, let us keep it simple and go for the Viking silver metalware. Now, not to stress much, but your dining area can perfectly flaunt them. I would advise you to visit India's local silver shops and give them a form with handmade craftsmanship. Or if you want to buy online, visit Georg Jensen's website. One of the finest examples of Scandinavian metalware comes with the epic Maya cutlery series designed by Tias Eckhoff for North Stalpress.



6. Plastic.


You might be surprised to hear that during the 1960s and 70s, the Italians were an immense fans of plastic's success, and in the same period, two Scandinavians, Eero Aarnio and Verner Panton made a groundbreaking design in plastic. Hence try to include the colourful blasts of the plastic artefacts with their extra-ordinary sleek hi-fi designs. A few classics include the Margarethe mixing bowl by Rosti, Futuristic Ball Chair by Helsinki in 1962 and Panthella Floor Lamp by Louis Poulsen.


One quick tip is for any of your classic or boring looked corners, try to enhance the welcome through this terrifically designed plasticware like a lamp, chair, or coffee table. And you are good to go!



7. Light.


You already know that Scandinavian interior design focus on natural light and the splash of fresh air. But have you ever considered the reason? It is because of the Nordic summer nights, which are warm and light, whereas winters with limited hours of sun every day. So, to maximize the quality of light in each season, they designed homes appropriately, which we see in Scandinavian design.


Now, I am not asking you to break every wall to turn them into windows. Well, if you could, it would be great. In either case, pH lamps are an excellent option to add to your interiors. These have a shade screen with a glare of the bulb, which helps in the even distribution of light. Choose abstractly designed modern lamps with soothing light for your living!


Colorful designed ph pendant lamps for Scandinavian interiors
PH 5 Pendant Lamp | Source: Lumens by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen

Step Guide To Adore Nordic Interior Design In Your Space.


1. Choose The Best Colour Palette.


Every time we discuss home decor guides, I usually tell you one common thing; how to make your own colour palette. So if you are a keen reader, you might know it already. Well, repeating the same is for the newer ones. So, mates, all you need to do is take a board and make three columns- Wall, Floorings and Furnishings. Now you have to experiment with colours and make one perfect for you, which most suits your eyes.


You will be doing the same, but as I already told you, wood is a crucial element for Scandinavian interior design. So if you have a cottage or wooden ceilings and walls, you can try choosing the fabric of your furnishings in contrast to navy blue, baby pink, off-greys and something you love to be around.


And for those who have conventional walls, you can paint them with muted colours and try wild combinations for making a colour palette.


A quick tip is to try to use off-whites, creme or natural colour tones for your walls because nordic colours will eventually include orange, pink and pastel blue shades. We will keep them for our furnishings or artefacts.



2. Plan The Best Scandi-Furnishings.


There is no rocket science in determining the appropriate furnishings for your Scandinavian interiors if you are already sticking to the colour palette. Let me help you by giving the easiest tip to pick some. Always go for the furnishing, which has those thin model legs of shining steel or any other metal. Further, you can try to exemplify the look by maintaining the colour theme. For instance, if you chose an all-white look, then you can try ottomans and dining chairs with off-white or similar-tone colours. However, you can plump for matte black or rustic wood colours for your centre table and dining table with shiny legs. Try to choose comfortable furnishing with an expensive look, that's what the Scandinavian interior design says. You can try to include abstract-shaped furnishings, but don't include mid-century or minimalist furnishing here.



3. Play With Texture.


Now that you know your house is experiencing a monotonous peace-loving whiter look, you have to include a few colours through texture so that it doesn't seems void. Let your brain run in either direction to find a way. Or I can tell you a few tips. First, you can add a rug of similar colour but with a different texture to your interiors. Next, you can add ceramic vases from the Scandinavia region and tot up beautiful flowers to provide a contrasting appearance to your interiors. Or you can use a striped organic material (wool+wood fibre) throw blanket to intensify the touch of Scandinavian interior design. Now I am just giving you suggestions or quick tips to think about the step. You have to see by yourself what looks satisfactory to your taste.


A living room with nordic textiles for Scandinavian living room
by Another Ballroom / Via Nordic Design

4. Explore Options For Lights.


For lighting options, you have to figure out what's best for maximum lighting in your space. I would first suggest you use transparent or sheer curtains because it allows natural light to arrive in your living. Checking on artificial lighting options, you can go for pH lamps, and easy-looking floor lamps to make your room airy and less cluttered. Or I can give you a few more suggestions to stand out. You can go for stelling mouth glass pendants, thin stem floor lamps or table lamps, Oxford lamps and soothing shade table lamps. Many of them can give a bold look to your Scandinavian interior design. All you have to do is choose wisely and place them correctly.



5. Try To Choose Odd In Even Through Accessories.


You are yet to reach your goal. The major outlook of your home is ready, but you know without proper decorative artefacts and daily use items, it is incomplete. So it is time to accessorize your home to give it broader visibility. I have earlier stated to you the elements of Scandinavian interior design. All you need to do is pick from them in a ratio. For instance, the ratio of ceramics to glass artefacts must be 3:1. Try to add ceramic crockery in your kitchen and hot serving pots in your dining. One better suggestion is to use them in a blended mode- utility+decoration. Make a rack touching the ceiling of the same colour as your wall in your dining area without any doors. Assemble the colourful ceramic plates, jugs, and other items to show off your taste. Further, you can use vases and serving trays of a different material. It must look sophisticated and uncluttered instead of a big mess.



6. Combine The Interiors With A Touch Of Metal And Plastic.


See, you are already there when you finally have crafted the Scandinavian interior design for your home, but there are still a few things you can't neglect. Like this step, you have to combine metal and plastic for your corners to give them an extraordinary look. In the empty corners, you can add a dramatic influence through a colourful plastic chair and any indoor plant (preferably Ficus). Besides, anywhere on cabinets and platforms, metalwares work. You can choose an appropriate style of arranging them.



You have finished an epic read combined with a simple decorating method for Scandinavian interior design. Wait, we're not finished yet. There are some of us who know everything but are unable to process the ideas that inspire us. And so this time especially, I am starting the tips section separately. Check on them for your different areas of the home.


Tips For Scandinavian Living Room.


  • Opt for an odd colour to make your eye catchy. You can, for example, choose a colourful plastic chair with an abstract shape or place a floor cushion in an odd colour.

  • If you want to connect your space with Nordic specialities, use a Lavonen painting.

  • On the centre table, you can use a plain shaded lamp with a thin leg.

  • Always go for a wool-wood fibre rug to keep your living warm and cosy.


Tips For Scadi Exteriors.


  • Include aluminium chairs, barbeque and rounded tables in your exteriors for a bonafide Scandi exterior look.

  • Include wild plants and grass potted in ceramic pots for a natural-looking escape.


Tips For Scandinavian Kitchen.


  • Sack your large shelving units with a colourful collection of ceramics, making a colour shade, preferably telling you a story through it.

  • Try including a circular dining table with a suspended hanging lamp for a dining option.

  • You can always use your kitchen shelves as open storage to daily use glasses and ceramics for easy cooking and serving with an appropriate look.

  • Use ocean vases or bowls in the dining area to keep it occupied.


Tips For Scandinavian Office.


  • Try to place your office space near the south-facing window so that you can have most of the natural light and fresh air, helping you to focus better.

  • For bringing Scandinavian interior design into your office space, you can use cabinets and cupboards of wood with stainless-steel handles.

  • From the middle of the sides of your standing open book cabinets, you can hang standing lamps with adjustable lights of an odd colour (preferably bold).

  • Try to keep free space in your office to help your brain invite more thoughts. Keep your furnishing minimal and thin-legged with uncompromising comfort so that you don't move until you are done.


End Words.


Your never-ending read has come to an end, Legends. It is the time when I appreciate your time for holding me for so long. I hope I have clarified enough on the long words- Scandinavian interior design. Shoot me if you have any queries or pieces of advice in the comments. Bidding you bye for this time!

11 views0 comments
bottom of page