With a focus on functionality, Scandinavian furniture blends well with many styles. It’s also a great way to add natural elements to your home.
Designed by world-renowned architects and designers, this style is rooted in Nordic values. From simple, neutral colors to linear shapes that reflect mother nature, this design philosophy creates warmth and harmony.
1. Neutral Colours
Taking cues from natural elements, Scandi-inspired pieces embrace warm neutrals. Greys are being swapped for earthy beiges and contemporary off-whites, complemented by wood accents, woven textiles and soft wool blankets. Ruffles are added to cushions and table linen, bringing a feminine touch to the modern minimalist aesthetic.
This style thrives in nordic climates, where long winters call for cozy spaces and hygge, the Danish concept of coziness. This approach to home design prioritizes functional items over decorative accents. For example, in this New York City apartment, a tulip table and George Nelson-esque Flos lamp add warmth and functionality to the room. A collection of black-and-white photographs and olive branches serve as decorative accents.
While Scandinavian design flourished around the same time as mid-century modern, it differs in several ways. Read on to learn more about what sets this design style apart. From timeless color use to functional storage, learn what it takes to achieve a classic Scandi-inspired look.
2. Clean Lines
One of the defining characteristics of Scandinavian design is clean lines. You’ll see this in furniture like sofas and tables that are sleek and modern, as well as in the décor of a room. For example, floral prints are often used in graphic multiples or hung unframed, and the fireplace is usually positioned in a corner rather than centered on a wall to leave space for seating.
In addition to clean lines, Scandinavian furniture focuses on natural textures. These include cozy sheepskin and wool blankets, woven rugs, and wood accents. This adds visual interest to the space and helps accentuate the connection with nature that is important in Scandinavian design.
Scandinavian style is not minimalist for the sake of being minimalist; it’s a thoughtfully considered solution for simple living. This approach to design has led to the creation of some of the world’s most beloved home furnishings. It’s a style that combines beauty with functionality, and it’s here to stay.
One of the hallmarks of Scandinavian design is its prioritization of functionality over aesthetic. Unlike some design trends that sounded great on Instagram but quickly fell out of favor once they became difficult to maintain, like inflatable chairs and carpeted bathrooms, Scandinavian furnishings are durable and practical. They’re often multifunctional, like coffee tables that double as storage or shelves decked out with trinkets and accents.
Furniture is also designed with ergonomics in mind, with elements like curved lines and soft curves that are comfortable to sit in. Warm wood tones are common, as are natural textures, from wool and sheepskin to cozy knits.
Whether you’re decking your space out in Scandi style or want to add a few elements here and there, Brantmark suggests taking it slow to get it right. Choose pieces that make sense for your lifestyle and keep the space around them decluttered to emphasize their beauty. Then, “revel in the feeling of hygge.” (Read our guide to the Danish concept of hygge here.) And don’t forget to add a few modern design icons like the Saarinen Womb Chair or Menu’s sculptural candle holders and shelving.
Scandinavian design is often based on simplicity and functionality. This style also supports a culture of sustainability. These principles help to promote an uncluttered home environment, allowing the owner to focus on quality possessions and a life well lived.
As consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability, furniture companies are embracing eco-friendly practices. This includes using recycled materials, minimizing energy consumption, and using non-toxic finishes. In addition, the furniture industry is moving towards more environmentally friendly lighting options that are safer for indoor air quality.
In addition, introducing a Scandinavian design element like hygge in your home can also be a great way to make a space more comfortable and cozy. Hygge is a concept that embraces a feeling of warmth and comfort, and it can be achieved with simple decor items like sheepskin throws and wool blankets. Adding these elements will create the soft Nordic aesthetic that many love. They can be used to compliment the popular neutral color palette and clean lines of Scandinavian furniture.