Scandinavian Home Decor Ideas – Nordic Inspired Interiors

Discover the beauty and simplicity of Scandinavian home decor. Scandinavia is known for its minimalist and functional design aesthetic that emphasizes natural materials, muted color palettes, and clean lines. Embracing these elements in your home decor helps create peaceful and cozy spaces inspired by the Nordic way of life.

Introduction to Scandinavian Style

The Scandinavian design style has its roots in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. This style focuses on simplicity, functionality, and natural materials that give a light and airy feel to living spaces.

Some key characteristics of Scandinavian decor include:

  • Simple and minimalist designs
  • Use of light and neutral colors like white, gray, black and muted tones
  • Natural materials like wood, rattan, cotton, wool
  • Functional and multipurpose furniture
  • Subtle patterns and textures
  • Incorporating nature through plants, flowers and natural light
  • Coziness and hygge – creating a warm and welcoming home

This elegant and refined style creates inviting spaces that feel open and serene. The timeless Scandinavian aesthetic blends beautifully in homes today.

Elements of Scandinavian Style Decor

Here are some key elements to include in order to get the Scandinavian look and feel in your home:

Color Palette

Stick to light and neutral hues that are inspired by the Nordic landscape. Common colors include:

  • Whites – For walls, ceilings, furniture etc. White creates brightness and gives the illusion of space.
  • Light Greys and Beiges – Use as accents for soft and subtle contrast.
  • Black and Dark Greys – For contrast and defining elements like steel frames and wooden accents.
  • Soft Pastels – Muted blue, green, pink and yellow tones bring a touch of color.
  • Natural Wood Tones – Unfinished light wood for floors, furniture and built-ins.

Furniture and Lighting

  • Choose functional minimalist furniture with clean lines and simplicity. Stay away from ornate heavy pieces.
  • Natural wooden furniture adds warmth and texture. Ply-wood, oak, ash and beech are common woods.
  • Incorporate furniture multi-functionality – sofa beds, ottomans with storage, nesting tables etc.
  • Use built-in shelving, cabinetry and storage solutions to maintain a clean and decluttered look.
  • Daylight is very important in Scandinavian decor. Maximize natural light through large windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • Candles and pendant lighting also create coziness and ambiance.

Textiles and Accessories

  • Natural fibers like cotton, wool, linen work beautifully for bedding, rugs, throws and cushions.
  • Knitted and woven blankets in minimal patterns and muted hues add texture.
  • Sheepskin and fur throws create warmth and a connection to nature.
  • Incorporate greenery with potted plants, dried flowers and wreaths.
  • Add handcrafted ceramics, woven baskets and rustic wood pieces.

Wall Decor and Artwork

  • Use white or light walls as a crisp backdrop for your decor. Paint built-in shelving and cabinetry in white as well.
  • Frame nature photography like scenic landscapes, forests, mountains or oceans. Black and white prints also work nicely.
  • Gallery walls with a cohesive collection of frames create an interesting display.
  • Mimic the outdoors with large potted plants, hanging plants, dried botanicals and flowers.
  • Add mirrors to visually enlarge the space and reflect more light.

Scandinavian Living Room Ideas

The living room is often the heart of the home where family and friends gather. Apply Scandinavian style to your living space with these tips:

Sofas and Seating

Choose clean-lined sofas and armchairs in soft neutrals or muted colors like grey-blue. Add texture with cotton, linen or woven upholstery. Incorporate wooden legs or accents for warmth.

Add layered cushions and throws in natural fabrics and subtle patterns. Sheepskins and fur throws add coziness in colder months.

Benches and ottomans work well as extra seating. Look for dual-purpose ottomans with storage space inside.

Coffee Tables and Rugs

Coffee tables should be simple and functional. Wooden tables with storage shelves underneath are useful and decluttering.

Natural fiber or monochromatic striped rugs in jute, wool or cotton add visual interest underfoot. Use large size rugs that fill most of the living room space.

Shelving and Storage

Maximize vertical space with wall-mounted shelving and bookcases in light wood tones. Store books, decorative objects and plants to add visual interest while clearing other surfaces.

Baskets and woven boxes offer additional storage options in natural materials. Use them to corral small items like remotes, toys and more.

Lighting and Ambiance

Maximize natural light through large windows, skylights and glass doors if possible. Supplement with plenty of candles to create cozy ambiance at night.

Use pendant lamps, sconce wall lights and table lamps in metal finishes for additional lighting as needed.

Accessories and Wall Decor

Don’t overcrowd the living room with accessories and decor. Choose a select few special handcrafted ceramics, vases, trays or artwork.

Large potted plants like fiddle leaf fig trees or palms bring nature inside. Hanging plants like pothos or philodendrons also work.

Add large nature photography, botanical prints or gallery wall arrangements to decorate walls.

Scandinavian Dining Room Design

Create a relaxing and informal dining space with these Scandinavian-inspired ideas:

Dining Table and Chairs

A natural wood dining table is perfect for this style. Oval, round or rectangular tables work well depending on space.

Choose sleek and minimal chairs in bent-wood or leather. Add a wooden bench on one side for casual communal seating.

Use a jute or cotton rug underneath in neutral colors to define the space while adding texture.

Sideboard or Buffet Table

Include a minimal sideboard or buffet in wood tone for storage. This keeps serving dishes, cutlery and table linens organized but out of sight.

Style the top with a table runner or placemats and add decorative pottery, vases or candle holders.

Window Treatments

Maximize light and views with crisp white linen curtains. Use roll-up wood blinds for privacy and light control while maintaining the airy look.

Add sheer curtains in white or neutral colors for a layered look if desired. Avoid heavy drapes.

Wall Decor and Plants

Decorate walls with nature photography, hanging mirrors or macrame wall hangings. Create a gallery wall for visual interest.

Incorporate large potted plants in wicker or terracotta pots. Vertical leafy plants like snake plants or succulents work nicely.

Lighting and Details

Use pendant lamps, sconces or adjustable spotlights above the dining table. Candles also encourage intimate dinners and conversation.

Add a decorative bowl or tray on the table for keys, napkins and other small items to keep the tabletop clean.

Scandinavian Kitchen Design Ideas

The kitchen is often the heart of a Scandinavian home. Apply their love for functionality and minimalism in your kitchen with these tips:

Cabinets and Islands

Use white or light grey cabinets to make the space feel open and airy. Shaker-style cabinets with recessed panels have a nice clean look.

Integrate wooden accents via open shelving, butcher block counters or a wooden island for warmth.

A kitchen island provides additional counter space and storage. Opt for wheeled or stationary islands with a clean-lined look.


White, gray or light wooden countertops keep the aesthetic light and bright. Butcher block, soapstone, quartz and laminate work well.

Add pops of color and pattern with backsplash tile behind sinks and stoves. Use subway tile, fish scale tile, marble or encaustic cement tile.

Sinks and Fixtures

Undermount sinks have a streamlined look. Stainless steel is common but ceramic sinks in white or pale hues also suit the aesthetic.

Choose sleek chrome or stainless steel faucets and fixtures. Look for faucets with extendable shower-style heads for utility and versatility.

Appliances and Open Shelving

Integrate appliances seamlessly into cabinetry for a hidden look. Opt for stainless steel, chrome or white finishes to match the decor.

Add open shelving above counters to display decorative cookware, crockery or plants. Use matching cabinetry or standalone metal rails.

Kitchenware and Textiles

Opt for neutral colored ceramic, stoneware or glass cookware and dinnerware. Plain white with subtle patterns is typical.

Use textiles like dish cloths, oven mitts, trivets and table runners in crisp cottons and linens. Add minimal embellishments with tassels, pom poms or stripes.

Lighting and Wall Decor

Pendant lamps over islands, counters and sinks provide ample task lighting. Look for Edison bulb, cage or drum styles.

Decorate walls and windowsills sparingly with potted herbs, photos or art. Keep surfaces and walls mostly clear.

Scandinavian Bedroom Ideas

Create a relaxing oasis in the bedroom with Scandinavian style. Focus on simplicity, functionality and natural elements.


Opt for low-profile platform beds made of wood in white or light stain. Avoid heavy ornate headboards.

Use neutral bedding in white, beige or gray linen, cotton or wool. Add warmth with woven wool or fur throws.

Include plenty of pillows and cushions in muted colors and patterns for comfort.


Choose nightstands that are scaled appropriately to the bed. Opt for splayed legs or clean-lined wood material.

Minimize clutter on tops – use for just a lamp and maybe a book or plant. Add drawers for hidden storage.


Instead of bulky dressers, consider built-in closets and cabinetry for clothing storage needs. Keep the room minimal.

If using a dresser, select one with clean lines that complements the bed. Position against a wall to avoid cluttering the space.


Layer ample lighting for function and ambiance like bedside lamps, sconces plus overhead lighting.

Try pendant lamps, Edison bulbs, or rattan lampshades to continue the natural design elements.

Accessories and Textiles

Use mirrors sparingly above dressers or nightstands to reflect light. Avoid large statement mirrors.

Choose natural fiber rugs – wool, jute or cotton in neutral hues. Layer different sizes.

Add subtle pattern and color through pillows, throws, curtains or artwork. Avoid over-accessorizing.

Incorporate greenery with small potted plants, dried botanicals and flowers.

Scandinavian Bathroom Tips and Ideas

Bring Scandinavian minimalism and natural finishes to the bathroom with these tips:

Tile and Surfaces

Select light marble, limestone or concrete-look porcelain tiles. Use large format tiles to maintain the clean and continuous look.

Wood-look tile, especially oak and ash, adds warmth and texture to floors and walls.

Paint vanities, cabinets and clawfoot tubs in crisp white. Consider a wooden bath mat for sustainable style.

Fixtures and Hardware

Choose wall-mounted or floating vanities with exposed plumbing for a minimalist look. Include closed cabinets for a clutter-free feel.

Select chrome, nickel or black metal finishes for faucets, shower fixtures, towel bars etc. Stay monochromatic for unity.

Freestanding tubs make a sculptural statement. Opt for sleek contemporary styles rather than heavily ornamented.

Frameless glass shower stalls enhance the spa-like atmosphere. Include a rainfall showerhead.

Textiles and Accessories

Use neutral cotton shower curtains. Alternatively, install frameless glass doors to continue the seamless look.

Fold towels and bath mats neatly in open shelves or bins. Try bamboo, rattan or woven wood for spa materiality.

Minimize random bottles and accessories. Pare down to only daily essentials and stow them in drawers or cabinets.

Bring in leafy potted plants or fresh flowers and herbs for an organic look.

Lighting and mirrors

Include ample lighting for both ambiance and function via hanging pendants, vanity strip lights and even pendant lamps in the shower.

Strategically place mirrors to visually enlarge and reflect more natural light into the space.

Scandinavian Style on a Budget

The clean and minimalist elements of Scandinavian decor do not have to be expensive to achieve. Here are budget-friendly tips:


  • Source used and vintage pieces to find high-quality solid wood items at a fraction of retail prices. Try thrift stores, consignment shops, online auctions and estate sales.
  • Opt for multifunctional furniture like ottomans with storage, sofa beds, nesting side tables etc. Dual purpose pieces maximize both functionality and cost savings.
  • Choose unadorned furniture with clean lines at big box stores for budget buys. Use your own DIY skills to refinish or repurpose pieces.


  • Nature is free! Gather pebbles, branches and dried leaves for natural yet cost-effective decor.
  • Shop home goods stores like IKEA for very affordable accessories that fit the aesthetic – blankets, pillows, baskets etc.
  • Thrift for secondhand finds like artwork, mirrors, vases and tableware. Give new life to previously owned goods.


  • Cotton is an inexpensive natural fiber. Opt for white cotton sheeting, pillowcases and bedding as your neutral base.
  • Sew your own accent pillow covers, throws and curtains using cotton yardage from big box fabric stores. Custom textiles on a budget!


  • Use many clean-lined table and floor lamps for cost-effective ambient lighting. Dome-shaped paper or rattan lampshades work nicely.
  • Incorporate glass jars, bowls and candle holders from thrift shops or dollar stores as DIY lighting elements.

Embrace the Scandinavian design principles of simplicity, minimalism, functionality and natural materials to create this look affordably. With strategic choices, you can achieve it all within your desired budget.

Common Questions about Scandinavian Style

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about bringing Scandinavian decor into your home:

Is Scandinavian style still popular today?

Yes, Scandinavian design remains very popular worldwide. The timeless aesthetic appeals to minimalist tastes and complements both traditional and modern spaces. Natural elements also make it feel fresh and current.

How can I add color to a mostly neutral Scandinavian room?

Use colorful artwork, pillows, throws and accessories to add pops of brighter hues. Florals and botanical motifs bring vibrancy in an organic way. Also paint one accent wall or piece of furniture in a muted blue, green, pink or yellow tone.

What flooring works best for this look?

Light-stained hardwood or blonde-hued bamboo flooring maintains the light and natural aesthetic. Bleached oak is very popular. Tile in natural stone shades is also suitable. Use jute or wool area rugs to add softness and pattern.

Should I avoid patterns altogether with Scandinavian decor?

Minimalist patterns like subtle polka dots, narrow stripes, chevrons or geometric shapes in muted palettes work nicely. Nordic knits and Fair Isle prints honor the heritage. Just use patterns sparingly.

How can I bring in more warmth to a minimal Scandinavian space?

Add sheepskin and fur throws, rattan accents, woven wall hangings and plenty of indoor plants. Wood elements like rustic tables, woven light fixtures and oak shelving also inject warmth.

What kinds of alternative seating can I use beyond sofas?

Benches, ottomans, poufs, floor pillows and daybeds all provide casual seating options. Place a sheepskin on top for added coziness and texture. A hanging chair also offers a fun way to enjoy the space.


The Scandinavian design aesthetic brings beauty, simplicity and functionality together to create peaceful and liveable spaces. By focusing on light colors, natural materials, clean lines, and purposeful minimalism you can realize this elegant look in your own home. Embrace the textures, patterns and accessories that reflect Nordic sensibilities, while harmonizing them with your existing furnishings and style. With these tips and ideas, you’ll be embracing the charms of Scandinavian living.