7 Characteristics of Scandinavian Interior Design

Scandinavian interior design characteristics are a popular trend that has overtaken the world. It is known for its minimalistic, functional, and cosy style. It offers a warm and inviting atmosphere that is both practical and beautiful.

Many people have embraced this design philosophy in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. If you want to revamp your home’s look, some characteristics define Scandinavian design.

1. Light and bright colour palettes for Scandinavian-inspired colours

One of the hallmarks of Scandinavian design is the use of light and bright colour palettes. Scandinavian colours like white, light greys, blues, and pastels are trendy.

This colour palette defines Scandinavian style and aims to create an open, airy space that maximises natural light. Using light colours can also make a room appear larger than it is, which is perfect for tiny homes.

Scandinavian residents seldom see the sun in the winter due to their northern position.

During the darker months, a space would feel smaller and less airy if it had an excess of dark, rich colours, which is why you find white, grey, and other bright, light-maximising colours in most homes.

The Scandi colour palette is thus bright and often uncomplicated.

2. Natural Materials

Another characteristic of Scandinavian design is the use of natural materials. Wood, especially light-coloured woods like pine and oak, is commonly used.

Raw materials such as leather, wool, and stone are also incorporated. These materials add warmth and texture to the space.

Plus, using natural materials can help bring the outdoors inside, making your room feel more connected to nature. Just remember to water your plants!

3. Clean Lines and Simple Shapes

Scandinavian design is known for its clean lines and simple shapes. Furniture and decor have a minimalist feel, with little to no ornamentation.

This aesthetic is perfect for those who prefer to avoid clutter or unnecessary fuss. It’s also great for those who have kids or pets, as there are fewer nooks and crannies for them to hide in or destroy.

And let’s be honest, who has time to dust a bunch of knick-knacks anyway?

Walnut wood smile chair

Walnut wood smile chair £239.99

It’s a sleek and stylish addition to any living space.

Made from high-quality materials and a minimalist design, combined with natural materials such as leather and walnut, it is an excellent fit for the Scandinavian style.

The chair’s clean lines and simple shapes also align with the Scandinavian design principles of functionality and practicality.

4. Cosy Textiles

Although the Scandinavian design is minimalistic, it is not cold or sterile. Cosy textiles such as blankets, throws, and pillows add warmth and comfort to the space.

These textiles usually are made of natural materials like wool and linen. They’re perfect for snuggling up on the couch with a good book or movie.

And when winter rolls around, you’ll be grateful for that cosy blanket while sipping your hot cocoa.

Suppose you are looking to add textiles to your home. In that case, Nordic Nest features a range of high-quality and stylish home decor items from top Scandinavian brands.

With an emphasis on natural materials and functional design, their selection includes cosy blankets, beautiful rugs, and cushions that add warmth and texture to any space.

5. Minimalistic Lighting

Lighting is essential in Scandinavian design and a simple way to scandi your house. Minimalistic lighting fixtures such as pendants and floor lamps create soft and diffused lighting.

The goal is to create a warm, inviting atmosphere without being too bright or harsh. And let’s be honest; nobody looks good in tricky lighting. So, if you want to look your best, invest in soft and diffused lighting.

Geometrical lights hanging from ceiling

Geometric Pendant Light: A Perfect Match for Scandinavian Minimalism £79.99

This geometric pendant light fixture boasts clean lines and simple shapes, making it a perfect fit for a Scandinavian-inspired kitchen.

Its geometric design features two lights with warm LED bulbs, creating a soft and diffused lighting effect. The sleek gold finish adds a touch of elegance to the space while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic.

This pendant light fixture is an excellent addition to any modern Scandi home, perfect for those who appreciate both form and function.

6. Natural and Organic Shapes

In addition to clean lines and simple shapes, Scandinavian home furnishings incorporate natural and organic forms seen in curved lines, irregular shapes, and asymmetrical patterns. These elements add interest and texture to the space.

Plus, they’re a great way to add personality to your room without going overboard. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even incorporate some DIY projects with organic shapes.

Scandinavian.interior is an Instagram page run by Johanna that showcases stunning interior design inspirations that capture the essence of Scandinavian design.

Johanna’s page features beautiful photos of minimalist, cosy, and functional spaces and furniture and decor ideas that embody the Scandinavian aesthetic. Her page is a go-to for anyone looking for inspiration in their home with a touch of Scandi style.

7. Functional Design

Scandinavian design is known for its functional and practical design. Every piece of furniture or decor serves a purpose, and the space is organised to be efficient and clutter-free.

This philosophy of modern Scandi home ideas is based on less is more and that a well-designed space can enhance one’s quality of life. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a clutter-free home?

The Scandinavian approach to design encourages us to be mindful of what we bring into our homes and to focus on quality over quantity. Every piece of furniture or decor we choose should serve a purpose and add value to our lives.

The functional design doesn’t mean sacrificing style, either. Scandinavian design is all about finding the balance between functionality and aesthetics. You can create a practical and beautiful space by incorporating clean lines, simple shapes, and natural materials.

The benefits of a functional design go beyond just aesthetics. A well-designed space can also improve our overall well-being. Clutter and disorganisation can cause stress and anxiety, while a clean, organised room can promote relaxation and productivity.

So if you’re looking to revamp your home, consider adopting the Scandinavian approach to functional design.

Focus on decluttering and simplifying your space, and choose furniture and decor that serves a purpose while still looking stylish. Your home will look great and feel more relaxed and welcoming.


In conclusion, Scandinavian interior design creates a warm and inviting home atmosphere while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic.

By following the characteristics of Scandinavian design, such as light and bright colour palettes, natural materials, clean lines and simple shapes, cosy textiles, minimalistic lighting, natural and organic shapes, and functional design, you can transform your home into a beautiful and practical space that feels comfortable and welcoming.

Remember, keeping the Scandinavian look simple and functional is the key to achieving the look. Feel free to experiment with the rules of Scandinavian style with textures and materials, but keep the overall minimalist style in mind.

Whether you’re decorating a small apartment or a large house, there’s always room for Scandinavian-inspired design in your home.

Why not incorporate some of these Scandinavian design characteristics into your home? You might be surprised at how easy it is to create a cosy and inviting space that’s also stylish and functional. And you might even start feeling like a true Scandinavian design expert!

Comment below what you think.

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