A Room-by-Room Guide to the Scandinavian Style


The world’s obsession with the Scandinavian style is still going strong, and this is not a strange thing because it has much going for it. In these crazy times we live in, when everything is chaotic and overwhelming, it is nice to come back to a home that is stress-free, decluttered and minimalist. Of course, those are not the only characteristics of a Nordic interior that make people fall instantly in love with it. This style is known for exposed natural materials (wood and stone), light muted colors, clean lines without excessive detailing, simple accents and plenty of natural light. If you too have fallen for the impeccable stylishness of this interior design approach, here is a room-by-room guide to introducing it into your home.

Words: Cooper Klein

The entryway can benefit the most from implementing the Scandinavian style. This room is usually windowless and pretty narrow, which makes it the perfect place to try out the minimalist approach and use light colors typical for Scandinavian homes. Start by painting the walls white (or light grey) to make the space look roomier. Decorate the entryway with nothing but essentials, such as a few hooks for hanging bags and coats, an inconspicuous white or natural wood dresser, a place to store shoes and an unobtrusive bench. If you want to work further on the illusion of spaciousness, you can add a full-length mirror.

From the entryway, we go to the very heart of every home – the kitchen. There are a few features that are typical for an exclusively Scandinavian kitchen: less is more, unpretentious open shelving, light wood tones, white or grey walls, white cupboards and simplistic appliances, pendant lamps above the kitchen countertop and island, and clean lines. If you are wondering how you can add something uniquely Scandinavian to your kitchen, consider a butcher block countertop or a simple, but interestingly shaped faucet.

2Dining room
As the natural extension of the kitchen, the dining room follows the similar path. It is most frequently equipped with a farmhouse dining table and Eames-style chairs, but you can also use simple benches. The decorative elements should be kept at a minimum, and they can include pendant lamps or a statement chandelier above the dining table, down-to-earth artwork and some houseplants.

Living room
The living room is a true celebration of the Scandinavian interior design and possibly the room where it shines in its full capacity. In the living room, you are not limited only to minimalism and restraint. Here, your goal is to accomplish the blend of moderation in design, luxury and comfort. To accomplish that, you need to introduce cozy furnishings, such as elegant sofas, and complement them with a clean-lined coffee table, interesting lighting fixtures and warm area rugs (e.g. sheepskin or faux fur). Other assets that make a fantastic Nordic living room are white or grey walls, pastel and metallic accents, greenery and an art gallery wall.2a

Bedrooms should call for serenity, relaxation and peace. All of these are in perfect alignment with simplicity promoted by the Scandinavian interior design. To design an ideal Scandinavian bedroom, you will need unadorned windows which let in plenty of natural light, wood floors (bare, but with area rugs on both sides of the bed), white bed linens with some darker accents and simple nightstands with bedside lamps. Refrain from cluttering the space with unnecessary cabinets, chairs and closets. Keep only the essentials. Also, a chandelier that provides just enough ambiance light for you to feel calm is more than enough. The bedroom can also include some decorative pieces, such as an artwork or a mirror.3

Bathrooms make the Scandinavian design look pretty simple to implement. After all, most of them are already white and feature basic geometric shapes. However, there are ways to take this basic look a few steps further. More challenging projects include a wall-mounted sink and an under-sink towel rod, as well as a freestanding bathtub (a stone bathtub would fit perfectly into the nature-obsessed design approach such as this one). Subtler touches of Scandinavia in the bathroom come in the form of woven rugs and greenery.4

Home office
Finally, if you are working from home full time, or you have a job that requires doing an extra few hours in the comfort of your home, you should have a home office, which can, depending on the capacity of your home, be a separate room or a part of another room. Regardless, the Scandinavian style is simple to apply to every working space and it brings multiple benefits, including the increased productivity and focus which come from the ample amount of natural light and minimal distractions. Some of the essentials of a home office designed in Scandinavian fashion are a clean desk workspace free of clutter, easily accessible storage boxes, a table lamp and a comfortable chair.5

Designing your home in Scandinavian fashion makes a lot of sense, especially if you are a person who likes to keep things neat and well-organized. It is also a good choice if you like natural materials and plenty of natural light.