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Scandinavian style of interior Design - 4 key characteristics to follow

Scandinavian interior design characteristics
The Silicon Review
21 November, 2023

The Scandinavian interior design aesthetic has slowly but surely become a global phenomenon. With simplicity and functionality coming together in connection to the natural world, modern Scandinavian interior design has been embraced by residential and commercial spaces.

Since Northern Europeans were forced to prioritize practicality over ornamentation due to their harsh winters, Scandinavian interior design arose largely out of this need.

With the founding of The Lunning Prize in the 1950s, the distinctive features that came to characterize the Nordic style — minimalist white walls, wood flooring, and contemporary furniture — started to take shape.

Interior designers are still heavily influenced by Scandinavian style. Discover classic minimalist Scandinavian designs and study the movement's distinguishing traits below.

Features of Scandinavian interior design

Minimalist Scandinavian interior design rooms combine soft colors, contrasts, and textures to give off a clean, contemporary vibe. The Lagom way of life is also embraced by this aesthetic. This Swedish concept highlights the hygge philosophy, which comprises furnishing a space with a comfortable yet well-balanced atmosphere. Seven of the concepts and features that modern Scandinavian interior design embraces are listed below in order to create a harmonious blend of modernism, comfort, and functionality.

  1. Muted colors: Modern Scandinavian interior design often centers on a neutral color palette. With the winters being long and dark, minimalist Scandinavian interior design focuses on whites, grays, and tans to brighten up spaces.
  2. Natural lighting: The easiest way to make a place feel bigger and brighter is to incorporate natural lighting. Modern Scandinavian interior design does just that by emphasizing the available natural light against white walls. The minimalist Scandinavian interior design of using windows to illuminate space is simple yet genius.
  3. Modern furniture: The sleek, contemporary furniture that permeates Nordic homes was made possible by Kaare Klint, who is recognized as the founder of modern Danish furniture design. Danish furniture is characterized by warm wood tones, soft lines, delicate curves, and tapered legs, much like Klint's hallmark style.
  4. Decluttered space: Traditionally Scandinavian homes were small in the 1950s and ‘60s, forbidding them from having extravagant amounts of décor, leading to modern Scandinavian interior design that avoids excessive detailing and implements wise use of storage.  
  5. Wood accents: Wood is frequently used in minimalist Scandinavian interior design as floors, walls, and wood slats. To soften the sense of a place, designers frequently pair the dense, unyielding material with fabrics made of sheepskin or rugs. Light woods like beech, ash, and pine are usually utilized the most in Scandinavian interior design, as they reflect the light and cheerful style of the region.
  6. Greenery: Flowers, plants, and other botanicals are utilized to enliven environments and add brightness. These living components complement the organic, minimalist feel of Scandinavian architecture while adding a splash of color.
  7. “Less is more” approach: Modern Scandinavian interior design is primarily based on two principles: simplicity and utility. To highlight this idea, spaces are typically kept relatively small, and walls are frequently left empty.

How to add Scandinavian interior design to homes


The best way to incorporate modern Scandinavian interior design into a home is by following three main pointers:

  • Functionality: Whether it is kitchen décor or living room décor, the interiors of the space need to be functional and simple. There is beauty in simplicity. Choose tables, sofas, and stools that serve a purpose and are easy to use.
  • Minimalism: Scandinavian design places a strong emphasis on spacious, airy, and light areas that allow for easy movement and breathing. A sensation of capability and calmness is evoked by visual features like white space and clear lines.
  • Bring nature inside: Natural resources were rare in Scandinavian countries historically; therefore, the Scandinavians have a special and well-earned respect for nature by using organic materials like light-colored wood, sculptures inspired by nature, indoor plants, and natural upholstery and textiles like mohair, sheepskin, linen, jute, burlap, and more. Additionally, employ sustainable and eco-friendly components in the home whenever possible.

How to decorate your interiors in Scandinavian style

When it comes to decorating a home in modern Scandinavian interior design styles, it is important to remember that a main characteristic of this type of interior décor is functionality. Almost everything in a Scandinavian home has a purpose other than just beautifying the space. With some Scandinavian style of interior design furniture, a space can immediately turn into a Scandinavian home; this can easily be achieved by focusing on two things: using wood and prioritizing craftsmanship.

Scandinavian style of interior design furniture usually means using wood. Natural materials like wood tend to give the space a vintage, rustic look. Lighter shades of wood work best when picking Scandinavian style of interior design furniture, tying in the neutral tones in the house.

Scandinavian interior design places a high value on craftsmanship, so when picking out décor, be mindful to spend money on long-lasting, well-made items. Small, high-quality details are what really count in empty areas.

Scandinavian light fixtures, furniture, and other useful pieces should have a clean, contemporary aesthetic that avoids being too elaborated.

Best Scandinavian Interior Design ideas in 2023

Scandinavian interior design characteristics

Some of the best modern Scandinavian interior design ideas this year are as follows:

  1. Red and blue accents: Color is going to be a major theme in Scandinavian home design in 2023. Although the serene, neutral colors of Scandinavian design are more well-known, people are increasingly drawn to vibrant splashes of color that liven up the house. The use of red and blue as accent colors in interior decor is the most popular color trend, but there are other trends as well.
  2. Natural materials and textures: Natural materials are always in vogue. When it comes to materials, the hottest terms for 2023's Scandinavian interior design ideas are wool, cashmere, leather, and wood. Natural materials and textures are vital in houses because people prefer the interiors to be soft and tactile.
  3. Contrasting décor: A notable feature of Scandinavian home design in 2023 is its stark contrasts. Blending clashing colors, like pink and green or blue and red, and merging different materials. Hard versus soft, new versus vintage, and strict versus rambunctious. In 2023, it will be important to embrace all facets discover fresh ways to combine the modern with the ancient in home design.
  4. Influences from Japan: For those seeking a simple, minimalist look, Japandi — a style that blends the greatest elements of Scandinavian and Japanese design — has been a favorite for a long time and is likely to stay so. But in 2023, this vision of Scandinavian interior design will be far more pattern-happy than it was in the past, with low-lying furniture and traditionally patterned textiles leading the way.


In the field of design, nothing stays the same. Over time, traditional Scandinavian interior design has changed to reflect interactions with different ways of doing things as well as to adapt to shifts in culture and taste. Some of the more recent trends, like the use of worn leather, white paper lantern lights, floating shelves in the plank style, monochrome art, black and white stripes, or the blending of Scandinavian design with other aesthetics like Japanese and bohemian interior design, work well with the classic aesthetic. Others, like the arrival of millennial pink, powerful color blocks, vivid yellows, and generally much brighter hues, are journeys into uncharted territory.


What defines Scandinavian style?

The defining factors of Scandinavian style are simple, functional, and minimal décor.

What are Scandinavian design principles?

Scandinavian design principles focus on functionality, clean lines, and simplicity.

What are the benefits of Scandinavian design?

A major benefit of using Scandinavian design is that it makes a home look bigger and brighter.

What are the characteristics of Scandinavian modernism?

The characteristics of Scandinavian modernism are neutral tones, natural light, wood accents, airy spaces, and more.