Decorating with Scandinavian Style Furniture

Posted In Design - 10/23/2019

Scandinavian Style: The Basics

Sometimes design is all about finding the beauty in everyday things. Scandinavian style, with its commitment to simple and functional decor, is a prime example. What makes these charming, slightly rustic spaces so open, airy, and welcoming is their attention to doing more with less.

This aesthetic is as much about feelings as it is looks. Despite long, harsh winters, people in Scandinavian countries are some of the world's happiest. Wondering why? Learn more about this design, how to get the look, and discover what it means to live a hygge life.

Scandinavian Interior Design Principles

Above all, a Scandinavian interior is uncomplicated. This style makes efficient use of space, with plenty of storage and open areas that allow your eyes to wander freely. Scandinavian furniture is straightforward and streamlined, while accents are a mix of new and well-loved items that bring enjoyment to daily living.

What makes this style different from minimalist, mid-century modern, and other pared-down aesthetics is the way it employs line, shape, materials, color, and lighting. In Nordic design, these elements come together in homes that feel bright and cheerful in their simplicity. Following a few basic Scandinavian design principles can infuse any space with a cozy vibe.

Line and Shape

Larger furnishings are a good place to start when decorating a Scandinavian-style room. While making your choices, try to combine angular lines and smooth edges. A sofa with a boxy, modern silhouette pairs well with a rounded, triangular end table on slender legs. Fun wooden chairs with slim profiles add lightness and playfulness to your decor.

To eliminate clutter and achieve a spacious vibe, use cabinets, consoles, and baskets as storage. Alternatively, open shelving lets your dishes or books to double as practical, homey decorations. Just remember, less is more. If you have a lot of stuff, opt to keep it hidden.

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Natural Elements

Natural Scandinavian design includes items made of stone, linen, wood, and leather. Organic materials are a huge part of what keeps these rooms inviting even though the decor is sparse and carefully edited. Since many Scandinavian homes have wood floors, flaunt them if you have them. Toss a comfy area rug on top to warm up the room and include some texture.

In kitchens, cabinetry and table sets are the perfect spots to bring the outdoors in. When selecting a type of wood, stick with choices like poplar, ash, and pine for their blonde hue. Nordic design favors light to medium finishes. To lend a bit of variety to your space, dress the dining table with seagrass placemats and ceramic vases holding fresh greenery.

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Color in Scandinavian Design

Color is vital in accentuating natural sunlight and helping homes appear bright and airy. The dominant hue in Scandinavian decor is usually white, but other neutrals such as pale beige and gray are common for sofas and coffee tables. Use muted pastels such as pink, blue, and green as accents to add interest and keep rooms inviting and full of personality.

To create a relaxing oasis in the bath, blend tints of gray, blue, and ivory. Consider a shower curtain with a thin, striped pattern paired with a thick, plush bathmat and towels. For an even more luxurious experience, place candles in frosted jars around the space for extra ambiance.

The Importance of Lighting

In countries that can receive as little as seven hours of sun per day, letting as much in as possible is critical. That's why most Nordic designs forgo window treatments. When included in a Scandinavian living room, curtains are often breezy and translucent.

Additional light from accent lamps, floor lamps, and hanging pendants can also be useful. Go for geometric shapes or dramatic curves and materials such as matte metal or sculpted wood.

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Pulling It All Together

Accessories really help complete a look. When planning Scandinavian designs, think pared down and purposeful. Make space for photographs, heirlooms, and keepsakes you love. As you choose textiles, opt for fabrics rich with texture and softness, such as sheepskin, wool, or mohair.

A Scandinavian bedroom, for example, might contain a plush rug, a comfy bed topped with a chunky knit blanket, and an indoor plant on a wooden stand for a touch of greenery. Be sure to include a table lamp on the nightstand to add a warm, relaxing glow.

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How To Hygge

In Scandinavian decor, all of these factors combine in an atmosphere that inspires hygge, a specific state of mind. Pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish word refers to a sense of well-being and the cozy, familiar feeling that comes from concentrating on simple pleasures. It's slowing down and finding joy in everyday moments, like curling up with a book in front of a fire.

Hygge stems from the activities and things that make you happy, including spending time with family and friends. Through its blend of beauty and humility, Scandinavian design creates accessible, low-maintenance interiors that allow you to focus on enjoying what's most important in life.