Scandinavian Interior Design & Decor

Minimalist Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian Minimalism: Ideas for Living Rooms, Bedrooms & Dining Rooms

In this unique combo, Scandinavian design and minimalism come together for a simply beautiful look. By combining sleek furniture and comfy decor, you can create a cozy, clean aesthetic throughout your home. Also, neutral color palettes, bold accents and practical modern light fixtures help you finish off your Scandinavian style space.

Overview

If you’re looking to incorporate Scandinavian minimalism into your home and lifestyle, use this Scandi design style guide for tips on:

What is Scandinavian Style?

Scandinavian design and minimalism have a lot in common. Both styles involve using neutral color palettes, select ornamentation and sleek furnishings to create a clutter-free setting. However, Scandinavian decor exhibits a more comfortable form of strict modern minimalism by focusing on intentional details.

Scandi design comes from trends common in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Scandinavian style unites functionality with beauty and comfort to cleanse your home of distracting excess while still keeping the space cozy. Using this design method, more and more people are turning their homes into tidy sanctuaries that soothe the mind with clean, simple style.

Room-by-Room Decorating Using Scandi Design

In Scandinavian style, polished contrast is key. Adding minimalism to the design helps you achieve a welcoming balance of simplicity and the ultra-comfy. Whether you’re looking to try something new or want a stylish way to declutter your home, Scandinavian interior design has you covered from room to room.

A dedicated minimalist struggling to cozy up their decor should explore furniture that captures the hygge energy of the style. Hygge, in Denmark, is a way of life that’s all about comfort. Adopt this approach by introducing furnishings with soft textures and lush materials when decorating your living room, dining room, bedrooms and other spaces.

Cozy furniture with clean lines and subtle decoration create the light and airy atmosphere of a beautiful Scandinavian minimalist living room.
Cozy furniture with clean lines and subtle decoration create the light and airy atmosphere of a beautiful Scandinavian minimalist living room.

Scandinavian Living Rooms

The prime spot for family gatherings, book club meetings, movie nights and more, your living room is an excellent place to establish this comfortable, clean look. De-cluttering the room frees up space and helps you relax, while plush pieces wrap you in softness to create the welcoming essence of hygge and Scandinavian style. Items you can use to complete a Scandinavian living room theme include:

  • Sofas and Sectionals: One large sectional or Scandinavian sofa may be all you need for an understated look that’s homey and simple. Low-profile modern sectionals bring subtle details and style to the space while ultra-cozy transitional sofas enhance that comfortable aesthetic.
  • Recliners: What’s better than sinking back into an overstuffed recliner and covering up with a thick blanket for a lazy evening in? Complement your sofa with a fabric, textured or push-back recliner that exudes maximum comfort.
  • Table Sets: Scandinavian coffee tables and end tables should combine the practical simplicity of minimalism with the soothing vibe of Scandi design. Check out round and oval coffee tables for their organic, curvy shape. Or, find a chic light wood cocktail table that fits a breezy woven basket beneath for additional storage.
  • Ottomans: Give your living room a cozy boost with a plush ottoman. Featuring faux fur, velvet and fabric upholstery, these lush and textured pieces offer ample coziness in a small package.
  • Fireplaces and TV Stands: Many people think of beautiful snowy mountains when they think of Scandinavia. As such, a stand-alone hearth or a fireplace TV console can warm up the layout and make a wonderful addition to the decor.
Frame a sleek, cream-colored leather sectional set with wooden tables for a refined and comfy look in a brightly lit room.
Frame a sleek, cream-colored leather sectional set with wooden tables for a refined and comfy look in a brightly lit room.

Scandinavian Dining Room Ideas

Whatever the size of your formal or casual dining space, Scandinavian dining rooms place a big emphasis on light. If you have covered windows in your breakfast nook or dining area, replace the heavy drapes with see-through blinds or sheer curtains. Hanging modern pendant lights above the table is a chic alternative for a windowless eat-in kitchen.

Scandinavian dining chairs and tables let you keep things simple. Long rectangular or oval tables tend to have light wood finishes and usually feature a few decorations on top instead of runners and tablecloths. Both wooden rustic dining chairs and midcentury modern dining chairs with molded plastic seats can surround the table with enough space in-between to avoid a crowded look.

Midcentury modern dining chairs with soft gray upholstery surround a wood-finished table while a few pieces of tabletop decor add a subtle yet chic finishing touch.
Midcentury modern dining chairs with soft gray upholstery surround a wood-finished table while a few pieces of tabletop decor add a subtle yet chic finishing touch.

Decorating a Scandinavian Bedroom

A cozy Scandinavian bedroom design gives you a chance to personalize your space and hone that comfortable, clutter-free look. Even if you’re outfitting the spare room as a guest suite, Scandinavian minimalism is the perfect way to welcome overnight guests and make them feel like they’re spending the night in a luxury resort. Try these bedroom decorating ideas for a Scandinavian design:

  • Low-profile Beds: A low-profile bed and mattress set only leaves a little space between the frame and floor, minimizing the chance to store excess clutter underneath. Meanwhile, upholstered frames with clean lines and subtle decoration like channel-tufted headboards enhance the cozy aesthetic.
  • Plush Bedding: Combine the purity of minimalism and the snugness of hygge through layered bedspreads. A smooth, unembroidered comforter looks clean and cool in a minimalist bedroom, but tossing a faux fur throw or sweater blanket on top elevates the space into a Scandinavian getaway.
  • Mood Lighting: The soft glow from unique bedside lighting such as lamps and overhead chandeliers provides perfect mood lighting for reading in bed or napping during rainy Saturday afternoons. Choose modern or contemporary fixtures for a sleek, minimalist approach.
  • Shaggy Rugs: A thick, shaggy area rug helps you make your bedroom feel warm and comfortable, especially if you have hardwood floors. Place a large 8×10 rug with a beautiful blue or snow-white design underneath your bed to highlight your stylish sleep space.
  • Mid-century Modern Furniture: In addition to low-profile beds, mid-century modern bedroom sets have wood-finished dressers, chests, and nightstands with subtle details and crisp lines that make completing a Scandi design bedroom a breeze.
This light wood bedroom set maintains mid-century roots while tons of natural lighting, layers of comfy bedding and a neutral color palette lend it a Scandinavian flair.
This light wood bedroom set maintains mid-century roots while tons of natural lighting, layers of comfy bedding and a neutral color palette lend it a Scandinavian flair.

The Colors of Scandinavian Interior Design

A neutral background with a few well-placed bold accents is typical in Scandinavian decor. Scandinavian minimalism uses neutrals to simplify a room and make it appear more calm, refined and balanced. Monochrome colors like white, gray, tan, black and cream are a common canvas for bolder hues and robust earth tones.

A Neutral Color Palette in Scandi Design

In Scandinavian interior design, white walls are standard because they give the room a clear, open appearance. If a new coat of alabaster paint is too stark for your liking, a large white TV wall unit can bring the ideal amount of brightness into your family room. To continue that crisp look, consider a modern white leather sectional.

An off-white seating arrangement with natural wood tables and subtle color accents creates a gorgeous Scandinavian living room look, perfect for intimate conversation.
An off-white seating arrangement with natural wood tables and subtle color accents creates a gorgeous Scandinavian living room look, perfect for intimate conversation.

Scandinavian furniture in neutral gray, tan and black shades are popular choices, too. Make a living room feel homier with the comfortable earth-toned upholstery of a sleek, stone-gray armchair. Similarly, the subtle warmth of a cream bedspread adds an inviting allure to a Scandinavian-style bedroom.

Bold and Natural Accents in Scandinavian Decor

Vibrant color accents in a Scandinavian minimalist home bring life and energy to the mix. When incorporating bright colors into your Scandinavian home, it’s best to pick a favorite shade and use it with care. Natural, earthy colors are also quite common. Some bold hues and finishes for your Scandi design include:

  • Blue: Calming blue tones work well in cool, wintry color palettes like the white and gray scheme of Scandinavian design. Make a blue sofa a prominent feature in your family room or find a light blue writing desk for your minimalist home office.
  • Green: Deep greens are nature-inspired and have a rich feel that captures a relaxed, modern mood. A forest green comforter set looks stunning in a gray bedroom, while a velvet green accent bench in the foyer adds cozy texture to your entryway.
  • Yellow: Those who prefer warm colors might toss in a yellow accent pillow among a mix of neutral beige leather couch cushions. A golden accent chair also looks bright and cheerful in your living room.
  • Orange: Another color that turns up the heat, subtle orange accents can invigorate your palette. Introduce a burnt orange couch to a predominately white living room and hang curtains in the same shade for a cohesive look.
  • Wood Finishes: Wood furniture gives a natural, lived-in look to Scandinavian spaces. Whether you choose a roomy light wood dining table or favor exposed wooden couch legs, these details add just the right touch of coziness.
When decorating in the Scandinavian style, use colorful accents sparingly and deliberately to maintain a minimalist appearance.
When decorating in the Scandinavian style, use colorful accents sparingly and deliberately to maintain a minimalist appearance.

Cozy, Clean Scandinavian Furniture Styles

In Scandinavian minimalism, the simple and understated furnishings have few decorative details, if any. Some Scandinavian furniture themes you can use to incorporate the style into your home include:

  • Vintage Design: Streamlined mid-century modern pieces such as tulip tables and swan chairs are popular additions to Scandinavian minimalist decor. Simple construction and clean lines give these furnishings their distinctive decorative character.
  • Less is More: For minimalistic layouts, consider space-saving pieces over bulkier models. Replace the large coffee table in your den with a pair of small end tables to magnify floor space and discourage clutter.
  • Cozy Companionship: Furniture that promotes comfortable conversations and time spent together is an essential part of Scandinavian decor. Rather than setting up separate armchairs or recliners, try arranging two plush loveseats together to create a comfy gathering spot that invites closeness and familiarity.
Stylish and practical, light wood side tables take up less space while storing belongings to reduce clutter.
Stylish and practical, light wood side tables take up less space while storing belongings to reduce clutter.

Scandinavian Decor and Lighting

While knick-knacks, wall hangings and other ornaments play a major role in eclectic design, Scandinavian decor relies on the strategic use of a select few accessories with a decorative or functional purpose. For instance, light fixtures should either complement the cozy vibe of the room or provide necessary illumination in a windowless space.

Mirrors and light furniture help maximize the natural light in this Scandi bedroom.
Mirrors and light furniture help maximize the natural light in this Scandi bedroom.

Decorating with Scandinavian Decor

A neat living room, dining space or bedroom still needs a little extra panache to spruce things up. When looking for smart ways to incorporate Scandinavian design into your home, choose decor that takes up little space while exuding comfort and subtlety. Choose from stylish decorative accents like:

  • Wall Art: Confining wall decor to one area maintains visual order while also showing off your personality. Evoke the Scandinavian vibe with artistic prints featuring black and white designs or a collection of monochromatic pieces.
  • Mirrors: Mirrors with simple metallic edges are another option for elegant, minimalistic designs. Practical as well as pretty, wall mirrors reflect natural light throughout the room, making tiny spaces feel larger and more open.
  • Plush Rugs: A high-pile area rug with a simple pattern in either beige or gray softens flooring and looks chic underneath a bed or sofa. Choose a modern rug with a more geometric, colorful print for a bold accent.
  • Vases: Neutral-colored vases fit the standard minimalist palette while complementing any greenery or houseplants you place inside.
  • Silk Florals: Having doubts about your green thumb? Skip the fuss of real foliage and decorate with silk flowers and leafy plants for effortless earthiness.
Along with cozy, clean-looking furniture, Scandinavian design involves decor such as wall art, a soft rug and a decorative vase.
Along with cozy, clean-looking furniture, Scandinavian design involves decor such as wall art, a soft rug and a decorative vase.

How to Use Scandinavian Lighting

Maximizing natural light is an important part of Scandinavian style. Go curtain-free to enhance the sunny glow in your home or opt for sheer drapes that let in plenty of rays. For rooms that lack access to sunlight, try chic candles in metallic or neutral holders to cast a lovely glow and elevate the coziness of the room.

If you’re looking for a larger fixture to illuminate the space, choose a captivating geometric design that suits your minimalist decor. A contemporary chandelier with exposed bulbs makes a neat artistic focal point above a long dining table. Alternatively, paper lanterns are a favorite in Scandinavian spaces due to their whimsy and charm.

Exposed bulbs are ideal for the stripped-down look of minimalism, while a natural wood table and upholstered seats convey a comfortable, homey vibe.
Exposed bulbs are ideal for the stripped-down look of minimalism, while a natural wood table and upholstered seats convey a comfortable, homey vibe.

Carefully combining sleek and cozy elements for a balanced, peaceful design is at the heart of Scandinavian style. Think this chic and comfy decor combo may be the right choice for you? Use this guide to select neutral hues, streamlined accents and a few cozy touches that can create a Scandinavian minimalist home you’ll love to live in.