Simplicity has risen to the forefront of interior design, and it’s easy to see why. By stripping down décor, you can craft spaces that are modest yet still eye-catching because of their nonchalant elegance and pervasive sense of order. One of the major influences on many people’s contemporary approach to decorating is the Scandinavian style.

This movement first became popular in the Nordic countries of Europe around the 1950s. It places emphasis on aesthetic minimalism and functionality, making it both practical and easy to adopt. If you’re curious about the traits that characterize this style and want to use them in your home, you’ll find these ways to incorporate Scandinavian design to your space valuable.

Use a Cool Neutral Color Base

Everything starts with a cool neutral color base when you want to give your home a Scandinavian look. White walls and light gray or natural beige hues all serve to lighten and relax your spaces. Pair these with some soft pinks, blues, or blue-greens to deepen the palette. Don’t be afraid to contrast with some more vivid shades of those colors or to utilize warmer mustard yellows and burnt oranges as accents as well. Hints of green are also welcome, especially when they come from plants. So long as you limit livelier hues to singular details or relatively small pieces, you’ll be able to maintain the atmosphere that your light neutrals establish.

Make Light Wood Your Material of Choice

Wood is ubiquitous in decorating because of its versatility and traditional availability as a building material. In a Scandinavian-style home, though, light-colored wood is a particularly prominent aspect in most, if not all, spaces. A few examples of specific species you might select are pine and ash. If you really want to commit to the look, you should have smooth wood flooring in beige, light gray, or light brown tones. Paired with plain white walls, this will firmly establish the Scandinavian mood you’re after. You can find a place for light wood in other interior elements as well, though. Chairs, tables, desks, and other large furniture pieces are great candidates that let this material shine.

Accentuate Natural Light

Natural light is a precious commodity in the Scandinavian nations because of their northerly geographical locations. For much of the year, skies are gray or dark. In response to this fact, the Scandinavian design aims to accentuate natural light as much as possible. This is actually part of the reason that white walls and light wood form the foundations of Scandinavian interiors. These hues reflect light and make rooms appear brighter. Besides those choices, though, you can leave windows uncovered to let in a maximum amount of sunlight. Keep your window treatments thin and airy to avoid adding shady weight to the walls. Translucent sheer fabric drapes are apt choices that’ll let in the warm rays. They’ll also fit in well with the rest of your décor because of their simple and flowing forms.

Decorate With Varied Lighting Fixtures

For those days and seasons when natural light is sparse, Scandinavian homes need nice light fixtures to provide the necessary illumination. Therefore, they often include a varied mixture of light sources. Humble metallic or black-painted pendant lights are intuitive options, as are similarly pared-back white or black standing lamps. However, you can use ceiling lights and lamps as focal points by obtaining models that have playful round shapes or geometric frames. There are also ceiling lights that incorporate woven natural plant fibers that echo the wood around them. Candles are also present in Scandinavian homes, contributing organic warmth that electric bulbs can’t replicate.

Let Clean Lines Dominate Your Spaces

Clean lines constitute another hallmark of Scandinavian design. Your furnishings don’t all need to be perfectly smooth, but their overall forms should resemble collections of rectangular or circular shapes, for the most part. Avoid intricate carvings and traditional, complex patterning. Since minimalistic designs are prevalent nowadays, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding what you’re looking for. The straightforward and pleasant appearance of your furniture accessories will convey an aura of calm. To inject a bit more eccentricity into your home, you can include mid-century modern furniture pieces in your arrangements. Some mid-century modern furnishings, such as molded chairs, feature interestingly curved edges that still adhere to the neat geometry that Scandinavian design is famous for.

Bring in Cozy, Textured Pieces

Although the main components of your interior will have hard surfaces when you let clean lines dominate, you can counteract their solidity with smaller textured pieces. Not only will this impart your rooms with more visual layers, but it’ll also make them much cozier—an important factor to consider when the outdoor environment is cold. High-pile, wooly rugs, thick knitted blankets, and cushiony throw pillows marry form and function perfectly. Thinner woven textiles for your blankets and rugs can replace chunky ones when the weather is warmer. They’ll keep your room’s dynamic, comfortable, and easygoing. With those pieces that have conspicuous textures, go for solid colors. With fabrics that skew on the smoother side, though, you could go for lively contemporary patterns.

Clean up Clutter Around Your Home

Cleaning up the clutter around your home is a way to incorporate Scandinavian design to your space that you can carry out without purchasing any new pieces. When you look at images of Scandinavian-style rooms, you’ll notice that they frequently have a lot of open flooring and few objects sitting on tables and countertops. The lack of random items strewn about the rooms highlights the unassuming sophistication of the furniture and gives every accessory an added air of intentionality. Furthermore, the viewer feels peaceful harmony rather than stress upon looking at Scandinavian spaces. You can acquire these benefits in your home by giving your belongings set places to sit in cabinets, bins, and open shelves. You may also find that it’s time to part ways with some items as well. While this process can be long and somewhat difficult, the refreshing style you can subsequently achieve because of it can be well worth it.

Ways To Incorporate Scandinavian Design To Your Space