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How to Use Scandinavian Style in Your Interior Design
Scandinavian style has been all the rage in interior design for a while now, and this trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon! And there’s good reason for that. This is a design style that’s all about simplicity, functionality, and a good dose of minimalism. And though minimalism didn’t really take off as a popular design style until recent years when people were like “hey, less stuff is better!”, simplicity and functionality have always been classic design traits. So if you’re all about keeping the clutter at bay, this is definitely the design style for you.
Also, Scandinavian style embraces a super classic, go-to color palette.These spaces usually have a lot of white, light-toned wood, neutral textures, and pops of black. Scandi (yeah, I just said Scandi) furniture styles have clean lines, and they also focus on natural materials. Who doesn’t love THAT?!
I use Pinterest a lot and I’ve noticed that just about everyone seems to be looking for ways to use Scandinavian style in their homes. I know a thing or two about using this awesome design style – I even designed a house around it in Season 2 of Hidden Potential – so I want to pass on some of my knowledge! I’m breaking down some tips into mood boards for three different rooms: the living room, the kitchen and the bathroom. I start every single one of my projects with a mood board to help plan my design, so I hope these help you, too! I also have a great shopping list at the end of this post so you can shop my favorite Scandinavian decor. Okay, let’s get to it!
How to Design a Scandinavian Inspired Living Room
Something that I think is super helpful to understand about Scandinavian style is that it is modern and sleek and warm and cozy at the same time. These may seem like competing ideas, but I think part of the appeal to this style is that it achieves all those things at once! It’s also important to note that almost all furniture pieces – down to the light fixtures – have clean lines. So in order to warm up those clean lines, you need to add in a ton of texture.
For example, concrete, as a material, is not typically thought of as warm and cozy, but it’s super rich in texture and adds depth to a space, whether it’s a concrete planter, concrete floors or a concrete fireplace. Along with concrete, ensuring there are a lot of wood accents in the space will give it warmth and also define it as more Scandinavian.
As far as textiles and paint, neutral is the way to go. Stepping outside of a neutral color palette (I’m talking white, black, gray, leather, cream, and wood tones) will make it feel less Scandinavian. So keep it simple! The paint color I’ve chosen above for a Scandinavian style living room is Sherwin-Williams Only Natural. You could also choose a white paint like Snowbound by Sherwin-Williams.
So keep those lines clean, keep those colors neutral, bring in natural wood tones and some concrete, make sure you have pops of black, and add a plant for good measure! Accessorize with organic textures and even a touch of brass. Anchor the whole living room with a super textural rug, and you’re good to go.
Living Room Style Guide
How to Design a Scandinavian Inspired Kitchen
Oh man, Scandinavian style kitchens might be my FAVORITE! The warm and sleek concept works so well in the kitchen, in my opinion. For the kitchen, I’d definitely advise you to go with either white or black cabinets with very little detailing on the face. The more streamlined, the better. A light toned wood on the cabinets would also be pretty. Carrara marble countertops would be beautiful, as would a white subway tile backsplash, and both would add texture and interest to the space while keeping the color palette neutral. If you have the option to consider your flooring here, I’d push you towards a lighter wood tone. This would really drive home the Scandi (I did it again!) vibes.
Brass or leather pulls would look amazing on the cabinets, and I dare you to think of black plumbing fixtures! They’re so cool, and they’d serve well as your pop of black needed for Scandinavian style. Leather or wooden chairs will bring in the texture, and if you have open wall space, consider hanging a woven wall hanging in a neutral color to serve as another texture boost. Remember to keep those lines clean when choosing pendant lighting, and opt for something in black or white with wooden features. And if you absolutely must sneak in some color here (I get it!), Rainstorm by Sherwin-Williams will bring some color interest without going too far out of the neutral camp. Maybe on the kitchen island?
Kitchen Style Guide
How to Design a Scandinavian Inspired Bathroom
The bathroom is usually such a small space that it will be really easy to pull off Scandinavian style if you stick to the rules! If you’re using white subway tile (which would look great), you can go for a bit deeper of a paint color on the walls to add some depth. I suggest Farrow & Ball’s Lamp Room Gray for the walls, and Carrara marble countertops. Then I’d either choose black (psst, pick this one!) or white cabinets and give them a leather pull.
For the fixtures, I really think matte black would give off more of a Scandinavian vibe than brass. This applies to both plumbing and light fixtures! Maybe hang some cool, sleek wooden hooks on the wall for towels, and add a plant in a modern, neutral colored pot. Throw in a really textural rug to make sure your texture is prominent in the space! But remember, it needs to be a neutral color palette. Then add some baskets for an extra texture boost and organic material boost (win-win!) and you’ve got yourself a clean, inviting Scandinavian inspired bathroom!
Shop Scandinavian Decor
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Quick Rules on Scandinavian Design
Here are some quick rules to remember when you’re looking to pull off Scandinavian style in your interior design.
1. Less is more – keep it simple, minimal, and control the clutter.
2. Stick to sleek lines on furniture, fixtures and other finishes.
3. A neutral color palette is key: whites, creams, pops of black.
4. Add in texture through textiles and organic materials like wood, concrete and leather.