Beauty in Simplicity: Scandinavian Interior Design


Known for its simplicity, Scandinavian interior design is now seeing its global peak as it has become widely preferred. It is interesting to learn how it was born, what it was influenced by, and what are the key traits of the style. Without further ado, let's dig into Scandinavian interior design.

From Scandinavia, By Scandinavians

It has been said that Scandinavians are known for their friendliness. Perhaps it was the very fact that they live in a relatively tranquil place that makes their good reputation precede them. They dwell in such beautiful countries where traditions are very much valued in, one of those being the Scandinavian style.

An interior design originated from the five Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland), Scandinavian interior design is now seeing its global peak. It was first introduced to the North Americans through various exhibitions held back in the 1950s. Most appreciated it for its simplicity that radiates peace, just as how these Scandinavian countries were always famous for their modern yet calm cities.


Just like what they always said, tranquillity helps create peaceful minds. It's no wonder most Nordic architects and interior designers were highly influenced by modernist and Bauhaus movements back then. With a great interest in beauty and usefulness, they began to unify the principles of mass production with individual artistic vision while also hoping to maintain affordability without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal in their works.

The Scandinavian Interior Design Scene

Scandinavian interior design displays the power of natural colour palette which later seen as a trademark to this particular style. White, grey, blue, and beige dominate the colour palettes. Even though other bright neutral colours are also occasionally used, these four colour combinations are the most commonly found as they never failed to make rooms feel vibrant and much more spacious than they actually are.


Most tend to advance into minimalism with solid, peaceful and earthly colours, from paint to furniture and small furnishings. Rooms are lean in decor contents, but everything is stripped down to its basic shape, but with high-grade materials to achieve maximum simplicity. Sometimes products are left unprocessed to give off that raw and organic look.


Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is one of the prominent elements to determine Scandinavian interior design. Long winter days and less daylight both inspire Scandinavian designers to create environments that radiate lightness and practicality with clean lines. That being said, large square windows are highly favoured by the Scandinavians. Living in a place with relatively short daytime in winter, most people in Scandinavian countries make use of floor-to-ceiling windows to let in as much sunlight in as they could manage. It also allows them to stay warm inside and reduce the use of energy, therefore lowering their bills.


Nature is Essential

Scandinavians sure love nature to the core. They love spending time together doing various types of outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and swimming. Summer is easily the most favourite season. During winter where everything is covered by snow, they bring nature inside. There will always be greenery found inside their homes. Some even complement their interior with decorative indoor tree branches. Naturally, this then became one of the main characteristics of Scandinavian design.


Speaking of nature, Sweden and Finland are among the countries blessed with various types of wood, including pine, maple, aspen, alder, and birch. The two neighbouring countries faced difficulties in importing materials and high production costs during the economy crisis. To accommodate, the Scandinavian interior style and craft industry had to pare down to the basics. However, every cloud has its silver lining, so the things that some would be considered hindrances turned out to be the very reason why simplicity went on to define the Scandinavian style we know today.

The Use of Timber

Wood is the predominant element in Scandinavian style interiors. In addition to being used as wall panels and ceilings, wood logs are also frequently made as furniture. Mostly left unfinished and unpolished to provide warm and homey feelings, they are best matched with soft, monochromatic colour palettes.


Another trait of Scandinavian style is the use of wood flooring. Pale and dark-coloured wood planks are the top choices. Scandinavian style homes usually have wood floors on every room except washrooms and alike.


Not a Symbol of Luxury

Rather than extravagance and sumptuousness, Scandinavian designers were more inclined to making functional, long-lasting products at efficient prices. They all believed in practicality because they knew consumers would buy things they actually need. Everything else was not worth selling.

Scandinavian Interior Style Now

Nowadays Scandinavian style is no longer applied only in residential places but also in various expanding businesses such as coffee shops. People, especially those in urban areas, are getting better at implementing Scandinavian interior design to fit their commercial space concepts. This specific style is highly suitable for places where people could sit for hours to chat or even just minding their own business with a cup of coffee in hand. Just as how it has always been in Copenhagen where public places provide serenity, comfort, and peace to the mind with its elegant simplicity.

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