Scandinavian Decor: A Nordic-Inspired Interior Design Guide

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Scandinavian decor for open living

There is something magical about a Scandinavian interior. The neutral color palette, minimal adornment, yet cozy vibe draw us in. But how can you create your own? Read on as we guide you through Scandinavian decor and design ideas you need to get started on your Nordic-inspired home!

What is Scandinavian Decor Style?

Light and airy living dining combo with Scandinavian decor elements

Light and airy living-dining combo with Scandinavian decor by Decorilla interior designer, Sonia C.


Scandinavian decor style captures the balance between comfort and minimalism characteristic of Scandinavian design. As one of the interior design styles that shaped (and grew with) modern interior design in the 20th century, some of its features resemble modernism. These include, for example, clean lines, minimal decoration, and the importance of artwork. 

Hygge & Scandinavian Colors

Living room with Scandinavian decor style ideas by Decorilla designer, Kate S.

Living room with Scandinavian decor style ideas by Decorilla designer, Kate S.


Hygge, however, is what sets Scandinavian home decor apart from other styles. That is, to create an environment that encourages feelings of warmth, contentment, and coziness. Although the word comes from Denmark, many Nordic homes have the same comforting essence without being overly ornate.

Scandinavian interiors incorporate just the right amount of furniture and decor – no more, no less. The same applies to Scandi color schemes. Typical Scandinavian colors are calming and neutral, with palettes sticking to whites, grays, black, and blue accents. The style also reflects the wintery landscape and skies of the Nordic countries.

Want to add cozy Scandinavian decor to your home, but not sure where to start? Then schedule your free interior design consultation for personalized help from top Scandinavian interior designers today!

Main Elements of Scandinavian Home Decor

All White Scandinavian Decor

Many Scandinavian interior design features are straightforward and natural where possible. Not only are these spaces practical, but Scandinavian decor is pleasantly tactile. Raw textures in textiles and handmade items certainly give Scandi home decor an earthy touch. While woods, leather, and pelts add warmth to the cool color scheme.

The Best Scandinavian Decor Ideas

Scandinavian Decor in the Dining Room by Michelle B

Scandinavian decor style in an open living space by Decorilla interior designer, Michelle B.


1. Nature-Inspired Artwork

Whether it’s a line drawing or an abstract watercolor, Scandinavian wall decor often depicts or alludes to nature or the human form. You can showcase your favorite monochrome artwork by itself, in a series or a larger arrangement. If you need help with your art layout, try our easy gallery wall guide.  

2. Fluffy Textiles

Scandinavian countries can reach freezing temperatures, which is why cozy textiles, like wool or mohair blankets, are essential. Not only do warming throws and rugs add warmth, but they also soften the sometimes-stark look of a minimal Scandinavian interior. These fluffy additions are functional, as well as a stylish textural element.

Fresh and clean scandinavian decor style dining room
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3. Statement Lighting

Because decoration is limited, functional elements also take on an ornamental aspect. Lighting is one such example. Lantern-like linen, paper, or wicker pendant lights are among the top picks. However, whimsical and colorful contemporary lighting design also features in the latest Scandinavian house decor trends.

4. Simple Pattern

When it comes to motifs and patterns, Scandinavian home decor keeps it simple. Sweet cross motifs, straight lines, mini chevrons, and unfussy geometric patterns perfectly suit these cozy homes. In fact, patterned soft furnishings add a bit of fun into a Nordic-inspired interior.

Scandinavian decor in a modern apartment by Sarah O

Apartment with Scandinavian home decor by Decorilla interior designer, Sarah O.


5. Natural Materials

Natural materials, such as wood and leather, have a special place in a Scandinavian decor style. The rough and rustic look from these earthy elements pairs exceptionally well with the soft and cozy textiles, making them even more attractive.

Scandinavian Style Living Room Decor

Scandinavian style home decor in a modern condo

Scandinavian style home decor in a modern condo by Decorilla interior designer, Julian Francisco A.


A Scandinavian living room, although minimal, is very inviting. You can also create a welcoming atmosphere at home by softening hard elements and edges with soft textiles. The key to designing a harmonious environment is balancing accessories, furniture, and empty space.

How to Decorate Your Living Room in a Scandinavian Style

Open living Scandinavian living room decor
  • Opt for bare or minimal floor cover and window treatments.
  • Create a casual layout that encourages social interaction – think the sofa, lounge chairs, and coffee table close together but comfortably spaced. If you have a fireplace, even better! You can evoke pleasant memories of huddling around a campfire.
  • Incorporate storage that is as beautiful as it is practical. For instance, a craft coffee table can hold a hidden storage compartment.
  • Plan and arrange a monochromatic gallery wall.
  • Stick to only two or three Scandinavian decor elements, such as a floor lamp or pendant light, a rug, throw pillows, or a woolen throw.
  • Incorporate a few blue accents to stand out against a mostly white, black, or grey color scheme. This could be in artwork, decor, or ceramics.
  • Lastly, add greenery! Pot plants are vital, especially when you want to add a pop of color without sacrificing the Scandinavian home decor style.

Scandinavian Bedroom Decor

Scandinavian decor in a white and bright bedroom by Ibrahim H

Scandinavian inspired bedroom by Decorilla interior designer, Ibrahim H.


Minimal furniture, plush bedding, and a few bits of nature make Scandinavian bedrooms sublimely tranquil. These light and airy spaces are calming, but they also master the art of making less seem beautifully cozy. To create this calm atmosphere, you only need a few Scandinavian bedroom décor essentials and nothing more.

Essentials of a Bedroom with Scandinavian Home Decor

Rustic inspired Scandinavian bedroom decor
  • Unfussy nightstands: Small stools or rectangular side tables work equally well as long as you keep the surfaces neat.
  • Little lights: Slim table lamps are great, but installing sconces or minimal pendant just above your nightstands is better.
  • Minimal artwork: Scandinavian wall decoration is a must! Showcase one or two of your favorite black-and-white photos, typography, or abstract art pieces just above the bed.
  • Beautiful bedding: Lush linen, a fluffy duvet, a warming throw, and comfy pillows can certainly make the most inviting bed. Round off this cozy nook with two monochromatic scatter cushions.
  • Petite plants: Just like the rest of a Scandinavian home, a Scandi bedroom needs a pretty little pot plant or two to finish the earthy look.

Scandinavian Nursery

Scandinavian nursery decor by Margaryta S

Scandinavian nursery decor by Decorilla interior designer, Margaryta S.

If you want to create a calming, gender-neutral room for your little ones, Scandinavian nursery decor will do the trick. The elegant simplicity of a Scandi nursery not only creates a child-friendly space, but it also makes tidying up pain-free.

3 Must-Haves for Scandinavian Nursery Design

Scandinavian home decor in a cozy gender neutral nursery by Chango

1. Cozy Crib

A sweet crib in a blond wood or black finish, made up with neutral bedding, is a delightful addition to a Scandinavian nursery.

2. Dual-Function Storage

Multifunction furniture can make even the smallest of nurseries practical. Items like a changing table that doubles as a dresser can save a lot of space.

3. Simple Toys

Choose straightforward toys, like wooden cars, a simple teepee hut – or a wood baby gym.

Our Favorite Scandi Style Combinations

Scandinavian home decor doesn’t have to stand alone and has the ability to mesh well with other interior design styles. Here are a few of our favorite combos!

Boho-Scandi

transitional-living-room-with-scandinavian-house-decor-and-geometric-monochrome-rug

Bohemian-inspired living room with Scandinavian decor by Decorilla interior designer, Angela S.


The coziness of bohemian decor and Scandinavian earthiness is a match made in interior heaven. A boho-Scandi interior is vibrant, full of layers but serene. These homes tend to have a monochrome or neutral color scheme, as well as all the comfy trimmings we love from bohemian interiors.

Scandi-Industrial

Natural and industrial elements mix for scandi-industrial look

Industrial and Scandinavian interior decor styles are often on opposing spectrums. On the one hand, industrial interiors focus on manufactured machinery or construction like beams and steel framework. In contrast, Scandinavian design is inspired by nature and conviviality. As a result, the combination is striking as soft natural accents and hard surfaces merge.

Scandinavian Modern

Scandinavian modern interior design

Scandinavian modern interior design by Decorilla designer, Roberto D.


Modern and Scandinavian styles come from the same revolutionary design era. Both trends prefer sleek lines, drawing attention to the natural world, and honor natural materials. Accordingly, these interiors are refined and elegant.

Ready to create your Nordic-inspired interior with Scandinavian decor but need a little help getting started? Then schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation for professional interior design assistance today!

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