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10 Scandinavian Design Principles | Interior Inspiration

Scandinavian design is characterized by a minimal, clean approach that seeks to combine functionality with beauty. Its focus is on simple lines and light spaces and devoiding of clutter.

These principles extend to all areas of design, including architecture, objects, electronics, and art, but it’s most commonly used to describe interior design, including furniture, textiles, ceramics, and lighting.
Image from Bolia website
I was writing a blog post about how different minimalistic styles can look in the interiors. The same applies to Scandinavian design. The Scandinavian design principles are the same in all Scandinavian countries, but they can look very different depending on factors like designer or brand personality, country, and city. For example, Scandinavian design in Sweden differs from Scandinavian design in Denmark. But it is still called Scandinavian because the majority of interiors and brands in Scandinavian countries have the same features.
So let’s take a closer look at the Scandinavian design!
Here is a list of the most popular brands, that create high-quality furniture and decor:

10 Scandinavian design feautures


Clean lines

Scandinavian design is best known for its simple, modern aesthetic and the emphasis on clean lines in furniture and decor. It's an aesthetic that celebrates the beauty of simple, modern forms, and highlights the natural beauty of materials like wood.
Image from Bolia website


Light is one of the most important elements in interior design. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark do not have a lot of light, so Scandinavians love to use lamps to get more cozy lights at home. There are a lot of Scandinavian designers who create lamps that can be used in your home to achieve this look.

To achieve a Scandinavian look - you'll also need to use natural light wherever possible through windows or skylights to keep your space feeling open and free of clutter.


The Scandinavian design removes the unnecessary and showcases the essentials. Minimalism is of of the most important parts of interior design if you want to achieve a Scandinavian style. The best way to do this is by keeping the design simple, clean and elegant. You should also be aware of the natural surroundings. Scandinavian homes are usually built in harmony with nature and focus on using natural materials such as wood and stone.

Some other things that you can do to achieve a Scandinavian style include using neutral colors such as white, grey, or black, using only one color throughout your home (i.e., all white walls), using large panes of glass as well as having floor-to-ceiling windows where possible.
Image from Bolia website


In Scandinavia, small spaces are often maximized to give you the most out of your home. They are also designed to fit different purposes at different times of the day or year. For example, a living room might be used as a bedroom during the day, and then converted back into a living room at night.

The concept behind this is that it's not just about your home's appearance — it's also about your lifestyle.


Craftsmanship and authenticity are important parts of interior design if you want to achieve a Scandinavian style. The key to achieving this style is to have items that are made from natural materials, in simple shapes, and with clean lines.

The furniture can be made from solid wood or metal. The walls should be painted in neutral colors with white trim. The floors should be hardwood or tile. The overall feeling should be one of simplicity, but also comfort and warmth.

The furniture is usually handmade by local craftsmen who have been trained in traditional skills such as wood carving or weaving. This gives each piece an individual feel that reflects its maker's character and style.


The Scandinavian design emphasizes simplicity, so you should be sure not to clutter your space with too many objects and accessories. Instead, focus on creating an atmosphere that is comfortable and relaxing.

It also helps if you have a light color palette in mind when designing your room. Light colors are associated with cleanliness and purity, which are two of the main tenets of Scandinavian design.

Quality materials

There are many ways that you can incorporate quality materials into your home. For example, if you want to add color to your home decorating scheme, consider using paint rather than wallpaper or other decorative items that can be damaged over time or become outdated quickly. Here are some materials examples that are common in Scandinavian interiors:

  • Wood (which can be seen in the furniture),
  • Stone (used as countertops),
  • Metals (like brass),
  • Glass (for windows),
  • Natural fibers, linen or cotton (used for upholstery),
  • Wool or hemp (used for rugs);

These materials are often combined together in order to create an overall look that conveys a sense of warmth and comfort at home - not only for functionality but also for aesthetics!


Nature plays an important role in the Scandinavian and Nordic countries. Organic and natural materials are often featured prominently in Scandinavian design. The region is known for its beautiful nature, so it makes sense that a lot of the pieces we see today are inspired by the natural world.
Here are some stunning examples of how nature can play out in Scandinavian design:
Image from Bolia website

Muted colors

For me, muted colors are more about creating an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation than anything else. Muted colors are an important part of Scandinavian design. Wood bleached to a neutral color palette, cotton, and plants are widely used in Scandinavian design. It's a clean yet warm theme combined with the soothing nature of a large, light-filled space without any of this kind of Scandinavian design.
Image by Arina Voy


Coziness is an important part of Scandinavian design too. It's all about creating a space that's warm, inviting, and comfortable. This is typically achieved by using natural materials like wood and wool, as well as bright colors and clean lines. This is because the region is cold and, in many cases, dark for much of the year. Scandinavian designers have therefore developed a unique style that creates a warm, inviting atmosphere in their homes.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. You can find more home tours and interior design inspiration in my interior & home category.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @arina.voy

See you next time,
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