5 Ways to Achieve the Scandinavian Minimalist Interior Design Look

February 21, 2023

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Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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When it comes to interior design and home styling, the Scandinavian minimalist interior design style is much-loved. And a mouthful-haha! It evokes a feeling of comfort, minimalism, and modernity.

This way of decorating creates energy-efficient homes filled with natural light, warm colors, and cozy textures. But what exactly are the philosophies behind this stylish movement in recent years?

Continuing on with the Interior Design Style Series, the Scandinavian style is in my top two favorite designs. Read on to gain insight into what makes this Scandi design so popular today. From its traditional roots to how you can work this simple style into your own home, today’s post has it all!


First, let’s get the mini takeaway so you can get started right away and understand more about ‘What is the Scandinavian Minimalist Interior Design style?’

Scandinavian Style is a design philosophy originating in the Nordic countries – Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland  – that emphasizes minimalist design, functionality, clean simple lines, natural materials, and light-filled spaces.

Ok, now that we briefly understand this nordic culture style, let’s discover more.

What is the Scandinavian Minimalist Interior Design style?

The Scandinavian style originated in the Nordic region countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark during the 1950s and 1960s when post-war Scandinavians sought to improve their quality of life.

These countries were influenced by architecture from Germany’s Bauhaus movement as well as the functionalism of Alvar Aalto, which became a huge success in Scandinavia and subsequently spread throughout Europe.

This popular design style, in my “What is Your Interior Design Style?” series,  focuses on creating an inviting atmosphere. Boasting natural elements such as warm wood tones, greenery, and stone, together with lighter colors and simple geometric forms.

A Scandinavian minimalist interior design look with a large dining table and modern chars. Two natural wood books shelves flanking the space on both sides

It creates an atmosphere of comfort while still maintaining a modern feel.

With Nordic cold, long winters, you can easily see why the Scandinavian countries have adopted this way of living. But over the past decade, it has made its way across the pond to the United States. We welcome, with open arms, this cozy design element.

What sets the Scandinavian style apart from other types of design?

  • its use of clean lines
  • warm neutral tones
  • cozy textured fabrics
  • and modern furniture pieces

These all come together to create a serene and restful space.

All natural tones of wood furniture and wall treatment. with a vase full of greenery and a very modern orange colored chair to fulfill the look of scandinavian minimalist interior design.

The concept of Hygge is one of the inspirations behind this functional but stylish design.

It creates an atmosphere of comfort while still maintaining a modern feel.

What is Hygge?

Have you seen the word Hygge being tossed around over on Instagram or Pinterest? Have you wondered, what on earth does that mean? Well, here you have it…. Hygge is a Danish concept that translates to “coziness and comfort.” It encompasses everything from warm blankets, diffused lighting, and soft textiles to gathering around good food with friends.

It’s also an important part of Scandinavian design as it brings joy and relaxation. A great way to bring a peaceful touch of Hygge into your home, is to add some cozy elements such as candles, furry rugs, or fluffy throw pillows.

A very hygge scene with a throw blanket, large modern vase with pampas grass, and a lit candle

You can also set the mood by having warm drinks like coffee or tea for yourself or your guests.

Incorporating the concepts of Scandinavian style and Hygge will help create a beautifully designed, simple, but stylish space.

This perfect combination also creates an inviting atmosphere that is both elevated and beautiful. Along with these great attributes, it provides a comfortable and restorative space for living.

A scandinavian style room with a large wall hanging and a couple green plants

So where did this design philosophy originate? Read on to discover more.

What Is The Background to this design philosophy?

Originating in the Nordic countries during the 1950s and 1960s, as I mentioned earlier, the Scandinavian style has been influencing interior design for decades.

By utilizing simple but effective design accents such as sleek lines and muted colors, you can create a tranquil atmosphere that is inviting and of course, cozy!

A Scandinavian minimalist interior design look with a large white soaking tub in front of a huge picture window. Off set with a black fireplace.

Due to its emphasis on comfort alongside aesthetics, this look works particularly well with homes that are lived in. In other words, this design style is great for a busy family. Those who want their living spaces to remain comfortable after years of use can fully embrace this minimalist style.

With its timelessness and versatility, it’s no wonder why the scandi style has become such a popular choice in interior design.

Its natural elements make it an ideal choice for those who are looking to create a minimalist approach that is still aesthetically pleasing.

A Scandinavian minimalist interior design look with a large dining table and modern chars.

Though some key features of the Scandinavian interior style distinguish it from other looks, its focus on simple but effective design techniques makes it one of the most versatile and timeless trends in home decorating.

Why is the Scandinavian Minimalist Interior Design style so popular?

These days, the Scandinavian style has become increasingly popular thanks to its modern sensibility.

Its focus on minimalism ensures that any home can benefit from this ageless look. Scandinavian home design allows you to create a space that is both beautiful and comfortable without breaking the bank.

A beautiful muted tones room with a sofa. Off set by an arched alcove painted with a muted green color. Vase with pampas grass inside the alcove

With just a few simple steps, you can achieve a sophisticated Scandinavian look in your own home.

The influence of nature found in this style also creates a sense of tranquility in any space where it’s used.

What’s more, the Scandinavian interior design style can be easily achieved through smart shopping. Simply search for furniture with clean lines and classic geometric shapes made with natural materials like wood, stone, or metal.

A Scandinavian minimalist interior design look with a sitting area. 3 large accent wall pieces in the background.

This can often mean savings while still achieving an elegant look!

“With just a few simple steps, you can achieve a sophisticated Scandinavian look in your own home.”

How to get the Scandinavian look

I have fully embraced this warm Scandinavian design in my own home. Here’s a look at my dining room with a Scandi-inspired dining table, I built a few years ago.

A Scandinavian minimalist interior design look with a large dining table and modern chars.

Want the plans to my Scandinavian style dining table? You can check them out here.

Are you looking to incorporate this Scandinavian minimalist interior design style into your own home? Here are some simple tips for getting the look:

When creating your Scandinavian-inspired look, start by focusing on simplicity and comfort.

  • Lighting: When it comes to lighting, the Scandinavian style favors functional fixtures such as pendant lights or wall sconces that provide ample illumination without being too intrusive. Choose warm LED bulbs over harsh fluorescents for a cozy glow.
  • Furniture: The main elements of Scandinavian design are clean lines, functionality, natural materials, and a neutral color palette. Furniture often has tapered legs, rounded edges, and simple silhouettes that are inspired by nature.
  • Floors: Light wooden floors also play an important role in Scandinavian style as they reflect light making the room appear larger than it is. White walls with touches of black color schemes or muted colors like green and blue complete the look.

Flooret luxury vinyl plank flooring in Palka design...with a runner Loloi Rug

  • Accessories: Accessories should be kept to a minimum while still serving a purpose such as adding texture and interest to the overall decor scheme.
  • Add a touch of nature: Natural elements like woven baskets make great additions. While items made from glass can add sparkle without disrupting the minimalist feel of the design. Utilize other natural materials such as light woods, wool, cotton, and leather to give the space an organic feel. Lastly, add little touches like plants or fresh flowers to give the room an uplifting and inviting ambiance.
  • Minimalist art: Finally, a simple focal point like, wall art and textiles can be used to provide visual interest without being too ‘busy’.

This is all based on some simple concepts, so keep in mind my 5 simple concepts below to nail this scandi minimalism look.

5 concepts to get the look:

1. Minimalism is key – keep your space free of clutter and choose furniture that is simple in design.

2. Natural materials like wood and stone will bring this popular design style into your home’s décor.

3. Use light neutral colors on walls and floors to create a calm and airy atmosphere.

4. Incorporate textiles such as wool rugs, linen curtains or cotton throws to add texture to your space.

5. Finish off with accents like plants, candles, and artwork with natural elements or shapes inspired by nature—think branches, feathers, pampas grass, shells, and more.

A room full of the scandinavian minimalist interior design look. With a modern seating area and lots of plants all around

Scandinavian style is all about creating a space that’s comfortable and inviting.

With these tips, you’ll be able to transform your home into the cozy and stylish Scandinavian retreat of your dreams!

What’s more, you can do this on a budget and tailor the look to fit your tastes! So go out there and give it a try!

Finding flooring to complement a Scandinavian-inspired home

How to buy flooring for Scandinavian-inspired flooring options, prioritize natural and light-colored options that encapsulate this style. Consider choosing flooring materials such as pale oak, light maple and white-washed woods which will add to the airy and bright atmosphere of the room.

Durability and maintenance considerations must also be kept in mind in high traffic areas. For maximum sustainability and authenticity, select materials from reliable suppliers who offer eco-friendly and high-quality options.

In scandi minimalism, floors serve not only as foundations but also as unifying backgrounds that set the scene for other elements in your minimalist design scheme.

To wrap up Scandinavian minimalist interior design…

With its focus on natural materials, clean lines, and a simple color palette, Scandinavian style can help you create a serene and stylish space in your own home.

I hope you are feeling inspired to incorporate some of these and other design principles in your renovation or décor project, be sure to check out my blog for more design tips and tricks.

I’ll show you how to get the look without breaking the bank – happy decorating!

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

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