Updated: Nov 6
To this day, the beloved Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland have been influencing interior aesthetics since the early 20th century.
Remove clutter, keep it clean and calm, mix and match the old and new, choose natural materials, and use negative space.
Here is the breakdown:
“Scandinavians rarely have anything in their homes that is superfluous,” notes Brantmark. And while cutting down to the bare essentials may conjure up images of a stark space, Brantmark says this isn’t the case at all in Scandinavian homes. Those natural materials, like linen, wood, stone, and wool, add texture and warmth, thereby creating a space that feels lived-in and homey.
The hues that best exemplify Scandinavian style are equally pared down. Brantmark recommends using earthy, muted shades to “brighten up the space on the darkest of days, but also create a wonderfully serene feel.”
Allan Torp, the Danish blogger behind Bungalow5 and author of Scandinavian Style at Home, agrees with this assessment, advocating for a base palette of whites, grays, blacks, and browns. “You might also see other colors introduced, like dusty pinks and rich sea greens, as added accents,” says Torp. “In a classic Scandinavian space, walls are kept white, allowing for furniture and art to captivate.”
“Avoid entire rooms decorated in a riot of bold patterns and color; instead opt for accent walls or the odd vibrant piece of furniture or accessory,” says Brantmark, who also cautions against overcrowding. Instead, she recommends “creating negative space by decluttering, then grouping objects—this will create a lighter, airier feel.”
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Start with one room at a time to apply the light airy look in stages. Simply decluttering and removing extra wall decor will open up the space, and make the room feel bigger. Rather than decorating a room with many distracting elements, negative space focuses our attention on the main important decor of the room, while providing a place for the viewer’s eye to rest.
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