Scandinavian design: 7 living room decorating tips

Scandinavian design has enjoyed great popularity throughout the last decades mainly because of its minimalist fusion of everyday functionality with sleek and clean aesthetic. Scandinavian designers are greatly inspired and influenced by nature, their climate and the innate qualities of raw materials. This is evident in their exceptional talent at designing not only crisply illuminated environments, but also beautiful yet affordable and useful furniture, objects and spaces. To offset the harsh northern weather, Scandinavian design aims to incorporate hygge, a Norwegian and Danish word for warmth and coziness, inside the home.

Of all the spaces in your home, your living room should have the most hygge to make it welcoming and functional, not only for yourself but also for your family and guests.

Lighting, an essential element

Lighting is of utmost importance when designing living spaces. To create a balanced atmosphere, multiple light sources are incorporated and emphasized. The idea is to have maximum lightness interiors, where minimalistic furniture enhances each room. Natural light is a must, along with light pale colors to make bright interior spaces. Curtains or window treatments should be linen and sheer to let the most light in. Candelabras are usually a decorative accent that could be placed over tables.

The color white

The color white goes beyond the concept of neutrality; it is intricately tied to the creation of an uncluttered, empty space that emphasizes aesthetic purity. The ideal of white as the base color is conceived out of a necessity to make classless homes and physical objects that superseded Victorian interiors and furniture, focusing instead on utility and efficiency. White greatly maximizes the impact of light, which is why walls are almost always painted in white as it enhances the perception of space and cleanliness. White or light wooden floors add up even more clear view and light accent.  

Smart Furniture

Smart furniture fuses functionality with technology. It allows you to extend the uses of your furniture to situations probably you never dreamed of. Just think about a simple chair, where you can stack your favorite books, or where you can stick out a small table to make you comfy enough on your reading. Why not a chair where you can have smart hubs to charge your phone, turn on your reading lamp, and also a hidden place underneath to keep your favorite throw? Basic smart furniture also emphasizes design affordability without sacrificing design and beauty, along with simplistic lines. Practical storage solutions incorporated into furniture makes it even more appealing.

Mix to succeed

Every element fulfills a particular purpose in a specific space. In Scandinavian design, great attention is given to achieving ‘lagom’, which is a Swedish word that refers to finding “the right amount”, by combining material, texture, durability, function, color and cost, with logical positioning and arrangement of only what is essential. Objects do not get their meanings based on their materiality alone, but also by the way they are mediated and placed in relation to each other. Adding and mixing different colors, shapes and sizes of objects and furniture can cheer up the atmosphere and accentuate the cleanliness and functionality of the space even further. The idea is to keep it simple and minimalistic, clean and inviting, very well-lit and muted at the same time.


Prints on the walls also accentuate and liven up the space. Simple and minimal framing enhancing prints are recommended, preferably with pale backgrounds and always consonant with wall colors.


Nordics have an innate yearning for contact with nature, mainly because of the harsh, cold and dark winters that force them to stay indoors most of the time. They constantly draw great inspiration from their environment, which is why they incorporate nature inside the home. Real indoor plants add freshness and energy that enhance the atmosphere.

Warm floors and carpets

To offset the harsh weather outside, interior floors should emanate warmth and coziness, and are usually preferred to be made out of wood in order to keep the naturalistic feel of the space. Wall-to-wall carpets reduce the visibility of the floor, making the space look smaller and cramped, which is why animal skin rugs are recommended instead, mainly to break up large areas over white painted or wooden floors. A rug is always a detail and should never be more important than other elements in the room. A simple, clean-line fireplace can also be a part of the floor design, adding up some warmth to the room.

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