How to Achieve an Aesthetically Pleasing Scandinavian Modern Interior Design

If you’re looking to revamp your living space and want to infuse timeless elegance with simplicity, Scandinavian modern interior design is definitely worth considering. Originating from the Nordic countries, this design style is characterized by minimalism, functionality and a focus on natural materials. With a neutral color palette, clean lines, and a balance between form and function, Scandinavian modern interior design results in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere that is both classic and contemporary. In this article, we’ll explore the key features of this popular design trend and give you some inspiration on how to incorporate it into your own home.

What is Scandinavian Modern Interior Design?

Scandinavian Modern Interior Design is a design style that originated in the Nordic countries during the mid-twentieth century. This design style is characterized by minimalism, simplicity, and functionality, and it emphasizes clean lines, natural materials, and neutral colors. The following will discuss further the origins, characteristics, and key elements of Scandinavian Modern Interior Design.


The origins of Scandinavian Modern Interior Design can be traced back to the 1930s, when a group of Danish designers created a style that emphasized simplicity, function, and craftsmanship. This style, known as “Danish modern,” quickly spread to other Nordic countries, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. In the post-World War II era, this design style gained popularity in the United States, and it became known as “Scandinavian Modern.”

One reason for the popularity of Scandinavian Modern Interior Design was its ability to bring beauty and simplicity to everyday life. This minimalist style emphasized functional furniture, simple shapes, and natural materials, making it easy to maintain and live with.


Scandinavian Modern Interior Design is characterized by several distinctive features:

  • Minimalism: This design style emphasizes clean lines, simple shapes, and a minimalist aesthetic. The focus is on function over form, with every element of the design serving a purpose.
  • Functionality: Scandinavian Modern Interior Design is designed to be functional and practical, with furniture and accessories that are useful and efficient.
  • Natural materials: This design style emphasizes the use of natural materials such as wood, stone, and leather. These materials provide warmth and texture to the space.
  • Neutral colors: Scandinavian Modern Interior Design typically features a neutral color palette, with shades of white, gray, and beige dominating the space. This creates a calm and peaceful environment.

Key Elements

Several key elements are necessary to achieve the Scandinavian Modern Interior Design style:

Element Description Example
Simple furniture Furniture should be functional, simple, and well-crafted. A low-profile sofa with clean lines and neutral upholstery.
Natural materials Materials should be natural and provide warmth and texture to the space. A wooden coffee table, leather chairs, or a stone fireplace.
Neutral colors The color palette should consist of neutral colors such as white, gray, and beige. A white-washed wooden floor, gray walls, and beige upholstery.
Clean lines The design should feature clean and simple lines without excessive ornamentation. A mid-century modern lamp with a simple silhouette.
Functional accessories Accessories should be functional and provide a purpose. A pendant light with an adjustable height, or a wall-mounted coat rack.

Overall, Scandinavian Modern Interior Design is a simple yet functional design style that emphasizes minimalism, natural materials, and neutral colors. By applying the key elements discussed above, you can create a cozy, functional, and stylish space in your home.

The History of Scandinavian Modern Interior Design

Scandinavian modern interior design is a minimalist approach to decorating that emerged in the early 20th century in the Nordic region. The foundation of Scandinavian design is the idea that beautiful and functional design shouldn’t be exclusive but should be accessible to everyone. Clean lines, simplicity, and functionality are the guiding principles behind this popular design style.

The roots of Scandinavian interior design can be traced back to the opening of the Stockholm School of Arts and Crafts in 1851. During this time, craftsmanship and handmade goods were highly valued in Sweden. The style became more prominent towards the beginning of the 20th century where designers embraced this simplicity in art and design. One of the key features of Scandinavian design is functionality, which can be demonstrated from the 1940s to the 1960s when furniture designers began to experiment with innovative materials like laminated wood and plastic to produce elegant and practical furniture that effectively blended with the modern-day living.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, functionalism, a new design movement that emerged, became the guiding principle for Scandinavian interior design. The idea was that every object should have a function, and decorative elements should be eliminated. This new approach to design was eventually adopted by modernist architects and designers across the globe.

One of the most famous Scandinavia designers is Alvar Alto, who was a furniture and interior designer during the 1930s. His famous work on Paimio sanatorium designed by him is an example of how Scandinavian designs focus on functionality, while also being visually pleasing.

In the 1950s to 1960s was the golden era of Scandinavian interior design, during this period modernism experienced a significant shift towards mass production. It also became more popular to create a relationship between the inside and outside of the building or home, as well as to create a relationship between the furniture and the architecture.

Scandinavian modern interior design continued to evolve through out the decades, eventually incorporating more textures and colors into its design. Today, Scandinavian design continues to be a popular and influential style around the world, known for its simplicity, elegance, and functionality.

The Characteristics of Scandinavian Modern Interior Design

Scandinavian modern interior design is a popular style that emphasizes minimalism, functionality, and simplicity. It is inspired by the Scandinavian region, which includes countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. This style has become popular and is recognized for its clean and bright aesthetic with cozy interiors and natural materials.


Minimalism is one of the main characteristics of Scandinavian modern interior design. The style uses basic colors like white, black, and grey, which create a calm and serene environment. Minimalism is more focused on functionality, which means that everything should have a purpose. This functionality emphasis makes the room clutter-free, which adds to the relaxing atmosphere.

  • The furniture is usually sleek and straightforward.
  • The decor is minimal, with few accessories and an emphasis on natural textures.
  • Bare walls and floors are commonplace.


Functionality is another essential feature of Scandinavian modern interior design. The style values comfort and practicality, which is evident in the choice of furniture, lighting, and the layout of the room. In Scandinavian-style spaces, you will find usable and comfortable furniture that is not only pleasing to the eye, but also serves a purpose.

  • The furniture is typically versatile and can be used for multiple purposes.
  • Every element in the room must be able to perform a function.
  • The interior often includes plenty of storage space, such as cabinets and shelves.


Being simplistic is one of the most remarkable characteristics of Scandinavian modern interior design. The style is not complicated and prefers to use fewer colors, materials, designs, and items. This simplicity helps create a clean and harmonious environment while making the room seem more significant and spacious.

  • The use of patterns in Scandinavian interior design is minimal.
  • Neutral colors are favored in this style, with an emphasis on creams, whites, and grays.
  • Natural light is a preferred lighting source.

The Key Elements of Scandinavian Modern Interior Design

Scandinavian interior design has been around for decades and is known for its minimalistic, functional, and cozy style. It has become quite popular with homeowners all over the world, who want a space that is calming, simple, yet elegant. Scandinavian modern interior design emphasizes the use of natural materials, neutral color palettes, and clean lines. In this article, we will discuss the key elements of Scandinavian modern interior design, that you can incorporate into your home.

Natural Materials

The use of natural materials is one of the most important elements of Scandinavian modern interior design. Scandinavian countries are known for their beautiful forests and lakes, and designers tend to showcase this natural beauty by incorporating wooden materials into their designs. Most Scandinavian homes use light-colored wood, such as pine or birch. You can experiment with different types of wood, such as oak or ash, to see what fits your style. Materials like leather, wool, and linen are often used to add texture and warmth to a room.

Neutral Color Palettes

Neutral color schemes are also essential in Scandinavian modern interior design. Whites, grays, and beiges are used to create a calm and serene atmosphere. These colors are also used as a backdrop for colorful accents, which can be easily changed out to keep up with trends. Adding pops of color can bring life to the space and create a playful atmosphere. But, it is essential to use them sparingly to maintain the minimalist aesthetic.

Clean Lines

Clean lines are a trademark of Scandinavian modern interior design. Every detail in a Scandinavian room serves a purpose, and nothing is excessive or ornate. This means clutter, and unnecessary decorations are avoided. The clean lines and simplicity of Scandinavian design create an uncluttered space that is easy to maintain and feels relaxing.


Scandinavian modern interior design emphasizes the functionality of a room. Each piece of furniture has a specific purpose and is chosen for its practicality. Soft furnishings like rugs and pillows provide warmth and comfort, serving both functional and decorative purposes at the same time.

  • It is essential to have the right storage to ensure that everything in the room has its place, and clutter is minimized.
  • Furniture is usually raised off the floor, creating an airy and spacious look.
  • Multi-functional furniture is a must, such as a coffee table with built-in storage or a sleeper sofa for overnight guests.

Scandinavian modern interior design is all about creating inviting spaces that offer both style and functionality. By incorporating natural materials, neutral colors, and clean lines, you can create a cozy and inviting space that feels like home. Use only what you need, keep it simple, and enjoy the serenity.

Incorporating Scandinavian Modern Interior Design into Your Home

If you’re looking to give your home a fresh, modern feel, Scandinavian modern interior design may be just the style you’re looking for. With its clean lines, neutral color palette, and focus on functionality and minimalism, this design aesthetic is both beautiful and practical. Here are some tips to help you incorporate Scandinavian modern interior design into your own space:

Choose Minimalistic Furniture

When selecting furniture pieces for your home, opt for those with clean, simple lines and a minimalist design. Look for pieces made from natural materials such as wood or leather, and avoid anything that feels overly ornate or overly embellished. Scandinavian modern design is all about simplicity, so try to choose pieces that are functional as well as beautiful.

Go Neutral with Color

In keeping with the minimalist theme, Scandinavian modern interior design tends to feature a neutral color palette. Think shades of white, beige, gray, and black. These colors provide a clean, calm background that allows your furniture pieces to stand out. If you want to add a pop of color to your space, consider incorporating some greenery or a few colorful accent pieces, such as throw pillows or vases.

Bring the Outdoors In

Nature plays a prominent role in Scandinavian design, so try to incorporate natural elements into your home whenever possible. Consider adding some plants to your space or displaying some natural wood pieces such as bowls or candle holders. Accessorizing your home with natural materials will help create a sense of warmth and coziness.

Stay Clutter-Free

In order to maintain the clean and uncluttered feel of Scandinavian modern design, it’s essential to keep your space free from unnecessary clutter. Opt for simple, streamlined storage solutions and try to keep surfaces clear as much as possible. This will help create a sense of calm and order in your home.

Add Some Texture

While Scandinavian design is known for its minimalism, that doesn’t mean your space needs to feel cold or sterile. By adding some texture to your home, you can introduce warmth and visual interest. Consider incorporating a plush rug, cozy throw blankets, or some woven baskets. These elements will help create a sense of hygge (coziness) in your home.

FAQs About Scandinavian Modern Interior Design

Scandinavian modern interior design, also known as Scandi style, is characterized by its minimalism, functionality, and emphasis on natural elements. If you’re interested in incorporating this design into your home, you may have a few questions. Below are some frequently asked questions about Scandinavian modern interior design:

What’s the difference between Scandinavian and Nordic design?

While the terms “Scandinavian” and “Nordic” are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to two different design styles. Scandinavian design, also known as Scandi style, originates from the three Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark). Nordic design, on the other hand, encompasses all five Nordic countries (including Iceland and Finland).

While both styles share similarities, such as their emphasis on simplicity and functionality, Scandinavian design tends to be more minimalistic and monochromatic, with a focus on light woods and whites. Nordic design, on the other hand, often includes more color and texture, with natural materials like leather and wool being key components.

How do I incorporate natural elements into my Scandi-style home?

Natural elements are a key component of Scandinavian modern interior design. Incorporating earthy materials like wood, stone, and leather can help create a warm and cozy atmosphere, while still maintaining the minimalist aesthetic of the style. Some popular ways to incorporate natural elements into your Scandi-style home include:

  • Choosing furniture made from natural materials like wood or leather
  • Adding plants or greenery to your space
  • Using stone or brick accents on walls or fireplaces
  • Incorporating natural textiles like linen or wool in your decor

How do I achieve a cozy feel while still keeping things minimal?

One of the key challenges of Scandinavian modern interior design is creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere while still maintaining the minimalism and simplicity of the style. However, this can be achieved by incorporating elements like soft textures, warm lighting, and layering.

You can add cozy textures to your space by incorporating soft blankets, plush rugs, and textured pillows. Warm, diffused lighting can also help create a cozy atmosphere, especially in the wintertime. And don’t be afraid to layer different materials and textures to create depth and interest in your space.

What colors are typically used in Scandinavian modern interior design?

While Scandinavian modern interior design is known for its minimalistic aesthetic, this doesn’t mean that color is off-limits. In fact, many Scandi-style homes incorporate pops of color to add interest and warmth to the space. Some popular colors in Scandinavian modern interior design include:

  • White and other neutral tones
  • Soft pastels like blush pink and pale blue
  • Bold, bright colors like yellow or orange (in small doses)

How do I achieve a minimalist look without making my space feel empty?

One of the key tenets of Scandinavian modern interior design is minimalism. However, this doesn’t have to mean an empty, sparse space. To achieve a minimalistic look without making your home feel empty, focus on quality over quantity. Invest in a few high-quality pieces of furniture, and keep your decor simple and streamlined. When adding decorative elements, choose pieces that have meaning or sentimental value to you, rather than simply filling up space with meaningless objects.

How do I create a cohesive Scandi-style look throughout my home?

Creating a cohesive Scandi-style look throughout your home can be achieved by sticking to a consistent color palette and design elements. Use similar materials and finishes throughout your space, from your furniture to your decor items. This will help create a sense of continuity and flow throughout your home. And don’t forget to keep things functional and uncluttered, as this is a key aspect of the Scandinavian modern interior design aesthetic.

Thanks for Reading About Scandinavian Modern Interior Design!

We hope you enjoyed learning about this design style and how it can transform your home into a cozy oasis. Don’t forget to keep checking back for more interior design tips and inspiration. Who knows, maybe next time we’ll discover the perfect accent piece to finish off your living room or a DIY project to take on over the weekend. Thanks again for reading and see you soon!

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