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A classic scandinavian table setting.

Scandinavian interior design & why we simply can’t get enough of it

Scandinavian interior design as a style is best described as light, functional with elements of nature and clean lines. The philosophy is deeply rooted in the notion that great design is made for everybody. Scandinavian interior design isn’t just about a beautifully curated home – it’s about combining design, functional living and designs that stand the test of time. Here’s why we (and the world) simply cannot get enough of it.
Monday, May 24, 2021
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Scandinavian interior design has taken the world by storm. Well, actually it did in the 1930’s, and the world still can’t get enough. The style that we call Scandinavian interior design today has its roots in the 1930 Stockholm Exhibition. A national exhibition to celebrate design and architecture.

Acorn pendant lamp from Northern fits right into Scandinavian interior design.

Scandinavian design: clear lines and functionality.The Acorn pendant lamp by Northern combines classic craftsmanship with modern Scandinavian design.

During the Stockholm Exhibition, new design ideas were presented. These ideas were based on the Bauhaus-movement, founded in Germany around 1919. The Bauhaus movement was based on the vision of creating designs based on the needs of society, where functionality was the common denominator. The Bauhaus style was in direct contrast to the more lavish designs of the time. Today we believe the functionalism style originates here. And not just functionalism, but Scandinavian interior design as a whole.

Acorn pendant lamp from Northern,By linen table cloth from House Doctor, Tunes candle sticks from Georg Jensen

Functionalism was embraced by Scandinavian designers in the 1950s and democratic design and interior design for everyone became a new concept.

Skagerak Georg stool oak,Design House Stockholm Fields rug, Paradisverkstaden Morgon grey plate,Scandi Living Clean tablecloth,Elvang Denmark Elvang Luxury throw

Functionalism was first presented in the 1930s at the Stockholm Exhibition.


During the 1950s, Scandinavian designers started to embrace the idea of functionalism and coined the term “democratic design” – that is, interior design to servce all classes of society and all kinds of homes. Scandinavian interior design was to fill a function and was to be beautifully crafted design that everyone could afford. This idea was new for the time and it was right then and there, Scandinavian interior design started to take shape.

Aalto vase and Nappula candle holder from Iittala,

Alvar Aalto's timeless vase was already designed in 1936 and had a big influence on the success story of scandinavian interior design.

It was then, from 1930 to the 1950s, that many of our design classics came into being and started to put Scandinavian design on the world map. Alvar Aalto designed a vase that would go on to become a timeless icon and Nisse Strinning invented the popular String shelf. All these designs helped to shape the Scandinavian designers of today. Today, Scandinavian design is still based on the idea that function and design are not mutually exclusive.

Urna vase from Marimekko, Forest lantern from Orranäs Bruk

Scandinavian design often looks to use natural materials and mouth-blown glass has been a favourite since the early days.


Functionalism and simplicity continue to shape what Scandinavian interior design is to this day, and although we have always valued good craftsmanship, it is increasingly characterized by our interest in sustainability. We want to invest in honest crafts made from natural materials such as wood, glass, stoneware and leather.

Norr bread box from Skagerak, Clean kitchen towel from Scandi Living

Wood and linen are natural materials found in every Scandinavian home.

Semi lamp from Gubi, Essence white wine glass from Iittala,

The classic Scandinavian interior design with lighter colours has also developed into a more luxurious style.

Tage pendant from Care of Bankeryd,Globe vase from AYTM, Cooee candle holder from Cooee Design, Cloudy pot from DBKD.

More modern Scandinavian interior design has started to include darker and more industrial tones such as darkened metal and brass.

To this day, we immediately think of Scandinavian interior design as shades of white and grey. However, recently, we have seen a more luxurious take on Scandinavian design where darker colours, black and brass details have taken centre stage. However, regardless of style, Scandinavian design stays true to its functional and minimalist roots.

Bau flower pot from Ferm Living, Shell vase from Ferm Living as well.

A more modern approach to Scandinavia interior often includes black details – here the Bau flower pot by Ferm Living.

Olufemi sculpture and pastille vase from Cooee Design.

The elegant Olufemi sculpture and pastille vase from Cooee Design

Kubus bowl from By Lassen,Forms chair from House Doctor, Semi lamp from Gubi, Wicker wool throw from Nordic Nest, Chub lantern / vase from House Doctor

A Scandinavian home is more than just light walls and good design – it’s about functionality and spending time together.


A Scandinavian interior-style home is often described as light, minimalistic with plenty of open space. In our opinion, that is not too far from reality. However, what makes a Scandinavian home a Scandinavian home are often the carefully selected pieces that add personality, placed with the intention of creating an inviting space for yourself and guests.

Wicker wool throw from Scandi Living, ,Fallow rug from Scandi Living.

Cozy blankets are a must in every Scandinavian home. Especially popular are wool or cotton blankets.

Skott vase from KLONG.

And don’t forget about plants – both flower pots and bouquets are a must. Candles and candle holders add the finishing ”hygge” touch.

Scandinavian homes often apply the principle of ”less is more”. Each piece in the home should have a function and make the home cozy and warm. You will always find candle holders and tea lights to brighten up dark evenings, as well as flowers and plants to add a touch of nature. Textiles in the form of blankets and pillows made the home comfortable and inviting.


Give your home a more Scandinavian feel in 5 simple steps.

Remove the clutter

Less is more in Scandinavia, but this doesn’t mean you have to get rid of absolutely everything in your home. Think about what you favourite pieces are and get rid of the things that don’t serve a purpose. Not every surface needs to home an accessory, candle holder or vase. It will make your home look cleaner, calmer and free up space. Pick only the pieces you really love.

Embrace the space

Enjoy the space in your home. Let your home be a space to calm your mind in an increasingly hectic life. Place furniture strategically, based on how you use your space. Experiment with slightly unexpected placements. Try, for instance, pulling our sofa out from the wall and into the room, just a couple inches. This will make the space feel airier and more modern.

Make it “hygge”

Hygge” is a Danish term that encompasses everything about making a home, a moment or a situation cozy, warm and comforting. Add that feeling to your home with simple accessories such as blankets, candles or a beautiful cup for the perfect cup of tea.


When investing in design, go for pieces you can see yourself living with a long time. Especially when it comes to the staples. A classic Scandinavian design lamp will keep its value and can be just as modern today as it was 50 years ago.

Cozy beige living room in classic scandinavian interior design with pillows and throws on a couch.

Don't try to create the perfect Scandinavian home overnight- good design takes time!


Your home won’t be done tomorrow, next week or even next year for that matter. Enjoy the process and let it take time. Learn about what makes you feel good in your space and don’t make it perfect. The casually placed souvenir on a living room shelf can be just as Scandi as the Louis Poulsen lamp above your dining table.

Written by: Annika Krause

Photo: Angeliqa Daldorph, Ferm Living, Muuto

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