Top 4 Design Principles of Scandinavian Design

Emerging as a powerful art movement, Scandinavian design has made a huge mark on architecture, interior, and product design. The modern design movement began in the early 20th century in Nordic countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland. The harsh and cold weather in these countries allowed to create living spaces that are practical yet utterly cozy and inviting.

Featuring simplicity and minimal aesthetics, Scandinavian designs are a great way to invite calm and comfort in your home. Following are four design principles that define the essence of Scandinavian design. These principles can easily be integrated into your home for a cozy, inviting, and practical living space.

Mindful Minimalism

Achieving functional and comfortable interiors

One of the most prominent features of Scandinavian design remains in its simplicity and minimal aesthetics. However, Scandinavian-inspired spaces remain far from being cold and stark. The design aesthetics vouch for mindful minimalism that retains warmth and visual interest.

Relying on the Swedish principle of, "Logam," the design achieves the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics. Each piece of furniture or accessories used in Scandinavian-inspired space has a purpose or dual function. From a coffee table with a storage chest, benches with built-in shelves to light fixtures that double up as decor, Scandinavian design benefits from purposeful furniture and accessories.

The design approach helps to minimize visual clutter to deliver bright, airy, and open spaces. Scandinavian furniture also vouches for clean lines, gentle curves, and tapered legs to fall in harmony with the minimal, functional, and aesthetically appealing Scandinavian designs.

Soft and Neutral Color Palette

Taking inspiration from nature

A soft and neutral color palette greatly helps the Scandinavian design to achieve clean and minimal aesthetics. Crisp white or warm neutrals are often used for the walls. Reflecting maximum light these hues deliver bright, airy, and open spaces.

To add more visual interest to the space, the design also relies on soft pop of colors. Lively colors and patterns can be used in rugs and smaller accents to bring personality and visual interest to the spaces. These colors are usually inspired by nature to bring a strong sense of coziness. Soft and earthy tones of grey, pink, green, and blue are often used to elevate the visual appeal of a Scandinavian-inspired home. Hinting at nature, the color palette can vouch for an utterly calm, cozy, and inviting interior space.

Cozy and Inviting Spaces

The concept of hygge

Inspired by countries with harsh cold weather, the major focus of Scandinavian design remains in comfort and warmth. It centers upon the concept of the Danish word hygge, which symbolizes coziness and contentment.

The Scandinavian style generally employs warm, natural fabric to instill a sense of coziness in the space. Fuzzy sheepskin, smooth leather, woven ropes, and chunky cable knit vouch for a comforting tactile experience. Scented candles, blankets, and throws to snuggle up, or a small corner to cuddle can further accentuate the cozy aura of hygge. Generally, a fireplace would serve as a focal point of the space to instill a strong sense of warmth in functional and purpose-driven Scandinavian-inspired spaces.

Embracing Nature

Bringing the outside to the indoors

Connection with nature remains important in bringing a sense of calm and serenity in Scandinavian design. The interiors heavily rely on natural materials with prominent use of wood and natural stone. Untreated or unpainted wood such as beech, birch, ash, and pine can greatly accentuate the visual appeal of the space.

The focus of Scandinavian design always remains in rich, organic textures of wood or natural fabric that bring a dose of warmth and visual interest to the space. To further strengthen the connection with nature and bring the outdoors inside, plants remain an important part of Scandinavian design. These lush greens potted in a stylish vase or pot can serve as the life of the space. From cozy natural textures to refreshing greenery, Scandinavian-inspired homes vouch for a calming and relaxing aura.


The principles of Scandinavian design focus upon making our living space more practical and comfortable. It is about achieving the perfect balance between functionality, aesthetics, and comfort.

To minimize visual clutter and make the space feel more airy, the Scandinavian design relies on muted color palette and clean line furniture. It utilizes furniture and accessories that have a strong purpose or function in the space. The design also connects with nature, incorporates rich textures, and includes soft pop of color to uplift the comfort and visual appeal of the space.

Elevating our daily experience, Scandinavian-inspired homes remain practical and livable to ultimately transform our home into a relaxing sanctuary. To find all of the items that are from Scandinavia, check out our home decor here.