11 Decorating Ideas to Steal from the Scandinavians
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11 Decorating Ideas to Steal from the Scandinavians

Doesn’t it seem like Scandinavians get home decor exactly right ALL the time? Maybe it’s because they have had to turn their homes into the ultimate sanctuary to escape those long Nordic winters, or because they are the birthplace of our beloved IKEA. With white playing a winning role, this decor provides the perfect blank slate to add any color combo, from soft pastels to bold black accents, for a modern edge. Scandinavian style focuses on livability and doesn’t worry about leaving everything out in the open (open shelving FTW). From unusual nature accents to metallics and excessively fluffy throw rugs, here are 11 of our favorite design ideas to steal for your own home.

1. Play With Complementary Colors: Scandi homes aren’t usually filled with a lot of bold, bright color. Their beauty comes from a simple, neutral color palette, but it never looks cold or boring because of the layering of complementary colors. Using multiple shades of the same color creates interest and depth and doesn’t leave your space feeling stark. (via Style at Home)

2. More Plants: Plants add color, offer texture and clean your air, making your home a little bit healthier. They are a great way to bring interest to your space without making it feel too cluttered. (via My Scandinavian Home)

3. Make the Best of Awkward Spaces: Part of the beauty of Scandinavian decor is that no space goes to waste. If you have a few extra inches, you can mount some shelves on the wall to use as a home library or even a mini home office space. (via Bolig)

4. Allow for Breathing Room: When furniture is given space “to breathe,” you can really appreciate the pieces you have. This concept applies whether you live in a studio apartment or a roomy house. Trust that when every nook isn’t packed with furniture, the room will feel much more relaxing. (via Freshome)

5. Add Texture: Scandinavian decor isn’t so much about color play, but more about natural textures. From unfinished wooden pieces to fur rugs and soft linen bedding, bringing nature into your home will add to the restful feeling the decor is famous for. Here, colorful chairs, a spiky light fixture and the bright patterned pillows keep things interesting. (via My Domaine)

6. Mix Up Styles: Scandinavian decor gets along great with everyone. If you don’t want to go all the way with the neutrals and simple style pieces, feel free to add Scandi elements to mid-century, boho and even log cabin homes. (via Nordic Design)

7. Embrace the Dark: While they’re famous for their clean white interiors, Scandinavian homes appreciate a good dark shade too. Add drama without turning your room into a cave by painting one wall dark and going from there. If you don’t want to paint, adding black accent pieces like a striped rug or pillows is a fun way to add some dark drama. (via Per Gunnarsson)

8. Find the Patterns: When it comes to mixing bold patterns together, just keep everything within the same color family. And be sure to keep the rest of the room nice and simple so the space doesn’t start to feel chaotic. (via Flodeau)

9. Accessorize: Just because Scandi decor is simple and functional doesn’t mean it’s stark. Some of the best accessories are mirrors to reflect light. Scandinavian decor puts emphasis on natural elements, so make picture frames out of twigs, show off a nature collection or hang nature-inspired pieces of art. Concrete candles bring in texture, and a vase filled with branches is an inexpensive way to make your space look very upscale. (via Klikk)

10. Think IKEA: Scandinavian furniture doesn’t have to be super cheap, but when it comes to the aesthetic, think simple designs and clean lines. Scandinavian designs include lots of natural wood and are usually streamlined without extra decorative additions. But whatever you do, don’t think everything has to match! A little bit of mismatching adds a whole lotta personality. (via Bolig Pluss)

11. Let in the Light: Since Scandinavians spend winter months in darkness, they know how to take advantage of sunlight and fresh air. Keep the curtains minimal and choose light colors or sheer fabrics. Use several light sources in your rooms by adding different floor lamps and table lamps to really set the mood. (via Solia Interiors)

What’s your favorite aspect of Scandinavian home decor? Share your thoughts in the comments below!