Practicality, functionality and comfort — just a few of the reasons that the popularity of Scandinavian design endures. The styles are eminently mixable and convey a relaxed yet stylish vibe.
That’s why we’re excited about these 10 Scandinavian design trends that are popping up in decor everywhere. Look at these emerging trends and see what you can incorporate in your own space.
Stripes are a classic graphic and a refreshing choice after years of chevron-dominated decor. Whether you prefer horizontal, vertical, fat or narrow, adding stripes to your decor is a quick refresh. Stripes are also versatile in that depending upon the type of fabric and the style of design, they can convey a multitude of interior design styles. Thin or widely spaced stripes on a basic fabric in a neutral color is more casual and utilitarian — and more Scandinavian feeling — than a piece upholstered in bold colors and a more formal pattern.
Black & White Decor
The classic black and white color palette gets a Nordic kick when paired with classic Scandinavian shapes. This minimalist chair from Case is paired with a graphic rug. The setting has a comfortable Scandinavian feeling along with a lively pop from the rug pattern. Decorating a room — or multiple rooms — in black and white with Nordic furnishings creates a space that is minimalist and chic yet still comfortable and welcoming. What else would you expect from the land of Hygge?
Can’t redo a whole room right now? Try adding just one piece that is in a black and white graphic and add some complementary accessories. This cabinet from Lim and Liu is paired with versatile candleholders that can reverse directions and feature opposite color combinations. The linear feel of the cabinet is a contrast to the curvy accessories. In fact, the candleholders alone would be a wonderful black and white accent for a room done in a traditional Scandinavian style.
If your style is less minimalist, black and white can still work in your home. This bathroom vanity is decidedly not Scandinavian, but the clean black and white palette adds drama to the bathroom and plays down the baroque shape of the vanity.
Basic pieces in black, like this chair and the interesting floor lamp are great additions to any room where you want to create a black and white color scheme. Both pieces are naturals to fit into a Nordic-inspired space and are super functional — a hallmark of Scandinavian furnishings.
Definitely modern, but still versatile enough to pair with traditional Scandinavian pieces are these black and white armchairs. The leggy style and curved cut of the seat are distinctive yet minimalist enough for a nordic-inspired space.
Despite predictions of its imminent plunge from popularity, gray walls do not seem to be going away any time soon. Light hues or dark, and everything in between, gray walls are trending in Scandinavian style. This room relies on a dray gray tone for its accent wall, which adds depth and dimension to the space. The color is a modern neutral that creates a marvelous base for wall art.
Zanotta’s living room features dark matte gray walls that serve to highlight the off-white modular sofa. Together with the wood furniture and accents it creates a chic Scandinavian style room. The addition of modern lighting brings the space a fresh vibe.
Reminiscent of a nordic sauna, slatted walls provide a feeling of relaxation and privacy without confinement. Added to a living are, they allow light to filter through and serve as a visual barrier in a space. The extra wood adds warmth to a room and evokes the outdoors. A slatted wall is appropriate in any room and brings a unique, stylish element to a home.
Shades of Blue
While a neutral palette and monochrome decor help create a relaxing nordic vibe, a pop of color adds brightness and vibrancy to an otherwise restrained space. And for Scandinavians, what other color would they choose but blue? Whether it reminds them of the sea or the azure sky above, all shades of blue can work in a nordic-inspired room. Bright cobalt, sky blue and light powder blue are among the hues that are commonly chosen. Here, a periwinkle blue, tall-backed sofa is paired with an upholstered piece that can serve as a seat or a coffee table, thanks to the pale wood inset.
A more muted blue exudes a relaxed vibe that really fits with the Scandinavian theme. This shade of blue upholstery on the furnishings by Perrouin almost function as a neutral and would work in many types of spaces. Overall, it is a family friendly and casual collection that adds just the right amount of color to a nordic-inspired interior.
For a lighter, more feminine feel, a powder blue is also a great option because it nicely complements the lighter-hued wood. The style is a fabulous blend of mid-century modern and nordic design that create a fresh piece, perfect for today’s Scandinavian interiors.
Traditionally, only a modest amount of leather could be found in nordic styles, but the Scandinavian trend is now embracing more leather, especially distressed and repurposed styles. These upholstered dining chairs from Classic Home are a great example, with their simple silhouette, classic wooden legs and distressed, quilted leather design.
Bobo Intriguing Objects has this comfortable natural leather armchair that has a unique peaked back. It’s a comfortable chair without being overstuffed, which makes it appropriate for the more restrained nordic style of decorating.
If a piece of furniture upholstered fully in leather is too much for you, leather accessories are a fantastic way to add a touch of the material to your decor. A substantial but understated leather basket from Fern can corral your reading materials, knitting projects or children’ toys in the most stylish way. The gorgeous handcrafted detailing emphasizes the artistry and care, which is part and parcel of the Scandinavian way.
Storage as Decor
For such a long time, storage relied on endless bins that are hidden in closets and under beds, and whose aim is to hide our belongings. Enter the latest nordic-inspired trend where well-loved and treasured belongings become items for display, on racks and accessories that are meant to be seen. Storage as decor is an outgrowth of the trend of acquiring fewer things, buying items of quality and letting those pieces shine. A lovely copper-colored coat tree from Hyfen is a perfect example: With a stylish coat tree like this, why hide your favorite coat in the closet? Instead, keep it handy and on display.
Hyfen’s modern room divider is another way to incorporate the concept of storage as decor. The trapezoidal arrangement of the matte black poles is highlighted by a single red textile panel. Elegant wooden hangers on the top can display the outfit you plan to wear tomorrow or simply be where you keep your favorite shirts. The open design is good for accessorizing a large blank wall or dividing a bedroom sleeping area from a dressing or seating area.
If floor space is at a premium, try installing a rack that is as much art as it is storage. This clean design highlights the wood and craftsmanship. Perfect for an entryway or a closet area, it can be the home for coats or often-worn items. With a stylish rack like this, it’s easy to hang things, so they are more likely end up on the rack rather than in a pile on the floor.
Generally, Scandinavian design does not prominently feature great deal of printed motifs, however, feathers are now trending in nordic-inspired decor. This doesn’t mean you have to start draping feather boas around your house. The trend features the motif in carved relief as well as a in restrained prints that have a natural feel. It’s the opposite of the over-the-top Jungalow style that features abundant leaf prints. Instead, a few carefully designed, detailed feathers are the accents on a pillow, print or other accessory.
This cozy chair covered in a knitted wool roving is the perfect home for an accent pillow that features feathers in an earthy tone from Two’s Company.
If your taste trends a little more to the glam end of the spectrum, you can still find ways to incorporate this motif, as with this silver bowl. Set upon a base of golden feathers, the decor piece is a glitzier example of the feather trend.
Fun Kids’ Beds
Children reign in Scandinavian culture so it’s no surprise that really fun beds for kids are now a big thing. This trend fits right in with Hygge and is perfect for children, especially during the long winter months when outdoor play is limited. From a simple playhouse style bed to a more elaborate car, airplane or Native American tent bed, the only limits to what you can do here are the imagination and budget. Of course, true Nordic-inspired children’s beds will likely feature more restrained designs.
Asian Inspired Lighting Fixtures
Just as we look to other cultures for fresh design perspectives, so do the Scandinavians, hence the nod to Asian-inspired lighting fixtures that are becoming very popular. If you think about it, both cultures share important design sensibilities, such as quality and simplicity, so it’s no wonder that Asian elements work well in Nordic-inspired interiors.
While you should never embrace a design trend just because it’s popular, there are lots of reasons that these 10 Scandinavian trends are catching on. Whichever ones speak to you and fit the style and design of your home, try incorporating them now. That way, you can enjoy them through the coldest of the winter months, when you spend the most time indoors.