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How to get the Scandi look in your home


Natural, minimal and practical, Scandinavian design seems like an ideal fit for a minimalistic lifestyle. Here are a few surprisingly simple and affordable ways to achieve the Scandi look.

Scandinavian style is an ideal fit for the minimalist home. Picture: West Elm

Natural accents

Scandi style embraces nature, so start by looking for colours and materials that remind you of the great outdoors. For instance, stick to wooden furniture in dining and lounge areas, and accent with soft materials like linen, wool and felt. It helps if you have wooden floors, but you could also capture the essence of the wilderness by using a shaggy rug.

It’s about the outdoor feels – layer natural fabrics over wooden furniture. Picture: Designbx


Incorporating different textures and materials in every room will add character and depth. It may not be strictly Scandi, but using one or two contrasting materials like leather, jute, metals, faux fur and wood will create beautiful harmony in your space.

However, always be aware of the magical balance Nordic designers call ‘lagom’, which refers to creating a look that has just the right amount of layers, patterns and colour. How do you find ‘lagom’ in your home? Be a little experimental. Trial and error is an underrated technique. If in doubt, pare it back.

All the fabric-covered pieces here are grey, but their different tones and textures add variation and depth to the room. Picture: LaPorte

Muted colour palette

Bright colours are rarely used in Scandinavian design. This is a style that embraces neutrals and simplicity. Slate grey, midnight blue and off white are commonly seen in designs and can be used to contrast one another.

However, if you love bright highlights, build upwards from a monochromatic base and lift with only a few pops of colour. Pastel tones are favoured in the style. Choose neutrals for feature pieces and artworks to avoid grabbing too much attention, but if there’s one safe colour to use as an accent, it’s blue.

If there’s one safe colour to use as an accent, it’s blue. Picture: Schiavello


As agents of style and practicality, Scandinavians know how to do minimalism well. The notion of ‘less is more’ is fundamental, so analyse what you need in your living space and clear out unnecessary furniture and accessories to create a cleaner and more spacious look. Scandi design is about functionality and having room to move is a key part of that.

Scandi also teaches us that there are subtle ways to make an impact. You’ll find something as simple as geometric shapes and lines will make your room pop.

Less is more with Scandi style, so analyse what you realistically need in your living space. Picture: Designbx

Be creative

Just because simplicity and function is embraced, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity. In fact, many pioneering interior design trends came from Scandinavians, who are known for perfecting clever living spaces, no matter how big or small.

Creative lighting is a great way to add a whimsical touch, or make your own home gallery with unique art and prints on a wall. Alternatively, add that crucial finishing touch with a stunning, structured item of furniture, which is yet another traditional strength of Scandinavian design.

Scandinavian design isn’t void of creativity, especially when it comes to displaying art. Picture: James Lane

Due to its minimalism, a Scandinavian makeover probably one of the most affordable. The real challenge is letting go, stripping back belongings and committing to monochromatic palettes.

This article was originally published as How to get the Scandi look in your home by and is written by Kerena Berry.

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