The best things in life are often the simplest, and the clean aesthetic of Scandinavian interior design is testament to that. But there’s an artful knack to making sleek, minimal style feel warm and inviting. The key is to use a blend of textures and a pared-back palette, as well as embracing the hygge philosophy. Want to get the Scandi look in your living room? Read on for our tips...
Scandinavians are renowned for keeping their living spaces simple and stripped-back. But they're also experts at adding just the right amount of texture to keep things from becoming cold and clinical. It's about creating an ambient atmosphere, that the Danish call 'hygge' (pronounced hue-guh). There's no direct translation but it relates to a feeling of general contentment and cosiness. Think chunky knit blankets, sheepskin rugs, fluffy cushions and rugs dotted on wooden floors for adding an instant layer of warmth.
To channel the minimal Scandi aesthetic in your living room, look to the landscape to inspire your choice of colours. Mother Nature never gets it wrong, so this is the best way to create a visually calming and harmonious effect. Start with white or grey walls (to draw in the natural light) and layer a few accessories in a restrained palette of dusty pink, ice blue, forest green, moss, mustard or amber. Continue to bring the outside in with plants and fresh flowers.
Due to their long, dark winters, Scandi interiors are filled with as much light as possible. Huge windows (with contemporary blinds instead of heavy curtains) and white walls help, but adding the right type of artificial lighting is also key. Pendant clusters give soft multi-directional light—try groups of shades in tonal hues with wooden details. Create a cute reading nook with an angled floor or table lamp. And copious amounts of candles grouped in an open fireplace make for a truly hygge living room.
Renowned for their clean lines and clever craftsmanship, Scandinavian furniture design is aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional. Not only does the landscape inspire the colour palette, but the natural materials used, too. Think leather, wood, wool and linen which wear well—if not look better—over time. Invest in the items you'll use regularly—sofas, chairs, tables, sideboards and rugs. The secret to success? Keeping pieces simple and streamlined.