Scandinavian style: reasons for its popularity and the philosophy of lagom.

Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design is one of the most popular styles in the world due to its simplicity, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. This makes it highly practical and convenient to use. This style was developed in Northern Europe in the 1920s and has since gained immense popularity worldwide. The style is named after its geographical origin. Northern European countries such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are often referred to as Scandinavian.

One of the reasons for the popularity of Scandinavian design is its versatility. This style suits various types of interiors and can be applied to different spaces, from small apartments to large houses, villas, offices, restaurants, hotels, sports centers, and more. Scandinavian style is a clear illustration of the Swedish philosophy of moderation and sufficiency known as "lagom".

Learn more about the philosophy of "lagom" in interior design here.

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What is Characteristic of Scandinavian Style?

  1. One of the main characteristics of Scandinavian design is its minimalism. This style is characterized by clean, simple lines, minimal use of decor, and bright colors, creating a sense of space and light. Scandinavian design is also known for its use of natural materials such as wood, leather, wool, and linen, which create a pleasant and cozy atmosphere.
  2. Another feature of Scandinavian design is its emphasis on functionality and convenience. Furniture and decor items in this style often have clean lines and simple forms while being highly comfortable and functional. This is especially important for those who value practicality and comfort in their homes, offices, restaurants, or hotels.
  3. Finally, Scandinavian design is also renowned for its use of light. In Northern Europe, the days are often short and dark, making light essential. Interiors in this style incorporate large windows to maximize natural light, as well as soft and pleasant lighting fixtures and light colors that reflect light and visually enlarge spaces.

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Overall, Scandinavian design looks simple and elegant, and its worldwide popularity is explained by its universality and adaptability to various types of interiors and lifestyles. Thanks to its functionality and convenience, this design style can help create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere anywhere.

Another reason for the popularity of Scandinavian design is its eco-friendliness. The use of natural materials in this style creates a pleasant atmosphere and has minimal impact on the environment. It is a truly timeless trend in design. Many designers intentionally focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility in their projects, using recycled materials or materials that are recyclable.

Scandinavian style is characterized by predominantly light colors such as white, beige, and pastel tones. It is distinguished by four key components: simplicity, practicality, clean lines, and restrained elegance. This design style aims to create a cozy and functional atmosphere where each element serves a specific purpose and is not superfluous. Scandinavian design leaves an impression of elegance and restraint while preserving practicality and ease of use.

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Project by Symbol Residential Complex

How Does Scandinavian Style Differ from Minimalism?

Scandinavian style and Scandinavian minimalism are one and the same. It can be considered a subspecies of the minimalist family, which features a specific set of materials, colors, furniture shapes, accessories, and the philosophy of functionality. The formula for creating Scandinavian design is simple: white walls, an accent wall in gray or bright color or with wallpaper (the wallpaper pattern also matters), simple geometric wooden furniture of light wood color (light oak, ash, birch), graphite or black details.

  1. Firstly, Scandinavian style differs from minimalism in its use of warmer and pleasant colors, such as white, beige, and pastel shades, often combined with wood. In contrast, minimalism may use only white and black, and its main idea is to create a space filled with light and empty space.
  2. Secondly, Scandinavian style usually has a cozier and more inviting atmosphere compared to minimalism. Scandinavian interiors often use soft and tactile materials, such as wool, cotton, and linen, creating a warmer and more inviting ambiance. In contrast, minimalism aims for colder and harder materials, such as metal, glass, and plastic, creating a sense of "coolness" and detachment.
  3. Thirdly, Scandinavian style may include various decorative elements with patterns, such as textile items, pillows, blankets, wall art, adding a more cozy and homely appearance to the interior. In contrast, minimalism strives for minimal decor and may use only a few elements to create space.
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The main difference lies in the geographical affiliation of the components of the style to Scandinavia (furniture and accessories' shapes), distinguishing Scandinavian style from minimalism.

Scandinavian Style Kitchen

A kitchen in Scandinavian style is characterized by the use of light shades, natural materials, and minimalist design. Wood, marble, and natural stone are often used to create an elegant and pleasant atmosphere. The main colors are white, beige, and gray, with occasional bright accents in red, blue, or green.

A kitchen in Scandinavian style may have simple, functional furniture with smooth surfaces and clean lines. Usually, there are no overhead cabinets; instead, open shelves or cabinets with glass doors are commonly used to create a more spacious and bright space. Textile elements such as tablecloths, towels, and cushions may also be used to add comfort and warmth.

The kitchen in Scandinavian style may include various decorative elements such as tableware, candles, flowers, or animal and nature images on the walls to create a more pleasant atmosphere and decorate the space. Overall, a Scandinavian-style kitchen offers a spacious, bright, and inviting space for food preparation and socializing with family and friends.

Doors in Scandinavian Style

Doors in Scandinavian interiors typically have a simple and minimalist design. The main colors for doors in this style are white, light gray, beige, and natural wood color. White doors are considered a classic choice and form the basis of Scandinavian interior design. Other light and neutral shades, such as light gray or beige, may be used to create a softer contrast with wall and floor colors. However, if the interior design calls for the use of bright colors and decor, doors can be customized accordingly, for example, painted with bold colors or have a vibrant print.

Furniture Pieces

Furniture constructions are also simple and sleek, without excessive decorations and details. Instead, the focus is on functionality and ergonomics. Scandinavian style often involves modular elements that can easily be combined and adapted based on needs and preferences. Textile elements like soft poufs, cushions, and blankets made from natural materials such as wool or linen are often added for comfort and coziness in the interior.

It is the use of natural materials that makes Scandinavian style unique and appealing to many. It not only creates a connection to nature but also ensures the high quality and durability of interior items. For example, wood, in various shades from light to dark, is frequently used in Scandinavian interiors. It can be birch, oak, ash, pine, or fir, and is used for flooring, furniture, and decor. Leather and fur, also common in Scandinavian style, add texture and warmth to the interior. Stone can be used for wall cladding or creating fireplaces, while metal and glass add modernity and lightness to the interior.

Wall and Floor Finishes

In addition to plaster and panels, various types of wallpaper are also used to decorate walls in Scandinavian style. However, wallpapers should be in neutral tones without bright patterns or designs. As for floors, the most popular material is wood, such as planks or parquet, which can also be painted in light tones. In some cases, ceramic tiles may be used, but they should imitate wood or stone and be in neutral shades.

Room Decoration

In addition to ceilings, floors play a significant role in Scandinavian style interiors. They are often covered with natural wood, which can be either unfinished or have a clear lacquer coating. White or gray wooden or laminate floors are also popular. Moreover, to create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere, soft carpets in pleasant pastel shades are often used in the interior.

Building Materials

Scandinavian style interiors use simple and natural building materials such as glass, high-quality metal, stone, ceramics, and genuine leather. However, one should avoid plastic, although it can be cleverly incorporated into modern interiors. Everything in this style exudes naturalness and the quality of materials.


In the Scandinavian style, lighting should be soft and abundant. To create this interior, having natural lighting is important, so homes and apartments in Scandinavian countries usually have large windows. It is not advisable to completely cover them, as there are no lighting issues during the day thanks to natural light. For windows, it is recommended to use small curtains made of natural materials such as cotton or linen.


One of the main features of Scandinavian interiors is the absence of live plants as decoration. Instead, various items made of natural wood are often used, such as tree stump tables, rough wooden boards, or massive branches. Paintings with natural patterns are also a popular decor element. Animal skins are used to decorate the floor or sofa. Decorative elements add brightness and liveliness to the interior. Designers recommend using textiles with traditional Scandinavian patterns.


In the Scandinavian style, the bedroom represents a spacious and bright space. Although open windows might be an issue for this intimate area, they can easily be replaced with small roll-up curtains made of natural materials. Instead of a large amount of furniture, a comfortable bed with a good mattress, a couple of bedside tables, a few floor lamps, and storage space will be sufficient. Open hangers or small but capacious wardrobes are usually used. It is advisable to avoid large built-in wardrobes to avoid cluttering the space.

Project by Transforming a One-Bedroom Apartment into a Four-Bedroom

Living Room

The Scandinavian style in the interior of the living room emphasizes its coziness and functionality. The main goal is to create a comfortable atmosphere for relaxation, and this style accomplishes it perfectly. Light wall and furniture tones create a sense of spaciousness, and open windows allow enjoying the vibrant colors of nature. The interior can be easily refreshed by adding a few new details, such as decorating the walls with unusual posters or using pillows with unique patterns. To avoid cluttering the space, open shelves are recommended for storing books and other items.

For more information about the "lagom" philosophy in the interior, read HERE.

To learn about the differences between luxury interior and standard renovation, read HERE.

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