Create a Cozy and Stylish Scandinavian Living Room

Read Time (
August 4, 2023
Robern Design Solutions

Your living room should be an oasis of warmth and relaxation, a comfortable place to return to after a long day. Scandinavian interior design focuses on a sense of calm and coziness, blending the clean lines of modern minimalism with bright accents, plush textiles, and airy, open spaces.

From light wood furniture to neutral wall colors, there are various ways to incorporate Scandinavian design elements into your living room space. Explore these tips from Robern on embracing the functional and accessible world of Scandinavian living room design.  

What Is Scandinavian Style?

With origins in the early 20th century in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and surrounding countries, Scandinavian style interior design focuses on crisp and clean lines, as well as calming environments that still provide pieces of color and visual interest. While this style often feels minimalist and spare, Scandinavian design places an emphasis on comfort and improving daily life.  

When crafting a Scandinavian living room, look for ways to find style and design in the ordinary elements and furniture of a space. Use pattern and color sparingly and choose accents that evoke feelings of comfort and ease. This style is about intentional and mindful choices, creating a space that truly feels like home.  

Embrace a Sense of "Hygge"

scandinavian style living room with green houseplants

Roughly translating to “cozy togetherness,” hygge is a Danish word that has come to embody the aesthetic of comfort and warmth in interior design. Look for pieces that evoke feelings of comfort to create a Scandinavian modern living room that makes you feel truly at peace.  

Create an Airy Atmosphere With Light Hues

scandinavian style living room with bohemian decor accents

Even in compact areas, you can still create a living space that feels open and expansive. Take advantage of window light, choosing light furniture, decorative pieces, and neutral wall colors that can help the room feel larger. Add a few large plants to bring a touch of nature into your home and even improve the air quality.  

Choose Functional Yet Stylish Pieces

close up picture of a scandinavian style living room cabinet, wood drawer and brushed gold handle

Blend form and function with furniture and décor pieces that can double as storage while maintaining a decorative style. Look for warm wood pieces with metal finishes like brass and nickel to complete your Scandinavian style living room.  

Opt for Clean Lines and Minimalist Design

scandinavian style living room with wood floor and white wall

Clean, modern lines work well in Scandinavian design. In fact, this style often overlaps with mid-century modern décor elements, with narrow legs on furniture and metal light fixtures and accents.  

Soften a Stark Minimalist Scandinavian Living Room Design

white scandinavian style living room with plush white rug

Add softening elements like draperies and greenery to keep your Scandinavian living room from appearing too stark with its neutral colors and hard edges. A small plush area rug can also help create a warm and welcoming environment.  

Combine Neutral Colors With Light Wood

scandinavian style living room mirror with wood frame

Create a clean interior design for your Scandinavian minimalist living room with light neutral wall colors and warm, light wood accents. The grain of the wood adds a subtle sense of texture to the space, while maintaining a simplistic aesthetic.  

Create a Warm Scandinavian Living Room  

scandinavian style living room, black and white color scheme

Design an oasis of relaxation by choosing cozy seating, throws, and pillows. Add a neutral area rug for texture and visual interest. Complete the space’s design with easy-to-care-for plants like cacti and succulents.  

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Maintain an Airy, Open Space  

modern scandinavian style living room

Scandinavian design focuses on creating a decluttered area that leaves you plenty of space to move and helps you feel at ease. Light colors draw in natural light, establishing a sense of warmth and invitation.  

Be Intentional With Décor in a Scandinavian Living Room

A scandinavian style living room with a white couch and a coffee table
Credit: nhadatvideo

While Scandinavian interior design is often minimalist, that doesn’t mean you should have bare walls and no decorative accents. Instead, be mindful and thoughtful of what pieces you choose to create a cohesive whole.  

Select Warm Neutral Wall Colors

scandinavian style living room with wood shelves

While you can add color to a Scandinavian style living room, it’s best to use bright colors sparingly and opt for neutral wall colors that convey warmth. Opt for colors like beige, tan, off-white, and cream, which can serve as fitting backdrops to furniture and pops of color in décor items.  

Add Texture and Visual Interest With Cozy Details

scandinavian style living room with green couch and wood table

While minimalist Scandinavian design can appear simple, texture and textiles can add visual interest without overwhelming the space. From plush throws and patterned pillows to ottomans and poufs, there are a variety of ways to add comfort to your living space while maintaining a clear aesthetic.  

Add Greenery and Botanicals In Scandinavian Home Décor  

white scandinavian style living room with wood clock on wall

Scandinavian design pairs well with botanicals, which can add warmth and life to any space, bringing nature inside in a visually pleasing way. Decorate a shelf or desk with a small potted plant, add taller plants to the floor, or hang some from the ceiling.  

Find Functional Storage Solutions In a Scandinavian Modern Living Room

scandinavian style living room with gray wall, lighted mirror, and wood storage cabinet

Storage space in a Scandinavian living room design should be both stylish and practical, providing plenty of space to store items to prevent clutter, as well as the opportunity to display decorative accents. Explore bathroom shelving ideas to bring this design sensibility into other spaces in your home.  

Combine Warm Colors With Cozy Textures

white scandinavian style living room with boho accents

Choose light hues that can take advantage of natural light and make your living room space feel warm and open. Neutral wall colors paired with cozy blankets, rugs, and other details can transform your living space into a relaxing haven.  

Scandinavian Living Room FAQs

Are Scandinavian design and mid-century modern design the same?

While both Scandinavian and mid-century modern sensibilities have some similarities, they are two different design styles. In fact, both aesthetics evolved from a similar time and place and share modern, clean lines and a simplistic yet striking sensibility. In many cases, Scandinavian and mid-century design blend and pair well together, so you may find mid-century pieces that fit well in your Scandinavian living room.  

Can I add color to a Scandinavian living room?

While Scandinavian design features neutral tones, there’s plenty of opportunities to add touches of color and patterns throughout the space, especially in accents like area rugs and décor. Use color intentionally and sparingly to add warmth and visual interest to the room’s overall design.  

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