6 Scandinavian Home Decor Trends You Won’t Regret, According to Designers

published Jun 18, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Ana Kamin

When decorating your home, you might be hesitant to completely dive into a design style, fearing that the trends you go all in on will be just a flash in the pan. If you’ve been a fan of Scandinavian interiors for a while though, here’s some good news: Scandi style’s modern, simple, and functional ethos lends itself to being long-lasting.

Scandinavian design is all about function, comfort, clean lines, earthy muted palettes, and understated chic,” says designer Sara Beverin. That said, some of the furnishings and design elements that fit into these individual categories might be a safer bet than others, especially if you’re hesitant to double down on a style that can be a bit minimalistic with maximalism on the rise again. Don’t worry: Here’s a designer-approved list of Scandinavian trends you won’t regret investing in, definitely over the next couple of years and who knows—maybe even decades?

Gustavian Furniture

While the term “Scandinavian furniture” typically brings to mind plain but sturdy Danish wooden tables and chairs, sometimes silhouettes are less mid-century modern, and more fancy modern farmhouse. For example, designer Courtney McLeod of Right Meets Left Interior Design suggests investing in Swedish furniture done in the Gustavian style. “You won’t regret investing in antique Gustavian furniture,” says McLeod. “The delicate details, beautiful proportions, and airy finishes perfectly complement contemporary interiors. Modern Antiquarian is one of my favorite places to find these pieces.”

If you can’t find an original 18th century piece, there are plenty of repros on the market, and IKEA carries some Swedish heritage pieces that have this kind of influence. Try mixing Gustavian furniture in pale grays, creamy whites, and subtle blues with dark brown woods to help you execute a beautiful, Scandi style design scheme.

Pops of Robin’s Egg Blue

Scandinavian interior design incorporates mostly neutral and natural tones, with the exception of a particular shade of blue—robin’s egg blue, which is a calming, cool color that plays well with the whites and blonde woods associated with Scandi style. “Robin’s egg blue is a classic element of Scandinavian style that you won’t regret incorporating into your decor,” says McLeod. “Paint your walls in this soothing hue as a beautiful background to the airy feel of Scandinavian decor.”

If you don’t want to commit to painted walls, try incorporating the color with soft throws or an area rug. You can also pick up decorative accessories in this fun shade, as seen in the above bedroom’s set of storage boxes and pottery.

Natural Touches

Ever heard of anyone regretting adding greenery, real or fake, to their space? Me either. Bringing natural touches into a home adds an element of life that instantly brightens and energizes a room. “Displays of nature can add living elements to the home and allow you to bring natural colors to the normally white, grey, and muted shades typical of Scandinavian design,” says designer Nina Barnieh-Blair of NinaBDesign.

Plants and flowers are obvious ways to bring in nature, but Barnieh-Blair suggests you think outside the box. “Look for unique pebbles, shells, or driftwood from the beach, or display finds from the forest, like interesting clusters of acorns,” she says. Along with plants, you can add these kinds of items to vignettes on tables, shelves, windowsills, or even a fireplace mantel. You can also display pretty branches in a vase or hang a piece of fallen wood on the wall as though it were a sculptural wall hanging.

High Contrast Hues

Clean, simple designs are refreshing, but incorporating a hit or two of a deeper tone can help you achieve the same minimalistic effect—just with a little extra definition and drama.

“Don’t be afraid to play with contrasting pieces,” says designer Candace Griffin of Candace Mary Interiors. “If you’re styling with light woods that have subtle variations in color, like blonde wood with pink undertones, these types of woods work incredibly well with black, charcoal, and deep blues.” You can see this principle at play in the above dining area Griffin designed, where wishbone-shaped chairs with black frames help to spatially define and ground a blonde farmhouse table.

If you feel like your Scandi style room is a little too airy and visually “empty,” you won’t regret adding a darker furnishing or two to the mix for this very reason. These items will also play well with a moodier design scheme, should you want to go that route in your home sometime down the road.

Tonal Texture

Texture is another Scandi design element that you will never regret incorporating into your space. Adding textured elements helps provide visual interest and depth to a room, which is key to Scandinavian design. When there’s little to no variation in terms of color in a given space, texture is what will make all the difference.

“My approach with Scandinavian design is texture on texture—think rattan, woven paper cord, and faux sheepskin,” says Griffin. “Playing up the typical neutral tones of Scandinavian style with variation in materials and texture will make the space feel warm and inviting while achieving the cool, minimal Scandinavian feel.”

Beverin also swears by texture to help add life to your space. “Try mixing textures, patterns, and scales to keep things interesting and have a subtle but impactful effect,” she says. For an investment you won’t regret, shop for a minimal, Scandi style leather ottoman or chair that’s as comfortable as it is pleasing to the eye. If you’re not ready to invest in all new furniture or finishes, Beverin suggests focusing on textiles—adding a chunky knit blanket or sheepskin throw to your space brings a touch of softness and coziness to your space.

Furnishings with Clean Lines

To complement the less-is-more, airy look of Scandinavian decor, many designers say you won’t regret investing in unique and modern furnishings with clean lines, especially ones created or inspired by iconic Scandinavian designers.

“There are so many beautiful pieces of furniture from the mid-century period,” says Beverin. “Designers like Hans Wegner and Alvar Aalto have pieces that embody unique elements that style well with Scandinavian decor. ” What’s great about furniture with clean lines is that these pieces create a neutral backdrop that you can layer decorative accessories on, even if, stylistically, your choices aren’t textbook Scandinavian. After all, as Beverin perhaps says it best: The secret to perfecting non-regret worthy designs that are far from boring is layering, contrast, and adding in a few unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.