Style Spotlight

Scandinavian Home

Isn’t Scandi Dandy?

When it comes to my own personal design preference, it would probably be called ‘Surf Scandinavia’.  I love a mid-century vibe.  Add a splash of vintage surf, take that and mix it with the aesthetic that Scandinavian style emits…and well…I just can’t put my words around it.  It’s just something that you feel when you walk into a room.  I had the chance to visit Norway a few years back and see this aesthetic “in real life” and let me tell you, it was incredible.

What is Scandinavian Design

It is minimalistic and functional. But don’t let the simple design fool you; the craftsmanship and attention to detail are stellar and not always visible at first glance. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll realize it is genius. This style emerged early on in the 20th century and really came into mainstream culture in the 1950’s.  Clean lines are the trademark from these designs that came from the Nordic nations of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden.  Each of those countries creates this style with natural ease and with their own spin on it.  Swedish furniture is definitely minimal, but it is also known to be functional as well.  Yeah I know, you’re thinking about IKEA right now.  And they’ve done a great job of bringing Scandinavian design to our homes, but there is much more to this design style than just a Billy bookcase or Laktorp table.

In the Home

Light colors dominate in Scandinavian style, and that is done to offset the darkness of the winter in the Nordic countries.  White walls and ceilings – even floors, are standard, and light wood is the norm. You might think that this can give your home a cold and uninviting vibe, but it’s the textiles and layers that are added to give it that hygge vibe.  (What’s hygge?  It’s that cozy comfy feeling that our Scandinavian friends have perfected.) Use natural fibers like wool and cotton to create layers of warmth and create an inviting home with your blankets, pillows and rugs.

light colors, natural elements

Are you ready to bring this style in your home?  Here’s how:

  1. Natural Elements – wood, plants, natural fabrics
  2. Lighting – simple design, a lot of natural lighting, candles
  3. Colors – keep them generally light; color is added via accessories in one bold piece or accent, or with plants
  4. Design – it doesn’t have to match; the pieces are functional and well-made

Benjamin Child/bright accent color

Kirill Zakharov/negative wall space
Daniil Silantev/natural lighting done in two ways
Derek Swalwell/sleek design
Benjamin Voros / warm textile elements

Next time we’ll take a look at Scandinavian style in buildings and other design elements.  In the meantime, let me know if you’ve brought this style into your own home.

Ty Pennington

Ty Pennington is best known as the Emmy-award winning host of "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and as the co-host of ABC Daytime's "The Revolution." He has been recognized as a home design expert, carpenter and leader in the field of volunteerism. is a space to share his inspiration, design tips, daily musings and more. Ty can currently be seen on TLC's Trading Spaces.

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