25 Simple Interior Updates to Create a Modern Scandi Style
A Scandinavian approach to interior design first became popular worldwide just a few short years ago and is still going strong, Scandi style embraces the concepts of hygge and lagom, which roughly translate to mean ‘cosy’ and the idea of ‘enough’ or ‘just right’.
Scandinavian design is all about creating simple interiors, which are functional and aesthetically pleasing, but never overwhelming. Read more on the French approach to pairing furniture with coherence.
Cosy with clean lines, soft and warm lighting and lots of textures, the Scandi lifestyle encourages us all to value what we have by taking a less is more approach to interior design and our everyday lifestyle.
This style can easily be incorporated into our homes, in both modern and period properties. Once you commit to a few Scandi updates in the home, you’ll quickly find that you fall in love with this simple and pleasing approach to home decor.
Read on to discover 25 simple interior updates to create a modern Scandi style…
1. Introduce Raw Materials
There’s a lot of focus on raw and natural materials in Scandinavian design. Untreated wood plays an important role, adding warmth and texture to the otherwise typically neutral schemes. A monochrome palette can be incredibly striking and is very on-trend.
For rooms that are dark and lacking in natural light, focus on white tones to make the space appear bigger and brighter. Soften the look by introducing soft furnishings in grey, and ground by adding a few statement pieces in contrasting black. Grey rugs would work particularly well with this scheme. If you’re looking to add further interest, you could try a stylish grey round rug.
For bright and airy spaces, you can be bolder with darker shades, but don’t forget to balance the look by introducing white too.
2. Style Open Shelving
Open shelving can look very stylish. It’s also great for spaces that you want to keep open and airy by keeping storage light, opting for open shelves over large chunky pieces of furniture.
Choosing shelving instead of top units in the kitchen can be especially effective, as it helps make the space feel more open at eye level. Styling open shelving is key to creating a cohesive and well put together look. Open shelves should only really display items of beauty, and ideally these items will share a colour palette.
When grouping items for shelf styling, try grouping in threes, and avoid making the shelves look too uniform, by leaving varying spaces between each group.
8. Introduce House Plants
Embracing nature and bringing the outside in is the perfect way to introduce colour to Nordic decor. Not only do house plants completely transform the look and feel of the home, they also filter the air, making them ideal if you live in a city or busy area.
Try introducing house plants in varying sizes and styles, and at varying heights throughout your home. Mix floor standing plants, small plants on shelves and hanging plants to add interest and embrace natural materials in a different way.
9. Create a Cosy Feel
Hygge is all about creating that warm and comforting feeling, much like a hot bath at the end of a long day, or a comforting meal when the weather is cold. Lots of texture and soft furnishings will go a long way towards creating a cosy home.
10. Mix and Match Furniture
While remaining simple, there’s a real authentic and unique feel to Scandinavian design. Generally, it’s best to add interest with textures, but if you favour an eclectic look, it’s possible to incorporate this into your Nordic inspired home.
Rather than creating a ‘matchy matchy’ look, mix and match a few pieces for an unexpected but highly effective finish.
In the dining room, try sourcing vintage and antique chairs in the same tone of wood, or painted, but in different styles to create a unique look.
11. Keep Things Simple
When it comes to planning and styling your home, avoid overthinking things to achieve an organic finish. Source items and furniture that suits your scheme, but include items that you love that really mean something to you too.
Nordic interiors shouldn’t look too stuffy or overly planned, it’s all about creating a fuss free space that appears natural and comfortable, while being free from clutter and unnecessary distractions.
12. Introduce Subtle Colour
If the idea of all white interiors seems like it might be a little too stark for you, it is possible to embrace the Scandi style while still including a little colour in your home. Pastels and muted shades work well with this scheme.
Try introducing a few key pieces of colour throughout with soft furnishings and accessories.
You might find all you need is a cosy deep pile rug in a pastel tone, and a few vases in the same shade to add warmth and interest to your otherwise neutral scheme.
13. Create a Reading Nook
This style is all about making your home functional and comfortable. We all want to find time to escape and unwind from time to time, even if you just manage to steal 15 minutes of alone time here and there, having a space to retreat to can be absolute bliss.
If you have an unused corner or a space that’s currently a little wasted, restyle it to create a dedicated space for reading and relaxing.
For example, if you were to paint your walls dark grey, you might opt for light wood flooring and white ceilings, or in a white room, ground your scheme with a dark grey sofa, or dark rich wood dining table.
15. Add Additional Storage Space
Clutter is a big no in Nordic homes, which is why clever storage is a must, to keep anything unattractive that might be considered as clutter tidied away.
For any unsightly objects, concealed storage is a must. Sideboards and other storage units should still be stylish, but practical too.
Generally, curtains can often be a little fussy and block out what could be used space under the window too, and so they don’t always suit this style of interior design.
Instead of curtains, consider investing in quality shutters made from natural wood. Traditionally these are left in their natural form, or painted white to maximise the light from the widows. If shutters are a little out of budget, simple roller blinds can work well too.
18. Embrace Empty Space
Many of us have a tendency to want to fill empty space in our homes, but the Nordic approach is to embrace the feeling of space and being able to move freely around the home.
19. Create a Cosy Feel with Lighting
Lighting is really important in Scandi interiors and Scandi living rooms, with the Danish being said to invest large amounts of their home decor budgets in striking lighting. In order to create a versatile, function and cosy home all in one, layering lighting is key.
For a home to be practical, the light levels need to be adjustable to suit all occasions. On dark evenings when your little ones’ are doing their homework, they will need adequate lighting so that they can see properly, but also so that they feel alert and engaged. Equally, it’s also important to have a cosy lighting option, for relaxed evenings or dinner parties with friends to create the perfect atmosphere.
This can be achieved by layering various levels of light. This doesn’t mean filling your room with lots of light fittings, as this can create a confusing scheme with little coherence. Instead consider a main light fitting where the light levels can be adjusted, a pair of dimmer wall lights, and a few table top lamps or a floor standing lamp for lower lighting.
… Fresh flowers will also add a lovely scent to your home too.
22. Stick to Simple Form
When choosing furniture for your Scandi scheme, look for simple pieces with clean lines. Mid-century modern furniture works brilliantly for this look. Often simple and functional in dark wood hues, think sideboards on legs, round wood and glass coffee tables, upholstered accent chairs and simple grey sofas on wooden legs, all of which would fit perfectly in a Nordic home.
A jute rug is a gorgeous natural floor covering option for Scandi style decor.
24. Add a Subtle Pattern through Soft Furnishings
Because of the neutral colour palette, it can be easily to accidentally allow Scandi interiors to become a little too plain. A great way to add interest in addition to natural materials and metals is through pattern. Modern patterns work best in this scheme – think bohemian, Aztec and geometrics. You could try a contemporary geometric rug, or if you prefer more traditional designs, a Persian rug will also work well to add warmth, a touch of colour and pattern.
… With a rug from us, quality is guaranteed and we even offer free delivery to mainland UK.
25. Use Mirrors to Maximise Light
Mirrors are a fantastic way to bounce light around the room and make your space appear bigger. Positioning mirrors opposite windows can be really effective for this, as it allows natural light to be reflected throughout the room.
Additionally, large mirrors can become a statement piece in their own right, especially if they have an interesting shape or frame.