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Scandinavian Furniture: A Complete Guide

September, 2022
Scandinavian design is an influential genre of design that has greatly impacted and influenced other layers of design. It is a form of design that has stood the test of time, and below we’ve provided a guide to Scandinavian furniture design.
scandinavian style furniture

What is Scandinavian Furniture?

Scandinavian furniture is a design that grew in popularity between the 1930s and the 1970s, and it was introduced to the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. It is known for its simple, clean straight lines and minimalism. The form of interior design mostly comes from Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, and the minimalist style was a reaction to the social changes in Europe towards the end of the first World War.
During its beginning years, there were limited raw material resources available to Europe, which was part of the inspiration for this design. The Scandinavian design focuses on minimalism and sustainability, which was appealing to many different countries.
Scandinavian design grew in popularity once more in the 1990s and early 2000s, and it still remains prevalent everywhere today.


There are many different elements that go into creating the Scandinavian style, and we’ve outlined some of the more important ones below.


In the average Scandinavian home, the organization was very important. Everything had a proper place, from dishes to furniture. The Nordic never had a cluttered mess, instead organizing their furnishing to give more open space. The purpose of the empty space was to create a relaxing atmosphere.
To achieve this look, declutter and remove any unnecessary items from your rooms. From then, rearrange and organize the remaining items, and designate areas for different items. If you still need more storage space, there are decorative bins and containers that can fit this aesthetic.
contemporary style furniture

Natural Light

The winters and Scandinavia are dark and gray, so in Scandinavian countries, sunlight is a part of the design. Homes are designed to emphasize natural light with pale furnishings, large open windows, and white walls.
Illuminate your rooms more by removing dark drapes and curtains. You can have shiny glass materials to help spread light through the space, as well as wooden pieces like tables and chairs with lacquer finishes to add a shine.

Natural Elements

Natural elements like wood are a large part of the Scandinavian design because of their love for the outdoors. Other outdoorsy elements, like crystals and pine cones, are common in Scandinavian-styled spaces.
Incorporate soft textures and light woods, like pine. A wool throw can be added to the room for warmth, and small branches and woodsy elements like pine cones can be arranged around a fireplace or shelves.


Scandinavian homes are typically minimalist; they are designed for convenience and practicality, and all of the furnishings are functional. You would be hard-pressed to find clutter or other accessories.

Neutral Colors

Most Scandinavian-styled homes are painted almost entirely white and include subtle shades of pastels, tan, gray, and black. This helps the space feel more open and spacious. However, you can find vibrant shades in subtle pops of color on blankets, pillows, or furniture.
If a neutral color palette isn’t quite for you, you can add small decorations like wall art or shelving decorations. Just try not to add too many, or else it will make the space feel cluttered.

Clean Lines 

One of the key aspects of Scandinavian furniture is the clean lines and geometric shapes. These can be achieved by adding square or rectangular frames and furnishing your home with tables, sofas, and chairs with straight, firm legs and clean lines.


Now that you have the knowledge of the different characteristics of Scandinavian design, we’ve outlined how you can design a few different rooms of your home with Scandinavian home furniture.

Scandinavian Dining Room Furniture

The furnishings within a Scandinavian dining room and kitchen are meant to be clean and functional. Scandinavian dining room tables with straight legs and clean lines help to achieve this look, and a small chandelier or lights in the corners are a great way to brighten up the space. Scandinavian oak furniture tends to be darker, so oak Scandinavian dining chairs or side tables are excellent ways to incorporate dark accents. You can pair a lighter Scandinavian dining table to pair with oak chairs.
scandinavian design dining table

Scandinavian Living Room Furniture

The Scandinavian living room is meant to create a cozy and bright space for your family and guests. You’ll want to clear the room of any clutter and complement it with wood flooring. Lighten up the space with lamps and open windows, as well as change the paint on your walls to a lighter shade. Include a wooden Scandinavian coffee table, which tends to be placed closer to the sofas and chairs.
Small decor like hanging plants and small succulents are important for giving the space an outdoorsy feel.

Scandinavian Office Furniture

Scandinavian offices are minimalistic, set up with natural wood desks and minimal office chairs with clean lines. An open window to brighten up the space is encouraged, and it can be accentuated with a small wool rug for color. If you’re not sure where to look, you can find Scandinavian office furniture online.
Scandinavian mid-century furniture is the perfect choice for your home, and they are the perfect way to achieve the Scandinavian style. Follow this guide to educate yourself on the characteristics of Scandinavian design but don’t be afraid to add your own personal touches.

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