Scandinavian Design: 16 Ways to Embrace Hygge and Lagom

Posted 07/06/2018 by The Dimensions™ DIY Team

What retailers call “Scandi,” you may know as minimalism, Nordic or simply decluttering and brightening.

Call it what you will, we’re all familiar with the warm and cozy yet clean and functional design movement born almost 70 years ago in Northern Europe – a motif that's taken deep root and become ubiquitous worldwide.

For enthusiasts, we bring reassuring news: The Scandinavian design influence shows no sign of losing steam. Instead, it continues to evolve, bringing fresh style and surprising juxtaposition to a wide range of interior design schemes.

If you’re looking to dial up the Scandi in your space — whether you’re a devotee or prefer just a hint here and there — it’s as simple as combining and layering your favorite iconic elements or tossing a few of the latest trends into the mix.



11 Signature Scandinavian Looks

    1. Create contrast with classic black and white — or any bold, saturated color combined with any soft hue.

Via Birch and Bird - The Home of Nina Holst

från olika projekt via widadesign.se

Photo by Natalie Lysaught via Houzz, photo 66401886,
Victoria St., Beaconsfield, Sydney, AU, Scandinavian bedroom

Photo credit: Kim Armstrong

Via Scandinavian Design Center - Scandinavian table settings

bologliv.dk via Elle Decor - Scandinavian Trends


    2. Throw lush fabrics over hard or cold surfaces — think plush, over-the-top throws made from fur, sheepskin or chunky yarn. Toss casually over wood or metal and scatter rich rugs across bare floors.

Via HomeDIT - Scandinavian designs

Via Myscandinavianhome.blogspot.se

Via Etsy - Listing 239207728

@myscandinavianhome via Elle Decor - Scandinavian trends

Via Home-designing - Scandinavian and danish-
style chairs furniture

Photo by Stephani Buchman via Houzz, photo 16364449,
Lake Simcoe Residence, Toronto, Canada


    3. Mix and match leather, stone, glass, wood, textiles and metal all within the same small space.

Fotografía + Estilismos Atemporales
via Petite Candela Blogspot

David Howell Design via Freshome -
Why Mix-and-Matching is Important in your Interiors

d.mesure – Elodie Sire

Via Jonasberg portfolio, Stadshem2

Photo by Chad Holder via Houzz, photo 14145006,
Golden Valley Renovation, Minneapolis, MN

Photo by Jessica Antola via Domino -
Dreamy Statement Lights


    4. Pair earthy, rustic or shabby chic with modern or classic.

By Kiki via blogg.damernasvarld.se

Delphine Queme via Houzz, photo 81643922 -
Contemporary bathroom, Paris, FR

Via MyScandinavianHome

Image by Nº 50 Studio on Instagram via Creative Market blog - 50 Dazzling Examples That'll Inspire You to Try It

Jose Hevia via Cargo Collective/Peperamos

Livlige Rom via TheAceOfSpace blog -
Design Trends 2015 Scandinavia


    5. Make subtle, monochromatic color shifts.

Via Onekindesign, 2016/02/05 - 45 Scandinavian Bedroom Ideas that are Modern and Stylish

Via Scandinavian Design Center -
Inspiration 2017 Trends

Alvhem Home via MyDomaine - Lagom slide 5

Via homeDIT - Scandinavian designs


    6. Cue the geometric rug patterns.

Via HomeyOhMy

Via AtHomeInLove -
Bright and airy Scandinavian home

Via HomeDIT - Scandinavian designs

Via FashionSquad -
A beautiful Stockholm home


    7. Invest in iconic furniture (or replicas) like a butterfly sling chair, Wenger Wishbone and Elbow chairs, a set of Panton Chairs, see-through ghost chairs or an Eames-style recliner.

Via Home Designing - Scandinavian and Danish-style chairs

Via HomeyOhMy

Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by One Girl Interiors

Via Vertigo Home Collections, Panton chairs by Vitra

Photo by Kelsy Ann Rose via Domino - Ikea Tobias chairs

@themodernhouse via Vogue Gallery -
10 Best Interior Instagrams to Follow Now - Eames


    8. Add oversized, dramatic or distinctive light fixtures.

4-Room HDB - Punggol Walk via Houzz, photo 61120385 -
Contemporary dining room, Singapore

Emily Summers via HomePortfolio

Nordic Design via Elle Decor - Scandinavian Trends, g2475

Photo by Amy Barlam via Domino - Dreamy Statement Lights

Via ModernHomeDecor EU - Home decorating ideas,
Scandinavian design trends

Via Houzz, photo 116888, Scandinavian kitchen, Boston, MA


    9. Pop color.

Via Onekindesign, 2016/02/05 - 45 Scandinavian
Bedroom Ideas that are Modern and Stylish

Сергей Колчин, Надежда Торшина via Houzz, photo 98433762

Via PassionShake - White and grey Scandinavian cottage

Via Freshome, 2014/11/27

Via LoveThomas Blogspot

Сергей Колчин, Надежда Торшина via Houzz, photo 98433762


    10. Create nature vignettes.

Via Hid360, post 147095849661, blue gallery wall

Via James Barton for Heart Home magazine

Via JJ Media, Location: Amberley

@minford_journal on Instagram

@local_milk on Instagram

@myscandinavianhome via Vogue UK, Gallery -
10 Best Interior Instagrams to Follow Now


    11. Liberally apply cacti and unusual botanicals with reckless abandon — even in the shower.

Via ModernHomeDecor EU - Scandinavian design trends

Via Italianbark - Interior Trends 2017, Scandi-Boho

Via TheMerryThought - Dwelling, Minimal Kitchen Reveal

Via Italianbark - Interior Trends 2017, Scandi-Boho

Lotta Agaton via techthink US, Scandinavian furniture

Photography by Paul Linnebach via Houzz, photo 102523017, The Resplendent Bath, Minneapolis, MN




5 New Takes on Scandinavian:

    1. Add more color, including Millennial Pink; vibrant primaries like Klein Blue; '70s mustard yellow, papaya orange and avocado; and '80s shades like teal and burgundy.

Boligcious via TheDesignChaser, 2014/04
Kitchen Inspo: Pretty Pastels

Photo by Consort - Bergen via Domino - Pops of Blue -
Bright Brooklyn Townhouse

Via techthink US - Scandinavian furniture

Hidden Tints by Note Design Studio via Italianbark -
Design Trends 2018: Designing for the Future

Via Saetha - The Latest Painting Trends for 2017

Сергей Колчин, Надежда Торшина via Houzz, photo 98433813


    2. Use bold color blocks.

Via YesPainter - Home Care:
Adding Colour to a Neutral Room

Bold, dramatic blocks of color help define a space and add personality.Via Decoist, 2015-07-20, Scandinavian kitchens designs with colored mosaic tile

Via Italianbark - Design Trends 2018:
Designing for the Future

Photography by Karina Illovska via Houzz, photo 4488077, Victorian Workers Cottage Addition, Sydney, AU


    3. Employ clever modular pieces.

Via Italianbark - Design Trends 2018: Designing for the Future

Via Ugo from LK Hjelle

Via Italianbark - Design Trends 2018: Designing for the Future

Via Couchpotatoslo, product 45

Via FirstFloor LU, shelf system

Photo by Mike Sinclair Photography via Houzz
photo 26009203, Downtown Kansas City condo


    4. Choose handmade items such as ceramics and pottery, blown glass, woven rugs and carved wood, all fancied for their functionality, personality and uniquely wonderful imperfections.

Via West Elm - Scandinavian glass vases, e1421

Via deutschedek, teppich auf teppich 3

By Eeliethel Scandinavian Studio

Zeuthen Denmark Pitcher, redware with white polka dot glaze, Mid Century Modern Scandinavian Pottery

Via Jurgen Lehl for Babaghuri on Tumblr

Via Etsy: Wohnstadt shop


    5. Create hybrids like Japandi (Japanese + Scandi) and more of the already popular Scandi-Boho (Scandinavian + Bohemian).

Via HomeDIT - Scandinavian designs

Via Italianbark - Japandi interior trend

Via HomeyOhMy

Via Italianbark - Japandi interior trend

Via Italianbark - Interior Trends 2017:
Scandi-Boho

Via Italianbark - Interior Trends 2017:
Scandi-Boho

Via Italianbark - Interior Trends 2017:
Scandi-Boho

Via Italianbark - Interior Trends 2017:
Scandi-Boho


What about Hygge and Lagom, You're Wondering?

Well, if you share our affinity for Scandinavian design, then you’re actually as familiar with these words as we are — even if you don’t know it yet....

Hygge is Scandinavian for coziness, warmth and deep contentment.
Lagom is Swedish for just enough, just right and not too much, but also intentionally imperfect.

And that's why — for those of us who appreciate Northern Europe's magic combination of clean and functional warmth and coziness — feeling deeply content at home is just right.

In fact, it’s perfect.

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