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6 ideas for a Scandinavian-style living room

05.2021

6 ideas for creating a stylish Nordic-look living room

Deciding upon a style for the living room is not always easy, given the incredible array of looks you can go for, from classic to industrial, from shabby chic to eclectic. One of the most popular in recent times, however, is Scandinavian style, with its wonderful combination of warmth and practicality.

Scandinavian design has long been appreciated for its simple, elegant style, so it’s a perfect choice for your living room. Today we take a look at the keys to achieving this look and share 6 ideas to help you create your perfect Scandi-style living room.

Scandinavian design has become a popular living room look in recent years. Discover the must-have elements to achieve it, and 6 inspiring design ideas.

The fundamentals of Scandinavian design

There are 3 key words when it comes to Nordic design:

  • Understated
  • Functional
  • Eco-friendly

Scandinavian or Nordic design (the terms are used interchangeably) is based around understatement, and the idea that “less is more”, so choose just a few pieces, but make them special ones. At the same time, you also need to keep functionality in mind, both in terms of the pieces themselves and in the layout, as above all, a Scandinavian-style living room is highly liveable.

The third key rule is to opt wherever possible, for an ecological approach, choosing furniture, materials and accessories that are environmentally-friendly and natural or recycled.

5 must-have ingredients for a Scandinavian-style living room

There are 5 indispensable elements if you are serious about creating a perfect Nordic-style living room:

  • Wood
  • Lighting
  • Pale colours
  • Greenery
  • Decorative touches

In Sweden they call it “mysig”, in Denmark “hygge” and in Norway “koselig”, but the general concept is about creating an experience or environment that fosters contentment and conviviality. With the long Scandinavian winters and short days for much of the year, homes embrace this concept and no space encapsulates its importance more than the living room.

The elements we’ve listed above all play their part in creating a cosy but stylish environment, perfect for entertaining friends or passing long, pleasant evenings with your family. So, let’s take a look at 6 ideas to help you replicate this approach and create your own Scandinavian-style living room.

A reinterpretation of wooden flooring

The first item on the must-have list is wood, beloved in Nordic design for its warm, inviting aesthetic. That said, however, you can create the same visual effect in natural stone, but with the advantage that it is more hardwearing and durable.

Our Stone Parquet fits the bill perfectly, and as the name suggests, it was inspired by traditional wooden flooring. We reinterpreted this in stone, right down to the curved sides which hint at the thousands of footsteps that have passed over it throughout the years – something we find inherently romantic and fascinating. Laid in a classic herringbone pattern, it truly captures the essence and spirit of wood, and sets the scene for your Scandinavian living room.

Let there be light

Lighting is always a key ingredient in interior design, from both a functional and aesthetic point of view. The same rule applies here, but what you are looking to create is an arresting look that becomes a fundamental element of the décor.

We would suggest a versatile solution such as our Silo, which offers plenty of scope to exercise your creative flair. Whether you choose white marble or dark brown limestone, a single pendant, a trio of cylinders suspended at differing heights or go for the showstopper chandelier with 26 bulbs, you will make a bold design statement that is perfectly in tune with the Nordic approach.

Thinking beyond white

The typical Scandinavian-style living room transmits warmth and serenity, and as such, you will generally find pale colours predominating.

While white is the obvious solution and understandably extremely popular, variations such as cream, light grey or beige deserve serious consideration. A creamy limestone like Crema d’Orcia or Silk Georgette®, with its delicate waves of beige-grey, can add that extra level of interest and warmth, without compromising the feeling of lightness and brightness.

This elegant but welcoming living room in Crema d’Orcia is the perfect example, with its combination of a classic honed finish and a feature wall in Romboo, that adds interest without disrupting the colour palette. The overall atmosphere is inviting and stylish, just as it should be if you’re aiming for a Nordic look.

Functionality and simplicity

Key to the Scandinavian design approach is understatement, and this should manifest itself 360 degrees. It’s far better to choose just one or two gorgeous items than to clutter up a space with too much furniture. Of course, that can make for tough decisions, so what you are looking for is something simple yet striking, and with a timeless style that will stand the test of time.

Pieces like our Dritto coffee tables with their almost wafer-thin tops and distinctive iron leg structure tick all the right boxes, making them perfect for this kind of look. You should also opt for comfortable sofas and linear surfaces with plenty of practical storage, such as our Pliss sideboard or Ciane wall-mounted drawers.

Don’t forget your greens

A touch of flora never goes amiss in a living room, whether that is in the form of a pot plant or fresh flowers.

If you don’t have the space for a large potted plant, or perhaps you don’t have green fingers, you can still enjoy a touch of nature with a simple flower arrangement or just a single stem or leaf. This is where you get creative, but of course, key to the final effect, is the vase or container.

This photo shows how easy it is to create a miniature green corner, with a composition of our Mono vases. It may not be a verdant forest, but just this simple combination of natural stone and foliage adds a fresh dimension to the space, creating an instant and precious link with nature.

The right accessories

While the rule of thumb when it comes to Scandinavian design is to avoid too many frills and extras, that doesn’t mean you have to keep the walls totally unadorned and surfaces accessory-free. On the contrary, art and decorative objects are the perfect compromise, adding originality and personality to a space without overwhelming it.

Of course, the trick is to choose the right pieces, and again, there are the usual rules to respect. With their essential geometric patterns, our Intarsi wall panels in contrasting white Bianco Carrara and dark Pietra d’Avola are perfectly in line with the fundamentals of a Nordic look

If you’re looking for ideas for accessories to sit on ledges or table tops, miniature sculptures such as a bottle from the Omaggio a Morandi collection are ideal. Even better, you can choose something that chimes with your eco-friendly ethos, such as a piece from our Miniatures collection which uses scraps of stone, wood and metal to recreate bijou replicas of some of our most iconic products.

If you have fallen in love with the clean lines and warm, inviting atmosphere of Scandinavian-style living rooms, it’s relatively easy to recreate, as long as you follow just a few simple guidelines.

While the main thing to keep in mind is that less is more, this doesn’t mean you have to end up with a sterile, personality-free space. In fact, key to Nordic design is conviviality and originality, and of course, great design.

We invite you to browse our Home Collection for inspiring ideas and images, or feel free, instead, to contact us and organise a free consultation with one of our design experts who will be delighted to help you plan your perfect Nordic-style living room.