How to Decorate My Living Room Scandinavian Style?

Updated on July 13, 2022 by Joseph D. Nielson

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There’s something about the Scandinavian style that resonates across the world, even in places with vastly different climates and geological conditions. The local landscape and natural settings can help inspire one type of décor that speaks to people in altogether different circumstances.

Applying general principles of the Scandinavian style will help people in North America design living rooms that can heighten pleasure and inspire tranquillity. Let’s check out a few of these principles, and hopefully, there are some tips here you can bring to your living room to make it cozy, warm, and stylish. 

Neutral Tones

The Scandinavian style suggests openness that is hard to carry through when a room has very bold or dark primary colours. Lighter, neutral tones bring a sense of expanse that characterizes the Scandinavian touch.

Imagine standing at the top of a hill, looking outward towards the distant horizon. This is the effect you want to create in your living room, and neutral, light tones are required.

Mixed Materials Create Warm Texture

Scandinavian style famously includes warm-toned woods. There’s something about wood as a material that communicates a sense of welcoming. However, contrasting this occasionally with some metal can stir things up and add some dynamic qualities.

The metal finishes should be somewhat neutral in colour too, so it doesn’t clash with the overall style. In the way that treasure chests feature black metal on deep brown wood but are still known to me people as “wooden” when asked, it’s possible to use metal as an accent that heightens the warmth in the room.

If you need to literally keep your living room warm, look carefully for the best space heater for large rooms online. Décor can only go so far, and even the most stylish and lavishly furnished interior design is no substitute for actual warmth.

To cut down on costs and lower your carbon footprint, find a space heater that uses less energy but still does a fantastic job keeping the room at a cozy temperature. You don’t want to have to rely on wearing thick sweaters and slippers in winter, though energy costs are rising quickly and keeping warm shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Air Needs to be Fresh

The Scandinavian style is all about invoking the feeling of freshness that comes with being in the heart of nature. Using natural materials like wood indoors is a way to blur the line between the natural and man-made world. 

Imagine if you could get the same rush of sublime tranquillity you feel while standing on a mountain while standing in your living room! It may be difficult to inspire exactly the same feeling, but the sense of openness and freshness should be similar. 

The air in your living room should therefore be fresh and with the right level of humidity. Having dry air in small rooms is a sure way to push people to leave rather than draw them in. A room with a Scandinavian décor has wood from top to bottom, from the floors to the rafters and the furnishing in between. Don’t let the planks and furnishing dry up and get warped.

Ensuring the room has a suitable level of humidity is the best way to protect your valuable materials and furniture proactively. Make sure you have an air purifier or air cleaner that can circulate enough air to fill the entire room so you and all your guests stay effortlessly comfortable and breathe healthy air. There’s a difference between appealing to the eye versus pampering your lungs.

Let the Light In

Harvesting trees from the forest for furniture and building materials are not the only way to bring the great outdoors to your living room. Natural sunlight is the best way to brighten a space and make it feel truly warm. 

You don’t need ornamental windows with involved fixtures or even dramatic curtains. Leave space around the windows blank and let the sunshine tell the story. 

Design for Your Pets

A truly welcoming space is one that takes everybody’s needs into account, even your pets. Are you going to keep your dog’s food and toys in the living room? If so, ensure that you carve out room for the dogs space that matches the aesthetic of the rest of the room.

Your dog probably doesn’t care and won’t notice, but the human visitors in the room will admire the consistency in approach. Put another way, breaking up the décor by making your dog’s space inharmonious will disrupt the room’s flow.

You’ll also need a pet odour remover for reasons that are pretty easy to understand. What’s the point of putting so much work into a 

Keep the same light and welcoming feel across the room by applying the aesthetic everywhere. 

Philosophy of Design

Unless you’re a professional interior designer or have friends in that scene, it’s unlikely anyone will care or even notice if you stray from some official principle of design in the Scandinavian tradition. It’s best to keep the above recommendations as general rules of thumb. 

By all means, delve as deeply as you want into a specific aesthetic based on the level of spare time, budget, and creative inclinations. If you’re drawn to include elements that contradict some formal design principle but feel right for you, put them in. After all, it’s your living room.

 TV or No TV?

Why is it that televisions are found in almost every living room in homes in the city, but seldom in getaway spaces embedded deeply in nature? There’s nothing wrong with watching TV programs or movies, whether you’re looking for some cheap escapism or prefer high-brow cinema.

Still, a space feels different when it isn’t dominated by a TV. Indeed, many urban living rooms are oriented around the television, with chairs and couches positioned to provide optimal viewing angles. Such an approach may dictate the energy of the room.

There’s a reason why offices, libraries, and nature getaway destinations tend not to revolve around the placement of televisions. If you want to have a quiet place to think or meditate or hang out with friends, perhaps consider having no TV in the room.

If you’re on the fence between wanting a more reflective type of space while still retaining the possibility of watching movies or a hockey game with friends, try not to centre the room around the placement of your TV. If you have the budget, you can get a TV that has a beautiful frame and looks like a piece of art when it isn’t turned on.

Some people don’t want a TV for their children’s room to reduce their screen time, but you’ll need to decide for yourself if you want to give yourself the same treatment. All this to say that there’s overlap about questions of design, technology, and lifestyle that must be considered together. Stock your living room with what you’ll need to keep entertained and happy, but try to fit it all within the same aesthetic. 

The Scandinavian aesthetic is in vogue right now because we’re living in a minimalist era. Clutter is not in fashion right now, nor are synthetic materials. At a time when people are encouraged to stay indoors while businesses are closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it makes sense to invest more thought and effort into improving where people are spending their time. 

Try to evoke the underlying sensibilities of the Scandinavian approach to design, which is all about bridging the gap between the indoors and outdoors to create a warm and welcoming indoor space. Be mindful of the furniture, the layout, the materials, and even things like the temperature and air quality, and you’ll have a fantastic space where you and all your friends and family will love to hang out.

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!