Scandinavian Interior Design: All You Need To Know

Whether designing is your hobby, passion or maybe fancy that's passing; there's a high probability that you might have heard about the Scandinavian interior design style. Not once, you might have heard about this term a lot number of times. And now, you might be wondering what we are exactly talking about. Some of it is quite simple: wood floors, white walls as well as modern furniture. However, that’s not it. This style is a lot more than that. And the thing that led to the Scandinavian style become one of the famous styles in the interior design industry in the 21st century began spreading its roots in the 20the century. During this time, the empires rose from the ashes. Worldviews shifted. Philosophy and science took over. The world went to war about twice. And if you throw in some of the most reputed names like Hans Wegner, Alvar Aalto, Eero Arnio, Arne Jacobson and Ingvar Kamprad, then you will be blessed to know what this style actually is.

To simplify, here’s our explanation about the Scandinavian interior design style.

Decline Of Romanticism

The world was changing at a rapid rate during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The industrial revolution was changing commerce, life, politics on a global scale. The philosophies that were changing the minds of the people for good and guiding them away were noted to be changing as well. It was the birth of Modernism. However, people hesitated over it as well. People were scared of rapid development and the shift to Modernism. And one such example was Art & Craft Movements which was led by the designer William Morris. Arguing for the past generations of the artistic tradition as well as the diligent study of nature, his attempt to reverse the entire process and the social course can be seen as one of the final gasps of Romanticism.


It's not a single place. It's many. How many places depends on who you are talking to and when. Taking things traditionally, this term refers to about three Northern European countries: Sweden, Norway & Denmark. However, there's an expansion in the tradition itself and has included Iceland, Finland and sometimes Greenland. Though there are various cultural as well as historical similarities between the countries, some noticeable differences can lay a shadow on them. How they united under the home decor banner is a spectacular and interesting story.

World War I, Art Deco & Art Nouveau

During the beginning of the 20th century, a new style for a new century represented Art Nouveau. And like the Arts & Crafts movement, Art Nouveau embraced the decorative as well as fine arts and architecture of interior design. During 1914, when Europe started getting closer to the start of World War I, social commentary started being a part of the artistic efforts. The European art revolutionary tones like Russian Constructivists, German Bauhaus as well as Swiss Dadaists started showing rejection for traditional notions of aristocracy and social class. During the end of the war, they were the signs of weaknesses.

World War II, Democratic Design & Modernism

If World War I led to the cracks in the social structures of the aristocracy and European nobility, then it was World War II that knocked it out of the park. It made them wide open. More than a single empire is laying in ruins. And European powers really wanted to lay their hands on ill-gotten gains of Colonization in South America, Africa as well as Asia. Those days are considered to be numbered. The actual outlook of Europe with respect to society and arts is considered to be changing as well. And this change impacted the home decor category as well. At this point, the interior design goals such as furniture, textile as well as furniture design were quite established. Whether in Art Nouveau, Art Deco or any kinds of preceding styles, home beauty was a matter of who was able to afford it. It gradually impacted the social status of the people in the society. And hence, people preferred to design their homes nicely. However, this took place after the war and during the era of Modernism.

A New Day For European Design

You won’t find it difficult to imagine the view that’s widespread in the 40s and the 50s. The two world wars led to humans believing that they were indeed doing something wrong. And they should start taking the right precautions to maintain world peace. And that’s what the world was looking for. A design for the antidote. And this was famously linked to Germany, thanks to the Bauhaus. Various new ideas were sweeping across the minds of the people across the European countries. In terms of design, these ideas took the form of reversing older conventions around status and beauty. The new conviction represented that beauty that was once reserved specifically for the wealthy people and the masses that required functionality could be joined together. And this would lead to an affordable product for everyone. And after the war, various nations of Scandinavia emerged together.

Design In Scandinavia

This new approach to combining beauty and simplicity, design, functionality and simplicity were perfectly suitable to take into consideration the long-lasting design features of the Scandinavian interior design style. And the first among these designs were for the functionality. The harsh nature of the climate during the winter season had influenced the Scandinavians in a gigantic manner. And this led to the birth of simplicity and decoration. However, the Bauhaus movement has always covered functionalism as its strongest emphasis. And this movement was alive for a long period of time in the Scandinavia architecture.

Mostly the formulation of the Scandinavia modernist design style developed in the 40s. However, it wasn't counted as recognizable and came into the eyes of the people until the beginning of the 50s. And one of the major steps were taken in the beginning involved Lunning Prize establishment. It was named Fredrick Lunning. The prize named “The Nobel Prize Of Scandinavia Design” was awarded in 1951 for the very first time. And this tradition continued until the year 1970. Shortly after the introduction of this prize, the earliest champion for the Scandinavia design was found named Elizabeth Gordon. This design was presented by Elizabeth Gould as an alternative to Nazi-era fascism design: natural, democratic, intimate, minimal as well as focused on family and home and not the state. Gould arranged in 1954, Design in Scandinavia, which was a travel exhibition where the best designs that the collective nations had to offer were shown.

Scandinavia Design In Interiors

After the Design In Scandinavia was concluded and had its a fair share of the run, internationally, Scandinavian design started being recognized. This interior design style had huge followers in the United States. However, the popularity ran out between the years the 1960s and 80s. The rebirth led to the interest of the people arousing in this design since the 90s. The rooms that are built and designed as per Scandinavian style have particularly white walls in order to emphasize light, natural textures such as stone and wood, lack of carpets and window treatments, neutral heavy colour palette, no-fuss and simple layouts that show off a minimalist aesthetic.

Scandinavia Design In Furniture

This design is responsible for changing our mentality of how we should shape our rooms. And more than that, this design is known for how we design our furniture as well. And this can be considered as its most enduring legacy. There are some influences of pieces like Drop and Swan chairs, Alvar Aalto's armchair, Arne Jacobson's Egg and can be felt to this day.

Scandinavian interior design style is indeed fascinating. Though not very popular in India, it’s definitely an option to consider for your interior design! If you’re looking to decorate your home with Scandinavian interior designs, then start your project today!

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