Scandinavian Design Sensibility: What It Is and How to Use It

In the United States, we tend to assume that “more is more.” Houses here are large, spacious, and open. But elsewhere in the world, homeowners are working with a different type of space. Of course, there are single-family homes everywhere, but small space living, including apartments and condos, is common in South America and Europe.


Naturally, the amount of space you have in your home dictates what you can put in it, which is why “Scandinavian design sensibility,” also referred to as “European sensibility,” is so important the world-over.


If you’re looking to declutter, minimize, and decorate with smart, deliberate room planning, then consider incorporating elements of Scandinavian design sensibility.


What is Scandinavian Design Sensibility?

Scandinavian design became quite popular during the 1940s-60s in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden, and was almost exclusively found in those Nordic countries.


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The designs that sprung from this style tend to blend form and function, focusing on the use of each piece of furniture and décor and then finding ways to simplify and beautify them. Light color woods, clean lines, and natural products make up the bulk of the aesthetic.


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Above all else, minimalism is at the heart of Scandinavian design. “Less is more” means that homes utilizing Scandinavian design sensibility are free of excess clutter and overly ornate patterns.


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Simply put, Scandinavian design equals beautiful, pragmatic simplicity.


Scandinavian Interior Design In Your Home

Over the years, we’ve met several renowned designers and brand representatives of high-end home products at events like the Las Vegas Market. Many of them produce furniture and home décor based on these Scandinavian design properties.


And thankfully, companies like Bloomingville, both based in the Nordic north, are bringing their clean, minimalist products to the US market to raving reviews and unprecedented demand.


Just don’t get the “no thrills” energy of the products confused with low-quality. In fact, furniture and décor made under the Scandinavian design umbrella are generally high-quality because they’re made of sturdy, natural materials such as wood and steel.


Whether you’re looking at storage options or a daybed, you’ll quickly find these furniture and décor ornamentations are pristine, uncomplicated, and utilitarian.


Scandinavian Interior Design Planning Best Practices

When you’re ready to incorporate Scandinavian design sensibility in your own home, simply follow these best practices.



Begin by taking inventory of your space. Are you surrounded by an overabundance of books, unnecessary decorations without a purpose or memory-inducing quality? If so, then it’s time to declutter.


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Remove/donate anything that doesn’t help you function in your space. Another option is to store rarely used items away in smart storage solutions such as an ottoman or storage cubes.


Avoid Time-Bound Patterns and Décor

Certain patterns, especially ones used in Old World or Victorian eras, evoke a sense of history and timeliness. While meaningful, they have a tendency to make a room feel stuffy and chaotic.


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Don’t worry, Scandinavian design isn’t all monotone. Recently, Nordic designers have taken to incorporating bold, contrasting colors in geometric patterns, invoking a contemporary vibe. Black and white, grey and white, and blue and yellow are all common color combinations.


Use Natural Materials

Paper lanterns, solid wood tables, wool rugs: all of these items make up the core of Scandinavian home designs. These materials assist in making your home feel cozy without the need for excess.


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Think: Multi-Purpose

If at all possible, try to give each piece of furniture a dual-purpose. Use the top of storage compartments and desks to hold a television or clock. Add drawers under a bed. You get the drift!


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Do what it takes to maximize your space!


Whether you’re trying to furnish a small space or just want to incorporate a European-vibe to design your room, you can never go wrong with Scandinavian design sensibility.

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