The 6 Colors You'll Find in Almost Every Stylish Scandinavian Home

Ask an American what a typical Scandinavian home looks like, and you'll probably get the same response: minimal and all-white. Sure, the Swedes are known for perfecting the whitewashed look, but after a recent trip to Denmark and Sweden, I realized that the reason their interiors are so stunning isn't the lack of color—it's the sparing use of it.

When I walked into my Airbnb in Copenhagen's meatpacking district, the first thing I noticed was the unique choice of colors: Natural materials like raw wood and buttery leather peppered the room while muted, dusty hues added depth. Colors that I'd never even considered decorating with—amber, moss green, and rust—worked seamlessly in the pared-back space, almost as if they were neutrals.

"We always look to nature to inspire the colors we use," a Norwegian friend explained when I asked about the interesting choice of hues in her home. "The washed-out greens and blues of the fjords are a good example; Mother Nature never gets it wrong."

She's right—every Scandinavian home, restaurant, and the hotel I saw during my trip featured a similar palette of six colors: dusty pink, amber, deep blue, forest green, moss, and pale ice blue. By layering a few accessories in these colors on a white or cream base, Scandinavians make their homes look effortlessly cool.

Fresh back from the trip, these are some of the lessons I learned about decorating with color the Scandi way.

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This post was originally published on July 10, 2017, and has since been updated.