At the first sign of cooler weather, our homes enter their own form of hibernation. Out comes the chunky knit throw and the candles. We surround ourselves with more lighting and greenery to make up for the dwindling daylight hours and barren trees outside our window. We also, naturally, retreat to one of the coziest places in the home: the living room.
When looking for pointers on how to cozy up a space, look no further than Scandinavia—the area of the globe comprised of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The tenants of Scandinavian design are largely intuitive. Scandinavians create bright, airy spaces to counteract the long, dark days of winter. All-white everything is common, but their palette also includes tan, gray, and black (Occasionally, you’ll see pops of blue, pink, or green in the form of accents). Scandinavians also favor design elements rooted in the natural world—think wood floors, faux fur blankets and rugs, and lots of light-wood accents made from beech, ash, or pine. In general, spaces are minimalist with clean lines and zero clutter.
For inspiration, we handpicked twenty-three stunning Scandinavian living rooms to inspire you to create your own sense of hygge at home.
White on White
White rug, white walls, white furniture—blogger Esther Schmidt nails the monochromatic color palette while maintaining depth with a gallery wall and dark wood accents. The clean, crisp white makes the room feel spacious, as well as the strategically minimal amount of dećor.
Pops of Color
Krystal from the Instagram account House of Harvee knows how to bring pops of color into a Scandinavian space. While the white walls, woven light fixture, and marble coffee table also establish a neutral base, the blush pink sofa and burnt orange accent chair bring a fresh dose of color to the scene. The clean lines made by the boxy couch, along with the artwork hanging on the wall behind it, still radiate a sleek and curated look—there is no compromise necessary here.
This comfy hygge space by Herzen Stimme is an absolute dream. The large sectional nestled against the wall boasts decorative throw pillows of various styles and textures. The beige and white color scheme is soothing, with thin curtains allowing for natural light to effortlessly pour in. Glance around the room and you'll notice rounded lines in the dećor and lighting, creating a softer feel in contrast to the sharp lines in the couch, table, and walls.
Coco Lapine Design created a living room that feels utterly artistic. The gray walls give a moody feel, with a white ceiling and white couch that keep the room from feeling cramped. The various artworks hanging around the room and Edison light bulb light fixture add a creative edge.
The Dark Side
With varying shades of gray and black, this living room is a departure from the stark white palette in the best way possible. While white walls still have a presence here, the deep blue couch and dark gray rug create some serious contrast.
This gorgeous living room designed by Liljencrantz Design shows a prominent feature common in Scandinavian design—a corner fireplace. The unique placement causes seating to be adjusted accordingly and moves the focus from the center of the room. The walls only hold a minimal amount of artwork, but the geometric table and white plush chair prove that less doesn't equal boring.
Cathie Hong knows how to bring a room together—it's all in the details. This scandi-styled living room incorporates marble round nesting tables, a woven bench with plenty of pillows for comfort, and a vibrant potted plant sitting in the corner.
Ann Living certainly embraces natural materials in her Scandinavian living space. The wood nesting tables, entertainment system, and flooring, along with woven textures in the chairs and rug complement the white sofa and walls extremely well. The addition of the nature bird mural alongside a gallery wall that features sharp gold overlapping squares plays up both the natural and curated aspects of scandi style.
An underrated design hack for Scandinavian-style living rooms is to let the natural light in. Especially in white or light-hued spaces, lighting can make all the difference in the feel of a room. The Instagram account Home and Spirit proves our point—windows with shutter blinds that allow sunlight to shine through brighten up the room with ease. The floating shelves showcasing photos and a tripod lamp add a unique touch amongst the rest of the dećor in the room.
This stunning space by Corner House Creatives shows a perfect blend of strong sharp lines contrasted with rounded edges. Your eyes can't help but go up towards the ceiling, where wooden ceilings and exposed beams abound. The floor-to-ceiling fireplace also boasts elegant lines, and is a statement piece itself. Once you reach the seating area, you notice the soft, curved edges on every piece of furniture—from the couch to the tables, even the accent chairs.
Another gorgeous space by Corner House Creatives shows off a unique horizontal fireplace that really drives home the Scandi principle of form meets function. Scandinavian design is often associated with minimalism in regards to its dećor choices, but in reality, each piece is carefully selected not only to fill a need but to also function as dećor itself.
Bright and Airy
Another space designed by Liljencrantz Design shows that this style doesn't have to stick with cool tones—warm ones work wonders. The wraparound windows with floor-to-ceiling curtains allow for a bright and airy space, and the warm browns used as accents across the room give a natural, calming feel.
Bringing Nature In
Natural elements play a big role in Scandinavian design—which means bring on all the plants! This living room from Leaf and Lolo definitely has no shortage of greenery. From monstera plants to a small pancake plant, this neutral space gets a revitalizing dose of color from all the plant life.
This living room by Instagram account Lucky Plot 13 embraces lovely artistic elements. The line artwork on the wall, as well as on a throw pillow on the couch, capture the idea of simple designs making a big impact. The collection of vases in the corner add a bit of modern flair as well.
This light and airy color palette in a living room designed by Pure Salt Interiors makes the room feel warm and inviting. The glass door panels make the outside and inside space feel connected, and the light wood table is surrounded by comfortable seating, creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Another example of a cozy corner space comes to us from True Home. A white sectional, covered in plenty of throw pillows, is positioned just under a window that lets the sun in. The light wood table, matching art prints, and brown fur throw adds a modern, almost hygge feel to the room.
This modern living room by Bespoke Only implements plenty of contrast—bright white walls and floor serve as a backdrop for a dark brown couch and navy blue mirror. Speaking of the mirror—the floor to ceiling addition is positioned against the far wall, reflecting the space and making the size feel doubled. The mod light fixture and minimal dećor contribute to the scandi feel.
Bring In the Built-Ins
Another room from Bespoke Only gives us some Scandinavian design staples: a sofa with rounded edges, a set of wooden nesting tables, and a calming color scheme. We are absolutely in love with the built-ins here—and while built-ins aren't exactly the most common thing in this dećor design, the arched formation adds a modern, romantic flair that fits right in with the rest of the space.
While sometimes bohemian and Scandinavian styles may be mistaken for each other, the two have their own unique traits. However, some of them do overlap—natural materials, cozy textures, and open spaces are baselines for both. In this living room by Kirsten Diane, we get a taste of what boho and scandi styles look like blended together—and the results are worth it.
Don't Neglect The Art
Liljencrantz Design shows the importance of stunning artwork in this Scandinavian living room. Not only are both pieces stunning, but have a color scheme that matches the rest of the space. The art makes a statement without causing intense disruption of the calm and collected feeling the overall room brings.
A Calming Oasis
Every inch of this room by Jenn Pablo Studios feels like a perfectly orchestrated exhibit. The large artwork, the tree in the corner, the arched window with thin curtains, and the crisp white sectional feel like you're stepping into a calming spa resort as opposed to your ordinary living room.
Natural Light All the Way Around
While the importance of lighting cannot be understated, some rooms feel as if they were made for a Scandinavian design. This space from Katie Hodges is a perfect example—a dome living room with arched windows covering half the room. The addition of a modern couch, large indoor tree, and breezy curtains tie the room together.
Bringing together different styles may sound overwhelming, but in reality, the results are anything but. This living room designed by Katie Hodges includes plenty of modern furniture while also including items that feel more on the vintage side. The color scheme and textures harmonize well between the styles, making the room feel cohesive rather than cluttered.