Friday, December 27, 2013

Elements of Scandinavian Design

 I have lots of love affairs and Scandinavian design is one of them. I developed this passion in my teenage years when I discovered a book in our local library.  Just to put you in the loop, it was a new book then.  It  is  hard to believe that one event can impact one's design aesthetic for life, but that's the case because  I've woven various elements of  mid century Scandinavian design into every home I've  had.

Scandianavian furniture design mid-century modern

Here's my take on  the elements of  mid- century modern Scandinavian design and how I've interpreted it in my own home. 


  •  function is the priority, and then  form is pared back to its simplest statement 
  • materials are chosen for their beauty and longevity
  • the lines are clean and  minimal , often with sinuous curves or  very "boxy"
  • craftsmanship is flawless
  • 360 degree design -  looks good from every angle 
  •  prominent use of wood , followed by  plastic and metals
  • emphasis on nature and organic forms; bring natural materials in
Scandinavian furniture design
Scandinavian furniture design

Scandianavian furniture design
Scandinavian furniture natural tones

Scandinavian furniture design light wood
White furniture on light wood

Check out  other iconic furniture designs in a previous post . So many well known furniture came from Scandinavian designers.


  • emphasis on magnifying natural light
  • white and off- white interiors with blue or blue gray or black
  • muted  tones,  restricted to neutrals 
  • simple or no window treatments

Scandinavian design colour scheme
Colour in Scandinavian Design

  White colour scheme Scandinavian design
 White colour scheme with light wood

 neutral colour scheme in Scandinavian design
Neutrals with natural wood


  •  geometric  patterns, free form / organic and florals
 textile patterns Scandinavian design
organic patterns

geometric textile patterns Scandinavian design
 Bold geometric patterns 

Love the hint of blue with the black, white and gray in the  geometric rug.  The pop of blue with the throw is inviting and also creates a sense of warmth in the room. 

geometric white and black patterns Scandinavian-design
geometric patterns

This is such a crisp but inviting room that is made interesting by using a range of textures and patterns.  I love how the striped rug anchors everything.

 accessories by  Lassen Scandinavian design
Lassen Accessories


  • wood is highly valued and  used extensively for floors,  walls and furniture
  • natural materials in textiles: linen, wool, cotton, hessian, fur (sheepskin)
  • glass, pottery is used for many accessories
texture in Scandinavian design
Texture in Scandinavian design

This image shows a simple room with  many natural material in one small space: wool, felted wool, fur , cotton and possibly linen.  And great art to anchor the space,.  Wouldn't you love to sit on that chair?

natural materials and texture Scandinavian  design
Natural materials in textiles

Another chair holding  a selection of cozy textiles that you can choose to cuddle up with. 

accessories texture Scandinavian design
 Texture in accessories

There's nothing like a matte inky black vase and natural elements to draw your attention to a corner or an interesting piece of furniture.  This one is so sleek next to the roughly carved  stool. A great mix. 

texture knits Scandinavian design
Knits in Scandinavian  design

 Nothing is as inviting as knits on a bed.  All that texture, light colour and cuddle potential.


  • uncluttered,  room to rest the eye
  • easy to move around
 open space Scandinaviandesign
Open design

 And here's my  always in transition, uniquely Newfoundland,  mid century Scandinavian look at Christmas!

Scandinavian colour scheme Newfoundland home
Scandinavian colour scheme

I like minimal window coverings in a south facing window when privacy isn't an issue, hints of black and natural toned birch with lots of white and gray.

Scandinavian design with a twist
Scandinavian design  with a twist

Christmas decorations without the traditional red or green and my new Kubus 4 candle holder  that is quickly becoming my favourite accessory next to  pillows from my sister who knows just what a room needs.    
 mid century modern dining room Scandinavian design
Mid Century Danish modern hand crafted

Scandinavian design Christmas
Natural elements Christmas

Margaret Ryall


What elements of Scandinavian design do you have in your home? 


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    Scandinavian Furniture

  2. What a refreshing post & the pictures are amazing... Crisp and a perfect example of what modern Scandinavian design looks like. I particularly like the influence in the kitchen.

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