If you love Scandinavian decor, then you’re going to love these Scandinavian design trends!

Happy Friday! Today, we have a guest post from Cate Palmer. She’s here to tell us about Scandinavian design trends. Take it away, Cate!

When my grandmother died, I inherited a two bedroom apartment with all her furniture. My boyfriend and I moved there after a while, but since we didn’t have any money to redecorate and refurnish the whole apartment we did only what was necessary and urgent. Unfortunately, we broke up a few months ago and we never really had the chance to decorate the apartment with new things and refresh its look.

At first, I considered just selling the place. It was not only ready for a makeover, but it was full of memories of my former relationship. Then a friend suggested I should use my savings and redecorate the way I wanted. Replace all the outdated wiring and pipes, and make this not only my home but a fresh start. Since I didn’t have enough money to do all the changes AND hire a decorator, I decided to try my hand at interior design.

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I have to admit it was hard. I spent hours and hours on the internet researching various styles and techniques, looking for the perfect furniture and craftsmanship, and I still couldn’t decide what to choose. Nothing appealed to me and I started getting frustrated. Then one day, I ran into an old friend while walking my dog and I believe it was kismet.

Tanya studied Swedish language and literature, and lived in Sweden for 11 years after college graduation. She came back recently, just for a couple of months, and although I hadn’t seen her in a long time, I told her my story. That was the first time I heard about lagom (pronounced laaw-gum) – a lifestyle of balance and moderation. The basic idea is to enjoy good things with people surrounding you and it influences every aspect of life, even decorating your space.

After seeing Tanya, I came back home and started reading about lagom. The more I found out, the more I was fascinated and drawn to the idea of being happy again. And that’s how I found my equilibrium and started working on my home design. I can’t say I went for a full Scandinavian decor look in my apartment, but I read about the trends and I’m here  to share the highlights with you. Who knows, maybe I’ll help someone, like Tanya helped me. And we all know that all it takes is a spark for an idea to come to life.

1. Release yourself from technology.

Scandinavian Design Trends White and Cream Living Room with Textiles and Furs

The first thing I stumbled upon when I researched the Scandinavian style of lagom was the idea of creating a place where you can be freed of technological dependency, even for a little while. Designate a place in your home where there is no TV, radio, bright neon lights, anything really that will disrupt you from spending time just being. The idea is to free yourself from your busy and hectic everyday life and become more focused on creating a welcoming and nurturing space where you can find peace and relaxation.

My design suggestions for this kind of room are to keep the style organic and rustic, possibly with a focus on wood and knitted blankets, all in soothing colors like beige and gray. So in my bedroom, I decided to buy several wooden pieces and use wall lamps. Instead of gray and beige, I bought linens in warm brown and painted the walls green. In that way, I adapted the design to be natural to me.

2. Leather is making a comeback.

Scandinavian Design Trends Living Room with Rolling Furniture

I always thought that leather sofas and chairs were a bit tacky. The idea of sitting on animal skin is not appealing to me. But Scandinavian interior design is all about the leather and sheepskin, and it doesn’t look unappealing at all. Paired with wood and potted plants it can create the perfect space for reading books or watching TV snuggled under a blanket.

I just couldn’t make myself spend so much money on something I still don’t feel comfortable about like animal skin; so I decided to buy a black eco-leather sofa, as opposed to the suggested natural brown Scandinavian style sofa. I chose not to add a rug, but one made of natural materials and in dark tones to bring out the rustic elements of natural leather and wood would be perfect.

3. Blue is the Scandinavian IT color.

Scandinavian Design Trends Scandinavian Dining Room with Blue Walls

Via Skagen

One of my favorite colors is blue, so I was very happy to learn that this is a color recommended in Scandinavian design. I decided to brighten up my dining and kitchen areas by adding a few details in blue, like a hanging chandelier and tall floor vase. I chose China blue since it reminded me of the sea and summer skies, but you can use any tone you prefer.

4. Gray is okay.

Scandinavian Design Trends Living Room with Dark Walls

When it comes to wall paint, gray is a great option. Pretty early on in my research, I figured out that Scandinavians are big fans of monochromatic designs and styles. I wasn’t too sure about gray as a wall color, but I decided to be rebellious and try it on one wall where I organized my workspace. The painter I worked with helped me choose the right tone, Pantone’s Lilac Gray.

Using gray with wooden floors and white window and door frames really created a warm and serene atmosphere and soon I decided to paint the whole living room area this way. I was afraid that my black eco-leather couch and gray walls might be too dark, but combined with naturally light wood, white bookshelves and green potted plants, the room became stylish, elegant, and welcoming at the same time.

5. Make your hallway interesting.

Scandinavian Design Trends Minimalist Capsule Closet

My apartment has a decently wide hallway, but not very long though, so placing the coat and shoe racks was limited, so at first I thought of hiring a carpenter and designing one myself. But then I saw the IKEA catalog and came across an obvious solution. Scandinavians are famous for using industrially made pieces like buckets and storage racks, usually made of metal, and placing them in the middle of their rustically inspired spaces. I used this principle to turn the hallway into something modern.

I chose one of the open clothes and shoe storage systems with enough space to put my purses and bags, coats and jackets, scarves and shoes. But there are other furniture retailers with other offers, it all depends on the price and design you need if you decide to use this kind of storage or even pieces of Scandi style furniture.

6. Bathroom challenges.

Scandinavian Design Trends Bathroom Ideas Subway Tiles Plants Minimalist Designs

When it came to the bathroom, I had to consult an expert on home and bathroom renovation services. I wanted to go full Scandinavian in my bathroom, with minimalist style for the shower tub, sink, and toilet, mixed with dark gray floor tiles and beige tiles on the walls. The vanity and cabinets were made of wood in a warmer shade of brown. The spigots and showers were brass, as well as the window handles and door knob.

7. Last, but not least, accessories.

Scandinavian Design Trends Striped Living Room Wall Art Contemporary Couches Coffee Tables

Scandinavian design trends don’t forbid colors, and if you break the monochromatic design up with a little color it can turn into something entirely new. I added striped decorative pillows in black and white to my living room sofa and white-painted buckets in both the living room and bedroom, and blue ones for the kitchen.

When it comes to curtains, I chose thicker ones which filter the sunlight, but allow the room to stay bright. I chose beige for the bedroom, light gray for the living room, and dark gray for the bathroom. It’s important not to go overboard with these details, and to use them to brighten up your space.

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All the effort I invested in redecorating and renovating my apartment was definitely worth it. All the changes in my home and life made me more determined to go forward and enjoy every moment I spend with my family and friends. And the big plan now is to visit my friend Tanya in Sweden and get the real feel of Scandinavian lifestyle, culture, and energy. But until then, I can enjoy my little piece of Scandinavian heaven in my home.

These Scandinavian home decor trends are pretty awesome! Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends. Keep an eye out for these trends!

**Featured image via Nyde

Cate Palmer is a designer by day and a writer by night. Her fields of expertise could be summed up to interior design, architecture, and art related topics. Her interests are, on the other hand, wide and ever-evolving. These days Cate is all about sustainable design, color trends that will take over and dark chocolate.