10 Minutes Read. Published 30 Jun 2023

Scandinavian interior design is arguably one of the most popular design styles for Singaporean homes. Hailing from Scandinavia, which is also the birthplace of the mega furniture chain IKEA, its style has instantly-recognisable features that you will not miss.

The iconic style is often featured in Ikea catalogues and even our local Home & Decor Magazine. If you’re like us and appreciate the beauty of simplicity that comes with Scandinavian interior design, read on more for our guide to designing your own Scandinavian dream home!

#1 The Hygge Lifestyle

Hygge Is The Scandinavian Concept Of ‘Being Comfortable Together’

The first step to designing your Scandinavian home is to embrace the concept of Hygge. Hygge (pronounced Hoo-guh) is a Scandinavian word that describes a mood of finding comfort and cosiness. Hygge is about taking time away from the daily rush to be together with people you care about – or even by yourself – to relax and enjoy life’s quieter pleasures.

We can confidently say Singaporeans are extremely familiar with Hygge (even if they aren’t aware of it.) That’s because, unsurprisingly, Hygge is an integral part behind Ikea’s philosophy and the way they design furniture as well.

It is the emphasis on both form and function with a minimalistic look and feel that makes it so popular amongst us Singaporeans, who don’t just care about aesthetics, but functionality as well.

#2 Scandinavian Furniture

Keeping in line with Scandinavian interior design, furniture and fixtures in Scandinavian homes are made of the finest quality with some of the best craftsmanship skills.

It is often a common misconception that simplicity in design sacrifices style. However it’s actually quite the opposite! Scandinavian furniture exudes a beauty of its own that complements the spaces within your home.

We recommend looking for furniture that serves as both form and function. But don’t worry you won’t have to look far! Think storage-as-decor pieces like bookshelves and table organisers, small cupboards.

Local furniture stores like Castlery, Scanteak, EMOH & Danish Design Co have tons to offer!

#3 Lagom – Achieving Balance

If you’ve noticed, Scandinavian designs tend to overlap with minimalist design ever so often. Both design styles share the same love for bright open spaces and clean lines. Neutral colours are also often chosen for the walls too. When it comes to furniture and fittings, you will find that Scandinavian interiors tend to be mindful of the clutter as well.

While decluttering can be a good practice of clearing your unwanted belongings, there will be some tough choices we have to make. We perfectly understand if there are things that you just want to hold on to, whether for the memories or sentimental values.

To help make this easier on you, we recommend following the concept of “Lagom”.

Lagom is a Swedish word that means “just the right amount”Similar to Marie Kondo’s “just-right click point”, the meaning of Lagom differs on each individual and depends on when one feels the balance of clutter and space is achieved or “just right”. To do this we suggest adding and removing your personal items till you feel you have arrived. When shopping for home decor, keep in mind to practise Lagom as well.

#4 Natural Elements

Natural Elements Of Scandinavian Design

Scandinavians have a deeply rooted respect and appreciation for nature because historically, natural resources in Scandinavian countries were scarce. They understood and worked with nature to get the most of what it offered. This appreciation for nature is shown by the way Scandinavians spend their time outdoors and how their homes are designed and decorated.

It is important to note that “bringing nature in” doesn’t always mean you should start buying indoor plants! Start by introducing more natural elements into your home in the form of natural textures and textiles. Remember to use eco-friendly and sustainable materials when applicable.

Finally, sprinkle some indoor plants in your living spaces that further accentuates the sense of comfort that scandinavian interior design provides. But be cautious not to overdo it! Place no more than 3 plants in every room to fill up any empty spaces.

#5 Muted Tones & Natural Lighting

Traditional Scandinavian design tends to lean more on muted colours that imitate the palette of nature. It usually consists of having white or similar lighter colours  as a primary colour, with no more than 4 neutral shades. This makes it possible to select furniture that pops with colour, to function as accents which serve as points of interest and provide contrast to a room.

Notice how Scandinavian interiors are always brightly lit? Natural lighting is a key focus of Scandinavian interior design, as polar nights are a common phenomenon that occurs when nights would last for more than 24 hours. Pairing natural lighting with white and muted colours helps brighten up your home.

Of course, in tropical Singapore where the weather is mostly hot and humid, curtains and blinds come to our rescue. Keep windows bare and use thin fabrics for your shades that will still let light in while making sure your house stays cool. Don’t be afraid to use blinds if that suits you more!

#6 Wooden Flooring

The true mark of any Scandinavian themed home is in its flooring. Traditional Scandinavian design typically uses wooden or hardwood flooring in its interiors.

The reason actually points back to its history of incorporating natural characteristics in its homes. Wooden floors add to the cosiness and warmth of your space. It provides a neutral background and ties the design elements together.

We understand that hardwood floorings edge more on the side of higher budgets. An affordable workaround you can consider is to use laminated flooring which mimics a similar look. However, be warned that they are more prone to discolouration.

We hope you have found our guide to Scandinavian interior design useful for styling your home. When considering Scandinavian design, remember to adopt the key concepts of Hygge and Lagom that will point you in the right direction of creating a warm and cosy space for your dream home!

De Style® is a full service firm offering:

1. Design & Build

2. Interior Design & Renovation services for residential and commercial spaces.

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+65 6555 5200
+65 6555 5212

62 Ubi Road , #01-02 Oxley
Bizhub 2, Singapore 408734

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