Scandinavian design trends for 2019

What is Scandinavian design? Here’s a look at a few“typisk skandinavisk” styles

Scandinavian design

Photo: vicnt / 123RF Stock Photo
This room displays a lot of features common in Scandinavian design—simple art, storage as focal furniture, and a technology-free room.

Brian Keith
Jacksonville, Fla.

Scandinavian interior design has been a popular and influential part of design since the early 1900s. Unique design ideas and trends still come from that Nordic region of the world and change the ways that rooms across the world are decorated.

Here are just a few of those Scandinavian interior, decor, and furniture trends you might expect in 2019 and beyond.


One thing that is common in most design trends is having a “balanced” lifestyle. This is something that is stressed over when redesigning any room; in Sweden, they do it naturally.

But what, exactly is lagom? Well, lagom means “finding just the right amount,” which is an approach to life. Basically, it means not too little and not too much—“just right.”

This means living a lifestyle free from clutter, but not so much so that you feel you absolutely have to get rid of something. The point is for it to feel right and balanced to you.

Incorporate storage

Another wonderful design trend out of Scandinavia is the use of storage furniture as a focal point of your design scheme. Under normal circumstances, these pieces of furniture are a bit boring, but with a little ingenuity, you are able to make anyone want to copy your style. You can use anything from what was once a boring clothing basket to clothing racks to add some functional design to your living spaces.

Accenting with bold blues

What is the perfect accent color? Well, a favorite from Scandinavia is blue. A bright blue is often used in order to stand out in a brilliant way. A monochromatic scheme is fine, but throwing in that bright blue rug to contrast the white walls could be a wonderful addition.


Leather is a classic material, and a great Scandinavian trend is worn leather. Many Nordic interiors are transitioning to using worn leather. One great thing about worn leather is that it gives your home a wonderfully rustic feel, without having that stuffy antique feel.

Scandinavian design

Photo: European Leather Gallery
Leather is a classic material, one that provides a rustic tinge without the stuffiness of antiques.


Feathers have been catching on a little in the United States for a while, but they are also trending in Sweden. Everything from feather motifs to wall hanging decorations adds that nice texture to your home. You can work it into anything from your tabletop decorations to your wallpaper and even into your bedding. There is a definite trend of nature-inspired elements into any and every room.

Gray walls

Grayscale has always held a special place in Scandinavian decorating. You are sure to have seen the black and white color scheme done many times before and may have been overdone. It’s a great thing, then, that gray walls are coming back into popularity. They offer the same appeal that comes with monochromatic design schemes without such stark contrast.

Gray walls, white floors, and black furniture create a balanced monochromatic look. Choosing a perfect area rug will really finalize the look and bring the room together.

Going tech-free

Nowadays, people are really concerned with going tech-free. Some family vacations are even centered around this fact, getting away from the technology and reconnecting with loved ones. This is also a way to balance yourself, just like the previously mentioned lagom lifestyle.

Having areas of the house, even if it’s just one room, designated as tech-free is a great way to get the same effect in your own home. This allows you to create a space that

is truly customized for you. By removing the distractions of computers, phones, and television, you are able to make the environment more warm and welcoming. These make for great spaces to unwind after a long day in a frenetic, tech-heavy world. You don’t have to stick with just one room either; we recommend making the bedroom as tech-free as possible as well. Several studies show technology in the bedroom robs you of sleep, affects weight gain, affects your love life, and more.

Scandinavian design

Photo: jodiejohnson / 123RF Stock Photo
Tossing a bold blue accent color into an otherwise monochrome design is a trend in Scandinavian design.

Cottage, Finland style

Most Scandinavian design revolves around Sweden and Norway, but Finland styles are beginning to trend just as much. Finland, said to be one of the happiest countries on the planet, has trending designs that focus on the outdoors. They have what has been referred to as “cottage culture.”

A lot of these designs incorporate communal living and eating spaces. They also use lights to simulate natural lighting. As stated, much of Nordic design takes a minimalist approach to everything; this includes tableware and decorations.

Wood slats

You can line one of your walls with wood slats to give it a subtle serene feel. A great example of this is the Finnish Dream Hotel. They give off a wonderful ambience that fans of Scandinavian design would love. This design doesn’t have to be overdone—it only takes one wall to change the entire feel of a room.

Graphic calendars

You wouldn’t think it, but those over-sized Helvetica calendars are beginning to trend in a big way. Highly customizable and easily affordable, these make for wonderful additions to living rooms, as well as for any kid’s room. First: they are functional—if you can’t remember if you have plans the next day, just glance at your calendar. These calendars can also double as “artwork” on the wall. Why would you ever deal with your standard phone calendar app when you could have a customized calendar sitting in front of you that brings real character to your living spaces?

Whimsical lighting fixtures

Another popular trend coming out of Scandinavia is the use of whimsical and fanciful lighting. Asian light fixtures, like the giant paper lanterns, inspire many of these. My favorite place for these is around the dining table. These make for a lighter and happier atmosphere for family dinners.

Tent beds

Tent beds aren’t just for your little princess anymore. Kids and adults love falling asleep beneath one of those cute wood-stick tents that are coming out of Scandinavia. You can get this in many different styles and color schemes, but I’m particularly fond of the monochrome design schemes.

Simple art

We have already mentioned how monochrome color schemes and simplistic styling is used in Scandinavian décor, and artwork is no different. Monochrome artwork has been on the rise, in both Scandinavian and American designs. Picking the right wall art is a conundrum for most amateur designers, but you can’t go wrong with black-and-white photography and monochrome images.

Scandinavian design has long been trendsetting, paving the way for many designers. Whether you want all of your furniture and decorations to be monochrome or you want to throw in one of those bright blue area rugs, you can’t go wrong with these Scandinavian interior design trends for the upcoming year.

Brian Keith writes on interior design and decorating for the #1 Ekornes Stressless and Modern Furniture dealer in Jacksonville, Fla.

This article originally appeared in the March 8, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.