15 Scandinavian living room ideas

Discover the key features of Scandi interior design and give your living room a light and airy makeover with this timeless décor style.

Scandinavian interior design is a popular trend that has stood the test of time. We simply can’t get enough of its minimalistic yet cosy vibe. Hailing from the Nordic region, this style is characterised by clean lines, muted colours, and simplicity. It also embraces the Scandinavian concept of ‘hygge’ (pronounced as ‘hyoo-guh’), which means taking time to relax and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

That’s why Scandi interior design is particularly suitable for living rooms as it can turn your space into a haven of comfort. A Scandinavian style living room is airy, light, and features furniture like our Harlow sofas. With sleek lines and wooden legs, this stylish sofa fits perfectly into the Scandinavian aesthetic.

Ready to add some Nordic charm to your home? Get inspired with these 15 ideas and create your own Scandinavian living room.

1. Start with a neutral colour palette

Neutral Scandi living room with a grey sofa and indoor plants
Harlow 2 Seater Sofa

Scandinavian living rooms often feature a muted colour palette of whites, greys, and earthy tones. These light, neutral tones help create an airy and open atmosphere. If you prefer a bit more saturation, include warm hues like olive green or wood colours like natural oak. Add those colours to your living room through pillows, rugs, artwork, or small-sized furniture like a wooden coffee table.

2. Be sweet and subtle with pastels

Pastel blue scandi living room with a light grey sofa
Harlow L-Shape Sofa

Besides neutrals, a pastel colour palette is another way to create a light and breezy ambience. Think of pastels as a sweet and subtle way to add colour to a Scandi living room without overpowering it. Opt for a powdery blue tone on the walls which is just the right balance of soft and cosy.

Pair the walls with a light grey sofa as the base to ground the room while still maintaining the relaxing, carefree vibe. Since pastels have a softer touch than colours like bright red or navy you can introduce them to other elements of the room, such as pillows, artwork or a rug.

3. Create the scandi look with a scandinavian sofa

Ivory coloured Scandinavian sofa in plush fabric
Loren Sofa

A Scandi style living room calls for a Scandinavian sofa. As the sofa is the centrepiece of your living area, its design will help set the tone of your room. Here are some tips to keep in mind when getting your sofa: pick a design with clean and simple lines, go for a neutral colour, and choose a soft, comfortable upholstery like plush fabric. Besides clean lines, sofas with modern shapes fit right into the Scandi vibe like sofas with soft, rounded curves or corner sofas with an l-shape - as long they fit into the simple, Scandi vibe of your space and not complicate your living room.

4. Consider an open plan layout

Open plan living room with Scandinavian interior design
Furniture And Choice fabric sofa sets

Scandinavian living room design is often known to give off a spacious, light feel, and the room’s layout plays a big role in that. Most Scandinavian homes have an open plan layout, seamlessly merging the kitchen, dining area, and living room into a cohesive space. To zone your open plan living room, position your sofa strategically to separate the different areas. For more advice on how to zone and styling tips for an open plan layout, check out our guide.

5. Refresh your scandi living room with earth tones

Calming Scandi living room with earth tones
Hampton 3 Seater Sofa

Natural textures are a key part of Scandinavian design so why not introduce earth tones to your living room? Known as colours that are rooted in nature, earth tones take inspiration from the outdoors. Pick a fabric sofa in cream or beige to get started then bring in relaxing textures in other earthy tones and textures like light browns, dark woods or clay ceramics to accessorise. Earth tones aren’t just made up of neutrals either so bring in pops of colour like blues or greens which fit right in with the Scandi aesthetic. For more ideas on how to decorate with earth tones read our guide to find out more.

6. Fill your scandi living room with natural light

Scandi living room with lots of natural light
Baltimore 3 Seater Sofa

A Scandinavian living room should have plenty of natural light to make the room feel bright and airy. Opt for sheer curtains instead of blackout curtains to soften the daylight without blocking it out completely. Sheer curtains also add a touch of elegance to your space. In darker winter months, go all out with candles to create a warm Scandinavian living room.

7. Include an armchair in your scandinavian living room

Armchair with wooden legs in a modern Scandi style living room
Harlow Armchair

Add a stylish Scandi armchair to your living area for extra seating and a touch of personality. Choose accent chairs with wooden legs in a lush material like plush fabric or velvet for that comfy, cosy vibe. While Scandinavian furniture usually favours sleek lines and sharp edges, pieces with curves are also nice to have in the mix as they soften the look of the room.

8. Embrace natural materials in your scandi living room

Scandi living room with wooden flooring and wall panels
Baltimore 3 Seater Sofa

Natural and raw materials like wood and stone are key elements of Scandinavian interior design. Not only do they give off an authentic look, they also add texture to your space. To include natural materials in your living room, use wooden flooring or wood effect floor tiles and choose furniture with natural elements. For example, a sofa with wooden legs or a Scandinavian coffee table with a stone top.

9. Explore the japandi style

Japandi living room with grey sofa set
Manhattan Sofa Set

Japandi is a mix of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics. While both styles embrace minimalism, Scandi design is more straightforward and simple while Japandi favours a more dramatic, darker feel. To bring the Japandi style into your living room, choose a dark colour for your sofa like dark grey or black to represent the cosy Scandi elements and match it with a low coffee table. You can also include Japanese-inspired natural materials like ceramic, stone, and dark wood to complete the Japandi look. To find out more check out our guide on Japandi interiors.

10. Install wood panels in your scandinavian living room

Scandinavian living room with a cosy sofa and wooden wall panels
Loren 3 Seater Sofa

Another way to include natural materials like wood in your Scandinavian living room is to install wooden wall panels. This will liven up your neutral walls while still maintaining the clean, sleek look of Scandi interiors. Use lighter woods like oak for a contemporary look and darker woods like walnut for a moodier take on the classic Scandinavian aesthetic.

11. Get cosy with textiles in your scandi living room

Scandi living room in monochrome colours with a corner sofa
Baltimore Corner Sofa

Texture is an integral part of Scandinavian design. It’s about cosiness, comfort, and a sense of well-being. To incorporate those principles in your living room, textiles can work wonders. Use different textiles like wool throws, plush Scandinavian rugs, and textured pillows to layer your space and create that cosy vibe.

12. Bring the outdoors inside with plants

Scandi living room with lots of plants and cosy sofa
Furniture And Choice corner sofas

Potted plants are great additions to your Scandi living room. Greenery not only adds life to your home but also complements the natural theme of Scandinavian interior design. Most importantly, they help purify the air around you. To decorate your space with plants, place small pots of succulents on book shelves or side tables and use tall, leafy plants to fill up empty corners of the room.

13. Decorate your wall with minimalist art

Neutral coloured living room with minimalist art and an accent chair
Loren Armchair

Spruce up your Scandi style living room with simple, minimalistic artwork instead of colourful or oversized designs. Black and white monochrome prints or abstract art with subtle colours and bold shapes are good options. The fluid composition of these art pieces will create movement and depth in your neutral coloured living room.

14. Play with contrast in your scandinavian living room

Scandinavian living room with a comfy L-shape sofa
Baltimore L-Shape Sofa

If you want your neutral Scandinavian inspired living room to feel more dimensional, you can play with contrasting colours. An easy way to do that is to use dark coloured furniture. For example, a dark grey Scandinavian sofa will stand out in a living room with white walls. You can also create contrast in a more subtle manner by using dark coloured accessories and scattering them around the room.

15. Use colours of nature to paint your walls

Pastel green coloured living room with a Scandi sofa
Harlow L-Shape Sofa

Not a big fan of white walls? While the Scandinavian aesthetic leans towards neutral coloured walls like white or beige, you can still design a Scandi living room with colourful walls. The key is to choose colours inspired by nature to create a calming and relaxing vibe. Soft, pastel colours like sky blue or mint green are perfect examples.

The simplicity of Scandi interior design reminds us of life’s quieter moments in a hectic world. We hope these living room ideas can help turn your space into a cosy retreat where you can unwind without worries. Want to explore more interior trends that prioritise simplicity and wellness? Read our guide on minimalist living or learn how to incorporate wellness into your home.

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