When we bought our house, it was beautifully presented in a high specification and didn’t require any work. The house came however with a self-contained two bedroom annexe in a very poor condition. We ripped everything out, removed all the walls and turned it into a Scandinavian bedroom of my dreams.
So how did we create our Scandinavian bedroom?
Scandinavian interior design comprises different styles ranging from minimal monochrome to a warm and bold colour palette depending on the look you wish to achieve. All of these variations have clean lines, simplicity and timelessness at their core. But how do you create a Scandinavian interior and make it unique to you? Let me show you how I created my dream bedroom following some basic Scandinavian interior design principles.
1. Start with white walls and wooden floors
For me the key to achieving a Scandinavian look is white or light-coloured walls and wooden floors. Crisp whites, neutral and pastel shades instantaneously give the space a clean, pure feel and a sense of calm whereas wood adds natural warmth.
We have used two wall colours in our Scandinavian bedroom: a fresh and sophisticated duck egg blue and brilliant white. To achieve a sense of openness and airiness we removed the ceiling to reveal the space above the beams. In white, they feel like a breath of fresh air. We chose a light coloured wood effect laminate flooring with grey undertones for its modern look and durability.
2. Let the light in
Scandinavian interiors are light, open and airy and therefore you should avoid heavy drapes or any window dressings that prevent the light from coming in. If you’ve ever been to the Nordic countries in the winter, you’ll understand why the Scandinavians are obsessed with maximising light. For the same reason, Nordic homes have many lamps and it’s not surprising that some of the best lighting design comes from Scandinavia.
In true Scandinavian style, our windows have no curtains at all. They just have simple white blinds that are functional, discreet and don’t obstruct natural light.
3. Functional, clean-lined furniture
Scandinavian furniture is paired-back, clean-lined and functional. It has a close connection to nature through its organic shapes and use of natural wood.
The focal point of our Scandinavian bedroom is the IKEA Gjöra wooden bed in beautiful solid birch. It’s a great example of furniture that is incredibly simple yet a real design statement – and very reasonably priced too. The white metal bedside tables are also from IKEA. The organically shaped DSW style dining chairs mix wood with plastic which lends the iconic design warmth and casual appeal.
4. Show your colours in soft furnishings
Now that we have created a light and airy space with sleek furniture, the next step is to add complementary colours. Soft furnishings and decorative accessories provide a natural opportunity to introduce secondary colours to your space. Depending on your taste and the look you want to achieve, you can go as minimal or as bold as you like without compromising the Scandi look.
We have used different shades of blue as accent colours in our Scandinavian bedroom. Blue is a good choice for a room designed for resting because it sets a tranquil and calming mood.
5. Decorate with plants
Scandinavians love the natural world and hence they fill their homes with house plants. Plants are very soothing particularly in the winter months when nothing grows in nature. They are versatile decorative pieces that create balance in a room, purify the air and help you feel calmer and self-aligned.
The beams are perfect for hanging plants in our Scandinavian bedroom. They really soften up the space and break up the monotony of the white walls.
6. ‘Lagom’ your interior
Lagom is Swedish and means ‘not too little, not too much, just the right amount’. It’s a word that is often used to describe Scandinavian approach to life – and also interior design. Because of the ‘lagom’ way of living, Nordic homes don’t have clutter, just what is necessary and practical for the space.
We have applied the ‘lagom’ principle to our Scandinavian bedroom. There’s no excess furniture and even the decorations are very simple and moderate. The wall art for instance is made of branches that I foraged myself from the woods behind our house.
7. And finally – add some personality!
If your objective was to achieve a classic Scandinavian style interior you can stop here and ignore this final step. But if you want to add your unique stamp to your beautiful Scandinavian space, now is your chance to add a bit of personality to it.
I love colours and mixing old and new so I can never resist adding a few extra pops of colour and quirky pieces to my Scandinavian home. You wouldn’t usually expect to see a velvet antique chaise-longue in sumptuous pink in a modern Nordic home but I think it looks perfect in the room! It brightens it up and makes you feel like you are in a boutique hotel. I’ve also used luxurious copper accents in the hanging plant pots, picture frames, pendant light and kitchen splash back to add a touch of glamour to the bedroom. Again, not very Scandi but it appeals to my personal taste.
Once a nearly derelict space, our annexe was transformed into a beautiful Scandinavian space with personality. It now comprises a king size bed, en suite bathroom and a kitchenette so it’s a perfect space for our guests. My Finnish family and friends always come for several days at a time so it’s lovely that they can have a private area that feels like home from home.
I hope you found these steps useful. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave me a comment below.
Enjoy creating your dream Scandinavian bedroom!