Scandinavian design is synonymous with clean, simple lines, minimalism, and a sense of utility. It emphasises openness, creating room to breathe in small spaces without sacrificing the functionality bedrooms need.
Whether you’re renovating your bedroom or making a few small changes; you can do worse than using Scandinavian design for inspiration.
Scandinavian design origins
Scandinavian design originates from the countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Sweden is the best-known in the UK, thanks to IKEA and Volvo. Finland and Iceland can mistakenly get thrown into the mix, but these aren’t Scandi.
Scandinavian design emerged as an interior design in the 1950s alongside the modernist movement. It offered sleek, clean lines with a luxurious aura, transforming dark spaces into light spaces and opening up smaller rooms.
What are the main elements of Scandinavian design?
Scandinavian design is about minimalism, distinctly lacking clutter favouring functional furniture, open layouts, and comfortable furnishings.
Scandinavians also profoundly value the natural world, so houseplants, greenery, raw materials, and water play a crucial in design cohesion. Metal is all but banished in favour of wood, stone, and natural upholsteries.
Because Scandi countries are extremely cold, Scandinavian interiors have a sense of warmth. With thicker upholsteries, chunky textures (think knitted throws), warm lighting, and matte textures that absorb light.
Scandinavian bedrooms go heavy on neutrals, with white or off-white walls and pops of colour injecting personality. Neutral feature walls are beige, gold (non-metallic), or light grey, while coloured feature walls are pastel shades.
Pops of colour are added to inject playfulness and character. A pink bed throw, pink faux flower bouquet, and pink artwork would add a subtle colour scheme. Maintaining the simple, clean look that Scandinavian design is known for.
Millennial pink is popular, as is mint green and baby blue. RAL 6019 Pastel Green is a safe, characterful colour you can use in your bedroom.
Natural materials are key
Wood is a familiar accent in Scandinavian bedrooms, creating a connection to the great outdoors. A wooden bed frame with a natural finish is a simple way to make your bedroom more Scandi.
Cork is an excellent option for décor, with its warm, soft texture proving perfect for clocks, lampshades, and chairs. Rattan is a good option for laundry baskets and small storage tables (choose the natural wood variety).
Wood cladding is also a great way to inject Scandi design into your bedroom. Why not add wooden cladding to your feature wall instead of paint?
Creating a perception of openness
When your bedroom isn’t big, creating a sense of openness requires clever thinking to increase floor space and visual space.
Here are a few tips to increase space in your bedroom:
- Get a bed without a protruding frame. Divan and ottoman beds are the same width and length as the mattress with no protruding edge. This will save a few inches of floor space and make your room look bigger.
- Get narrower, taller furniture – measure your chest of drawers and wardrobe’s width to see if more compact products are available. Chests can be as slim as 70cm, and you can always add a draw to preserve storage space.
Declutter your bedroom! Recycle items you don’t need, selling items on an auction website/app, or giving them away on Facebook Local.
You can store items in the attic, under your bed, or in an inconspicuous storage box. The key with a Scandinavian design is to eliminate clutter. Leaving the clean lines of furniture and elements come through.
Play with light using interesting shapes
One of the most overlooked elements of Scandinavian design is lighting, or instead, how shapes scatter and distribute light in exciting ways.
Something as simple as a geometric wire ceiling light will scatter light across your bedroom in a striking way, or you could go for a coloured glass light fitting that spreads colours across your bedroom to brighten things up beautifully.