In pictures: Recreating your own Nordic style in 8 steps

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In pictures: Recreating your own Nordic style in 8 steps
How to decorate in Swedish style. Photo: Scandinavian Homes

Ex-broker-turned-interior-designer Jesper Laursen shares his best tips for creaing your own Scandinavian-style home.


Laursen left his job as a broker and founded Scandinavian Homes. Here the interior design expert tells us how he helps property agents decorate a home to attract as many viewers and buyers as possible. 

The concept of Scandinavian design is characterized by functionality, aesthetics and nature-oriented materials. In recent years the Scandinavian interior trend has gone global and the dream of the "Nordic Light" is shared by more and more people. 

The style emerged in the 1950s and the idea was that interior design would be mass-produced at a low price so that everyone could enjoy it. Since then, the core of the Scandinavian style has changed and today it is more about environmentally friendly production methods and organic materials. To succeed with the Scandinavian style, which I call complex simplicity, there are some basic things to consider. Laursen lists the eight most important ones below.

1. Low-key colour palette

The basics of the Scandinavian interior style are its pared-down colour selection. The style focuses on creating airy rooms with generous light flow, and therefore white or grey walls are a good place to start. Generally you should use earthy colours with light shades of blue, brown and green. These can be varied and together with the white or grey walls it creates a harmonious and pleasant room. Black often works well as a contrast colour and helps with darkness and attitude in the form of still lifes and picture frames.

Kungsholm Kyrkoplan 6
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån - Sök designinspiration för skandinaviska vardagsrum

2. Close to nature materials

Leather, wood and stone are all natural materials that form an integral part of the Scandinavian interior style. The focus is on sustainability and quality, and what is better than the material that gets patina and becomes even more beautiful by each passing year? Here, they mix wood with leather and concrete. A classic wall with tiles and white walls create a perfect base.

Alexander White
Photo: Alexander White - Bläddra igenom bilder av skandinaviska kök

3. Picture walls with a limited colour scheme

Beautiful and inspiring picture walls can successfully replace a feature wall of a home. Try to gather your favourite pictures in one place instead of spreading them out throughout the home. The latter can often be perceived as messy while the former creates a clear sense of harmony and awareness. Do not be afraid to mix paintings of various sizes, nor to keep it static and stylish. Why not put the picture wall in a corner rather than directly above the sofa?

Ernst Ahlgrens Väg
Photo: Scandinavian Homes - Upptäcka idéer för skandinaviska vardagsrum

4. Still lifes throughout the home

To avoid an overly minimalist home it is important to focus on the details. This is an opportunity to use personal items to create a sense of coziness and warmth. Do not be afraid to mix the new with the old, but try to work with a low-key colour palette and materials with roots in nature here as well.

Badrum - retro
Photo: Perfection Makes Me Yawn - Upptäcka idéer för heminredning

5. Plants as part of the decor

Use green plants to create a fresh and vibrant feel at home. Cypress Asparagus Fern and Monstera are plants that fit in perfectly with the Scandinavian style. Don't be afraid to use large plants, they add character and create a cool feeling in the home. A slightly carelessly made bed and a pile of magazines on the floor de-dramatize and contribute to a more personal home.

Photo: Nadja Endler | Photography - Upptäcka idéer för nyklassiska allrum

Ernst Ahlgrens Väg

6. Relaxed nonchalance

Even if the ambition is that the home should feel conscious and arranged, it mustn’t be perceived as too tight or too structured. Therefore it might be nice to, through textiles or art, dare to be a little flippant. Throw a blanket over the edge of the sofa, make the bed in sloppy manner and place a painting on the floor. That way, you avoid too-perfect a result, and instead create a sense of conscious relaxation.

Photo: Scandinavian Homes - Hitta foton av skandinaviska sovrum

7. Design classics

The cheapest is not always the most affordable, especially not in the long run. If you have the opportunity, invest in quality products. Design classics have a long shelf life and are not influenced by fashion and trends. They live their own lives, age with dignity, and usually retain their value.

Photo: Fredric Boukari Photography - Hitta bilder av skandinaviska vardagsrum

8. Brass details

Perhaps the popularity of this shining metal has grown in the past few years because it fits so well into minimal environments. From bowls to candlesticks, brass is lighting up our homes, preferably together with some Nordic dirty pastels.

Photo: Nadja Endler | Photography - Sök designinspiration för klassiska vardagsrum

The whole concept in one image: The room below contains all the ingredients needed to get the Scandinavian interior recipe just right. A sleek black-and-white picture wall, designer chairs, large green plants, wooden floors, curtain-free windows and plenty of light – they’re simple things in themselves, but with a sense of fashion and trend that is irresistible.

Photo: Scandinavian Homes - Bläddra igenom bilder av skandinaviska matplatser

Get more inspiration in The Local's Homes section

Come see more Nordic lifestyle, design and architecture over at and


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