How To Style a Scandinavian Living Room

Discover the timeless charm of a Scandinavian living room. Embrace simplicity, functionality, and beauty with our essential styling tips.

Key Takeaways:

  • Opt for neutral colour palettes and natural light to create a calming ambiance.
  • Incorporate textured fabrics and organic materials for a touch of warmth.
  • Focus on minimalistic design and clutter-free spaces to highlight Scandinavian aesthetics.
  • Utilise functional yet stylish furniture pieces that reflect a love for modern craftsmanship.

Scandinavian style is a minimalist design style which emerged in the 1930s within five Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. At its very foundation, is a strong relationship between design elements and nature, abstract and natural shapes, as well as hard and soft materials and surfaces. Scandi style is all about layers, lighting, texture and simplicity.

Introduction to Scandinavian Style Decor

The term ‘Scandinavian design’ came about from a design show of the same name which traveled throughout the United States and Canada between 1954 and 1957. Natural daylight being a rare commodity in Nordic countries led to the basis of Scandi design. This is a design style which is carefully curated to ensure that natural light is celebrated and bounces around the room. 

Extremely popular between the 1930s and 1970s, it’s a design style which stands the test of time due to its simplicity and ability to be easily recreated at home.

The features of Scandinavian style furniture make the most of natural lighting, layering, varying textures, combining hard and soft finishes and materials, and white. White is the cornerstone of Scandi style furniture. To create an authentic Scandi style the main color palette of white needs to be implemented. Furniture, soft and hard furnishings and the entire design is based on layers, textures and natural finishes.

mid century sofas

Scandinavian & Mid Century 3 Seater Sofas

Q: What are the key elements to styling a Scandinavian living room?

A: Styling a Scandinavian living room involves using a neutral color scheme, maximizing natural light, and selecting functional furniture with a modern design. Essential elements include textured soft furnishings, minimalistic decor, and organic materials to blend comfort with style.


The color palette for Scandinavian style decor is white, white and more white. White ceilings, white walls and white-washed or very pale wooden or stone floors. You may deviate by introducing grayed down colors of pale neutral grays, gentle gray greens and soft duck egg blues. 

If you need a bit more color - introduce color with natural wood or a strong accent color via artworks and accessories. Another option is to create definition with the neutral tone of black frames for artwork or darker tones in upholstery or fabric.

dark mid century sofas

Living Room Furniture Online


Scandinavian style materials embrace nature - stone or wood flooring, wooden statement furniture, rugs made of hemp, sisal or wool, soft furnishing made of cashmere and wool. Furniture and hard surfaces should allow natural light to bounce around the space. Soft furnishings and surfaces should create a sense of warmth and comfort. 

Creating a Scandinavian Style Living Room

Choose furniture with simple joinery and skilled workmanship which is as important as the beauty and integrity of the piece. Accessories should be selected for their simplicity, authenticity and craftsmanship. Think natural finishes, layers and varying textures - rugs made of hemp, sisal and wool in soft natural colors, cable knit woolen throws, soft cashmere blankets and warm fluffy cushions.

Scandinavian Style Couches - Olivia

Styling a Scandinavian living room is simple when you start with a statement sofa or couch. The IconByDesign Olivia Sofa Range is designed by our in-house designer, Tania Da Cruz and encompasses everything Scandi-inspired - elegance, comfort, simplicity. And, they are also timeless and made to last for generations. The Olivia sofa frames are constructed with solid American oak. The cushions are plush and soft with removable covers making them super family-friendly. 

Olivia sofa cushions are available in three beautiful yet distinct fabrics: 

Linen Blend 

  • A thick, comfortable and high quality fabric
  • 380 GSM (grams per square metre) - considered heavy duty
  • 85% Polyester and 15% Linen
  • Available in Stone Beige, Urban Grey, Mist Blue and Ocean Blue
  • Tania recommends this fabric as a casual, Scandinavian look

Oxford Double Weaved

  • Although 100% polyester, durable, hardy and thick it still has a lovely, luxurious feel to it.
  • 449 GSM - more hard-wearing than natural fabric
  • There are 2 color options of Granite Grey and Soft Grey
  • Tania recommends this fabric option for a more formal living room setting

Natural Velvet

  • The fabric is extremely smooth, soft and simply a pleasure to touch
  • This fabric is a lovely all natural material called greige*
  • 350 GSM  - considered heavy duty
  • 75% Cotton and 25% Linen
  • There is one color option - Sand Beige
  • Tania recommends this for a more coastal/beachy vibe

*Greige can also refer to a colour (grey + beige), but in this case it refers to a fabric. Greige is an unfinished woven or knitted fabric that hasn't been bleached or dyed.

blue sofa set

The Olivia sofa range is available in a 3 seater, 2 seater and an armchair

Scandinavian Style Shelving

With a clever isosceles trapezoid design and modular structure, the configuration possibilities are endless. Create an elegant room divider or effortlessly interesting display with the Olivia Modular Shelves.

Crafted from solid American oak and with its sturdy structure, these shelves are strong, timeless and long-lasting.

Choose from three different widths and five different heights to find shelving that seamlessly fits into your home. If you would like assistance creating a configuration that’s just right for you.

solid oak modular shelves

Modular shelves in Solid Timber

Scandinavian Style Coffee Tables

The rounded edges and elegant design of the Magnus Coffee Table inspire gentle tranquility and bring a modern touch to your home. Magnus’ effortless balance of soft curves and clean lines is inspired by the Scandinavian furniture movements that create an effortless, timeless atmosphere, designed for life. 

Solid, strong American oak construction means the Magnus coffee table is long-lasting - with the right care it can bring decades of service and refined style. Bring the soft, warm tones and smooth texture of the solid oak Magnus Coffee Table into your living space and experience easy, sweeping elegance.

Available in both a rectangular and round style to suit your style of Scandinavian living room. 

dark solid oak living room

Coffee Table in Solid Wood

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