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5 Common Scandinavian Design Mistakes And How To Correct Them 5 Common Scandinavian Design Mistakes And How To Correct Them

Interior Design

5 Common Scandinavian Design Mistakes And How To Correct Them

Written by: Olivia Parker

Avoid these common Scandinavian design mistakes in your interior design and discover how to correct them to create a stunning and authentic Scandinavian aesthetic.

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Scandinavian design is known for its minimalist yet functional approach, combining simplicity, elegance, and practicality. This popular interior design style originated in the Nordic countries and has gained worldwide recognition for its clean lines, natural materials, and light color palettes. However, even the most seasoned designers can inadvertently make mistakes when attempting to achieve the perfect Scandinavian look. In this article, we will explore five common Scandinavian design mistakes and provide valuable tips on how to correct them.

Mistake #1: Overlooking Functionality

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to incorporate Scandinavian design into their homes is prioritizing aesthetics over functionality. While the minimalist and clean look of Scandinavian interiors is undoubtedly appealing, it’s important to remember that functionality should never be compromised.

When designing a Scandinavian-inspired space, consider the purpose of each room and how it will be used. For example, in the living room, make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating that encourages relaxation and socializing. Incorporate storage solutions, such as shelves or hidden compartments, to keep the space organized and clutter-free.

In the bedroom, focus on creating a serene and restful environment. Invest in a quality mattress and bedding, and ensure that there is adequate storage for clothing and personal items. Consider adding a bedside table or a wall-mounted shelf for essentials like books or a glass of water.

In the kitchen, functionality is key. Opt for durable and easy-to-clean surfaces, ample storage for cookware and utensils, and efficient workflow patterns. Integrate practical features such as a well-designed pantry or a built-in recycling system to enhance the overall functionality of the space.

By prioritizing functionality in your Scandinavian design, you can create a space that not only looks beautiful but also serves its purpose effectively, making your everyday life easier and more enjoyable.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Natural Elements

Scandinavian design is heavily influenced by the stunning natural landscapes of the Nordic region. One of the biggest mistakes people make when incorporating this design style is overlooking the importance of bringing nature indoors. By integrating natural elements, you can add warmth, texture, and a sense of tranquility to your space.

To avoid this mistake, start by incorporating natural materials such as wood, stone, and leather into your design. Choose furniture pieces made from solid wood or opt for accents like wooden flooring, exposed wooden beams, or natural stone countertops. This will create a connection with nature and add a touch of warmth to your Scandinavian-inspired space.

In addition to using natural materials, consider the role of natural light in your design. Scandinavian design embraces the use of large windows to let in ample sunlight and make the space feel bright and airy. Avoid heavy curtains or blinds that block natural light, and instead, opt for sheer or light-colored window coverings to enhance the sense of openness.

Another way to bring nature indoors is by incorporating plants and greenery into your space. Choose low-maintenance indoor plants like sansevieria, pothos, or succulents to add a fresh and natural element to your decor. Not only will plants improve air quality, but they will also create a harmonious connection between your interior and the natural world.

By incorporating natural elements into your Scandinavian design, you can create a space that feels grounded, inviting, and in harmony with the natural world. Embrace the beauty of nature and let it be a guiding force in your design choices.

Mistake #3: Lack of Proper Lighting

Lighting is a crucial element in any interior design, and it holds particular significance in Scandinavian design. Many people make the mistake of overlooking proper lighting when trying to achieve a Scandinavian-inspired look, resulting in spaces that lack warmth and ambiance. To avoid this, it’s important to give careful consideration to the lighting plan for your space.

The first step in correcting this mistake is to maximize natural light. As mentioned earlier, Scandinavian design embraces natural light and aims to create bright, airy spaces. Make sure to keep windows unobstructed by heavy curtains or blinds and avoid blocking light with furniture or decorative items. Instead, use sheer or light-colored window treatments that allow sunlight to flow in freely.

In addition to natural light, incorporate a variety of artificial lighting sources to create different moods and enhance functionality. Start with ambient lighting, which provides overall illumination for the room. This can be achieved through ceiling-mounted fixtures, pendant lights, or track lighting. Opt for fixtures with clean lines and a simple aesthetic that aligns with Scandinavian design principles.

Next, consider task lighting for specific areas like desks, reading corners, or kitchen countertops. Desk lamps, floor lamps, and under-cabinet lighting are great options for providing focused light in these areas. Ensure the lighting is adjustable and glare-free to promote comfort and productivity.

Lastly, don’t forget about accent lighting to highlight architectural features, artwork, or decorative elements. Wall sconces, picture lights, or even string lights can add a cozy and inviting atmosphere to your space.

By incorporating a well-thought-out lighting plan, you can transform your Scandinavian-inspired interior into a warm and inviting sanctuary. Remember to balance natural light, ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting to create a harmonious and functional space.

Mistake #4: Cluttered Spaces

One of the fundamental principles of Scandinavian design is minimalism and the avoidance of clutter. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of accumulating too many items and overcrowding your space, which goes against the essence of this design style. To maintain the clean and uncluttered aesthetic of Scandinavian design, it is important to address this mistake.

Start by decluttering and organizing your space. Take a critical look at your belongings and ask yourself if each item is necessary or brings joy. Remove any unnecessary items that only contribute to visual chaos. Implement storage solutions to keep your belongings neatly organized and out of sight. Consider incorporating storage baskets, wall-mounted shelves, or built-in cabinets to facilitate a clutter-free environment.

In Scandinavian design, simplicity is key. Focus on quality over quantity when selecting furniture and decor pieces. Choose a few statement furniture pieces that showcase clean lines and functional design, rather than overcrowding the space with multiple smaller items. In terms of decor accessories, embrace the concept of “less is more” and opt for a few carefully selected pieces that add visual interest and enhance the overall aesthetic.

Another aspect to consider in avoiding cluttered spaces is the arrangement of furniture and the flow of the room. Allow for open spaces and visual breathing room. Avoid placing furniture too close together or blocking pathways. This will create a sense of spaciousness and promote a calm and serene atmosphere.

By decluttering, adopting a minimalist mindset, and carefully curating your furniture and decor, you can create a harmonious and uncluttered Scandinavian-inspired space. Embrace the beauty of simplicity and let the clean lines and minimalism shine through.

Mistake #5: Neglecting Color Balance

Color plays a significant role in Scandinavian design, as it helps to create a harmonious and balanced atmosphere. However, one common mistake people make is neglecting the importance of color balance in their design. Achieving the right color palette can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of your Scandinavian-inspired space.

Scandinavian design is renowned for its light and neutral color schemes, often featuring shades of white, beige, gray, and light pastels. These color choices help to create a sense of brightness, openness, and simplicity. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between light and dark tones to add depth and visual interest to your space.

To avoid neglecting color balance, consider incorporating contrasting elements into your design. For example, you can introduce darker hues through accent furniture pieces, such as a black coffee table, a charcoal gray sofa, or dark wood flooring. This will add depth and create a balanced composition within your space.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to add pops of color to your Scandinavian design. Choose one or two accent colors to inject vibrancy and personality into the space. Consider using bold-colored accessories such as throw pillows, artwork, or rugs to create focal points and add visual interest.

When selecting colors for your space, keep in mind the overall mood you want to achieve. Cool tones like blues and greens can create a calming and serene ambiance, while warmer tones like reds and oranges can add a cozy and inviting feel. Experiment with different color combinations to find the perfect balance that resonates with your style and preferences.

Remember, Scandinavian design is all about simplicity and balance. Avoid overwhelming your space with too many colors or overly bold patterns. Strive for a cohesive and balanced palette that enhances the serene and tranquil atmosphere that Scandinavian design is known for.


Scandinavian design is a timeless and popular interior design style known for its simplicity, functionality, and clean lines. However, when attempting to incorporate this style into your own home, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes that can undermine the overall aesthetic and feel of your space.

By understanding and avoiding these common Scandinavian design mistakes, you can create a truly stunning and harmonious interior. Remember to prioritize functionality while maintaining a minimalist approach. Take inspiration from the natural elements of the Nordic landscapes by incorporating natural materials and maximizing natural light. Pay careful attention to lighting, ensuring a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create the desired ambiance. Keep clutter at bay, focusing on minimalism and carefully chosen decor pieces. Finally, achieve color balance by using a light and neutral color palette while experimenting with contrasting elements and pops of color.

With these key considerations in mind, you can confidently create a Scandinavian-inspired space that exudes elegance, tranquility, and functionality. Embrace the principles of simplicity, natural elements, and balance to transform your home into a haven of Scandinavian design.

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