Cottage Culture




What is Scandinavian Design

What is Scandinavian Design?


There is something about Scandinavian design that resonates with home owners, designers and decorators. What’s not to love? Clean, simple lines, minimalism, functionality without sacrificing beauty are all elements of Scandinavian design. Part of the appeal lies in how aspirational this specific design style feels. The uncluttered nature and brightness evoke a sense of calm that so many people are missing from their daily lives. After leaving a stressful day at work, the idea of returning to a home devoid of heavy furniture and clutter feels particularly appealing. These are just some of the reasons that Scandinavian design is so popular and while design trends come and go, the Scandinavian design trend is one with staying power. Let’s look into what makes Scandinavian design.

Scandinavian interior design is a style that originated in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland in the mid-20th century. It’s characterized by a minimalist, functional, and aesthetically pleasing approach to interior design that uses natural materials, neutral colours, and simple forms to create a warm and inviting space.


Some key elements of Scandinavian interior design include:

  • Use of natural materials such as wood, stone, and textiles such as wool, linen and cotton.

  • Light and neutral colour palette, with white as the dominant colour.

  • Simple, clean lines in furniture and décor, with a focus on functionality and comfort.

  • An emphasis on natural light and a connection to the outdoors, often achieved through large windows and open floor plans.

  • Decorative items are kept to a minimum with an emphasis on functional objects such as lighting and storage.

Often confused with Modern design Scandinavian design is in fact a design style all of its own.  Scandinavian and modern design are both styles that emerged in the 20th century, but there are some key differences between the two:

  • Minimalism: Both Scandinavian and modern design are known for their minimalist aesthetics, but Scandinavian design is typically more understated and focused on simplicity, while modern design can be bolder and more experimental.
  • Functionality: Both styles prioritize functionality, but Scandinavian design places a greater emphasis on simplicity and practicality, while modern design often prioritizes innovation and cutting-edge technology.
  • Materials: Scandinavian design often uses natural materials such as wood and stone, while modern design makes use of more industrial materials such as metal, glass, and concrete.
  • Colour Palette: Scandinavian design typically uses a neutral colour palette of white, beige, and grey, while modern design often incorporates bold and bright colours.
  • Attention to detail: Scandinavian design places a high emphasis on attention to detail and craftsmanship, while modern design is often more focused on large-scale technological innovation.

Overall, while both Scandinavian and modern design share some similarities, such as a focus on functionality and a minimalist aesthetic, there are also some key differences that set them apart. Scandinavian design is characterized by its simplicity, use of natural materials, and attention to detail creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that is both functional and visually appealing while modern design is defined by its focus on innovation, technology, and bold design elements.


What are the principles of Scandinavian design ?

  1. Minimalism: Scandinavian design is known for its minimalist and understated aesthetic, which is characterized by clean lines, neutral colours, and simple forms.
  2. Functionality: Scandinavian design prioritizes function over form, and is focused on creating products that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also practical and efficient.
  3. Sustainability: Scandinavian design is environmentally conscious, and many designers and brands in the region prioritize the use of sustainable materials and practices.
  4. Simplicity: Scandinavian design is known for its simple, uncluttered look, which is achieved by reducing clutter and emphasizing clean lines and negative space.
  5. Natural materials: Scandinavian design often incorporates natural materials such as wood, stone and textiles, which help to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  6. Attention to detail: Scandinavian design is characterized by a focus on high-quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a commitment to excellence in design.
  7. Respect for tradition: Scandinavian design is rooted in the region’s rich cultural heritage, and many designers and brands in the region pay homage to traditional techniques and materials while incorporating modern elements.

Overall, the principles of Scandinavian design are focused on creating functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing products that are rooted in the region’s cultural heritage.


Famous Scandinavian Furniture Designers 

Scandinavian design has produced some of the most iconic and influential furniture designers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Here are some of the most famous Scandinavian furniture designers.

  1. Alvar Aalto: A Finnish architect and designer who is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of Scandinavian design. Aalto’s furniture designs are characterized by their innovative use of materials, including bent wood and molded plywood, and their functional, organic forms.
  2. Arne Jacobsen: A Danish architect and designer who is best known for his furniture designs, including the iconic Series 7 chair. Jacobsen’s work is characterized by its clean lines, simple forms, and focus on functionality.
  3. Hans Wegner:  A Danish furniture designer who is considered one of the leading figures of Scandinavian design. Wegner is best known for his comfortable and functional chairs, many of which have become design classics.
  4. Borge Mogensen: A Danish furniture designer who is known for his functional and aesthetically pleasing furniture designs, including the Spanish Chair and the J39 Chair.
  5. Verner Panton: A Danish designer who is known for his playful and innovative furniture designs, including the Panton Chair, one of the first chairs to be made from a single piece of molded plastic.
  6. Poul Kjaerholm: A Danish furniture designer who is best known for his minimalist and modernist furniture designs, including the PK22 Chair and the PK24 Lounge Chair.
  7. Grete Jalk: A Danish furniture designer who is know for her functional and elegant furniture designs, including the GJ Chair and GJ Desk.

These designers have had a major influence on the development of modern furniture design, and their work continues to be highly sought after and appreciated by design enthusiasts and collectors.

The PK24 Lounge Chair by Poul Kjaerholm is a classic design with an elegant floating seat.


How to incorporate Scandinavian style to your outdoor space. 

  1. Use natural materials. Incorporate natural material such as wood, stone, and plants into your outdoor space to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

  2. Keep it simple. Stick to a simple colour palette of neutral tones, such as white, beige, and grey, to create a clean and uncluttered look.

  3. Focus on functionality. Choose furniture and accessories that serve a purpose, such as comfortable seating, functional lighting, and storage solutions.

  4. Create a connection to nature. Bring the outdoors inside by incorporating elements such as potted plants, herb gardens, and natural wood accents.

  5. Incorporate texture. Use textured material such a s woven baskets, rugs, and cushions to add depth and interest to your outdoor space.

  6. Use clean lines. Incorporate furniture and accessories with clean, simple lines to create a cohesive look that is in line with the minimalist aesthetic of Scandinavian design.

  7. Add light. Make use of natural light as well as artificial lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, even after the sun goes down.

By incorporating these elements in your outdoor space, you can create an outdoor oasis that is inspired by the clean and functional aesthetic of Scandinavian design.


Some of our favourite Scandinavian-inspired pieces of outdoor furniture


The Turin Line

The craftmanship and fine details of the Turin line make it one of our best sellers.  This teak collection offers endless possibilities for combining modules to meet your specific needs.  All the pieces in the Turin line are flexible and foldable making them easy for storage. The scale of the Turin line makes these pieces a great option for smaller patios or apartment/condo patios where space is an issue.


The Pembroke

Outdoor seating in Scandi style best describes the Pembroke.  The neutral colour, clean lines and attention to detail make the Pembroke stand out. The black aluminum legs add just a touch of modern flare to the scandi-vibe. The Pembroke line is as comfortable as it is stylish making it the perfect outdoor seating set to enjoy the warm summer evenings.


The Kira

This lounge armchair screams Scandi! The Kira armchair is the result of skilled craftmanship. The design is classic and has been refined for many years making it a stand-alone piece great for indoors or outdoors.


The Lilja

The Lilja was created for comfort in Scandi style with organic rounded lines in natural teak. The natural elements of the Lilja convey elegance in their curved detail. The curved angle of the seat creates a comfortable position that makes it far too easy to relax in for hours. Available in all teak or with a synthetic rattan seat and teak frame the Lilja is truly a statement piece.


With the summer months quickly approaching and we look forward to making the most of the long summer days why not keep in mind these Scandinavian style tips when creating your private outdoor space. The focus on nature and pared-back style might be just what you need to help you decompress and take a breath this summer.


Shop High-Quality Scandinavian Style Outdoor Furniture at Cottage Culture

Are you looking for high-quality outdoor furniture? Cottage Culture in beautiful Hensall, Ontario is here to help! Our team of of furniture experts can assist you in finding your perfect piece of scandi-style outdoor furniture. With free styling and layout consultations and white glove deilvery service we are here to help you create your personal backyard oasis! 


Reach out to us or pop by our showroom! Looking for patio inspiration? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!


Angela Roth at 12:19 PM
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