How to design a Scandinavian sanctuary

With the trends from this stunning region sweeping the interior world, Wharfside shares how to make your interior look and feel like a Scandinavian haven.

You may have heard of the term ‘lagom’ or ‘hygge’ which were Scandinavian interior buzzwords throughout last year. They mean to have a way of life within your home, which is uncluttered and to only have what you truly require within the space. Now, don’t fear, if your client has children or pets, or just a few pieces they wish to showcase, this doesn’t mean they have to get rid of them all, it means keeping the items they love and clearing out the clutter. Here, Wharfside discusses the perfect way to create a Scandinavian sanctuary.

Colour schemes
Don’t fear, you don’t have to go all white if you don’t want to, there are some fantastic ways to add warmth and colour to a Scandinavian scheme, to help keep a client sane if they have children, dogs or just love a touch of colour.

Think black accents
Monochrome is a fantastic classic, and works beautifully for Scandinavian design. If you can’t bring yourself to use black paint, think about using black frames for artwork, to help make a white wall have more depth.


Pops of yellow
Grey is a neutral for Scandinavian design, and one of the best colours to match with this calming hue is a bright yellow. Adding a pop of yellow really will help to bring a sunny and bright feeling into a space.

Grey is your friend
We just mentioned the importance of grey as a neutral colour in Scandi designs, so if white is just too stark, opt for grey as your base colour – it goes with everything and it is a great colour for homes which are more family-oriented rather than the showhome feel.

Use warm woods
Warm wood is a wonderful way to bring depth and warmth to a Scandi scheme. Scandinavian homes and designs are full of wood and natural fabrics and materials, so opt for a warmer wood such as cherry.


Blue is a go-to
Blue is a colour that many Scandi homes have, particularly for the bedroom. The blue we are thinking of is cool, nearly there, and of a neutral style – helping to aid calm and serenity for the space you sleep in.

Scandinavian design works really well for the bedroom – it creates a space which is calm, and technology-free, enabling your clients to get a good night’s sleep, without any distractions. Consider removing any technology from the bedroom as a starting point.

Another way to help create a Scandinavian-inspired bedroom is to have great storage for items, providing a place for clients to store things away when they get into bed at the end of the day.

Remove that armchair that is only used to throw dirty clothes on, and invest in a stunning wardrobe which will entice the homeowner to want to hang up their clothes.


Often, Scandinavian bedrooms are light and bright, which can feel a little strange to some of us who are used to creating cosy spaces in a bedroom. However, there is method behind the whites, greys and blues – it creates an airy, inviting and awakening space in a bedroom, perfect for darker mornings when it is hard to get up. It also feels more fresh and inviting.

Now, if you still want cosy, go for a grey paint, and add the all-important textures and layers to make the room feel incredibly luxurious. Consider scatter pillows, and a luxurious throw over the bed, particularly inviting for our colder winter nights!

When choosing the furniture, often the right wood is one which is lighter in colour, such as alder, beech or oak, as these work beautifully with the lighter colour schemes. You can then add some deeper colours with bed linens and curtains, such as navy blue, or deep greys.


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