How to Get Cozy Scandinavian Style in 3 Simple Steps

There's no better time to get inspired by Scandinavian interior design. Learn what hygge is and how to incorporate the snuggly way of living into your home.

bedroom with scandinavian style

You may not know what Scandinavian style is, but you've likely experienced it. It's a sunken sofa with plush knit blankets; it's a faux-fur rug near a fireplace; it's a large stack of books with a cup of tea. In short, Scandinavian style incorporates something called hygge (pronounced hue-gah) into your life.

Hygge isn't a design style or anything that you can buy—it's a feeling of coziness that the Danes have perfected. Someone who is experiencing hygge is present in the now and might be enjoying something as lavish as a rich molten chocolate cake or as simple as a pair of fuzzy socks. It's about finding the charming moments of each day and noticing them as they come. As this comforting way of life makes its way stateside, we look to traditional Scandinavian style to reach our home's peak hygge potential. See what three simple things you can do right now to achieve hygge in your home.

Dining room with Scandinavian style
Victoria Pearson

1. Let the Sun Shine

Your home's lighting can affect your mood, so make sure it's at its best. You should feel energized during the day, and dim lighting certainly isn't going to help. Uncovered windows let in light that's reflected and amplified by white walls. If you don't want to go completely shade-less for privacy concerns, consider installing a curtain hook on the wall to gather extra fabric away from your window. Mirrors also help to bounce natural light around a large room without any wires or electrical work required.

At night, wind down by casting a dim glow across your room with a floor lamp. Candles always keep things nice and cozy, and set an intimate mood, too.

Neutral living room with Scandinavian style
Victoria Pearson

2. Warm with Texture

Search for natural elements to incorporate into your home as much as possible. Natural surfaces and organic fibers edge out cold for a casual and comfortable mood. Think stone, light woods (pine, maple, and whitewashed or cerused timber), and weathered concrete.

Take those bold, sometimes harsh, materials and soften them with simple accents. Wool, cotton, linen textiles, and fur are all great ways to make your living room a place you'll never want to leave. Keeping a neutral color palette is ideal for Scandinavian style.

White built-in bookshelf with Scandinavian style

3. Simplify Silhouettes

You can't fully focus on the now in a cluttered room. Starting with bare windows, find ways to streamline furnishings. Extra seating crowding a room can easily be replaced by floor cushions—tuck them away in a corner and bring them out only when necessary. Keep furniture lines clean, simple, and in a layout that welcomes guests.

Take the time to simplify your collections, too. If it doesn't bring you joy, chances are you can get rid of it. For accent pieces, go natural and hyperlocal, and make frequent changes with the season. Consider a bowl of acorns as a fall centerpiece or hang a snowy art landscape for winter. You'll be able to display them longer, plus they'll likely blend easily with your existing decor.

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