One of the most important parts of Scandinavian interiors is bringing the outdoors in. One of the key ways to do this is with wooden flooring. That’s why you’ll almost never see wall to wall carpets in Scandinavian homes.
Flooring is such an integral part of a room because there’s always an expanse of it and it’s so visible. It also creates the decor foundation of a room. Apart from the natural aspect, wooden flooring adds warmth, depth and texture to a room, which are all so important in Scandi interiors. It’s probably also because of the warmth aspect that you’re more likely to see wooden floors in kitchens rather than tiles.
Scandinavian homes are all about warm minimalism and carpets just don’t go with this look. Carpets tend to date a space and make it look heavy. So if you love Scandi interiors then wooden floors are must. Below I’ve shared some tips on what to look for when going for wooden flooring in simple, neutral and minimal Scandi style.
Tips to get the Scandinavian flooring look
Light to medium light coloured woods are the most popular in Scandi homes because they keep things looking light and bright. With the long, dark winters that Scandinavia has, maximising lightness and brightness is key. Also light wooden floors look more natural and neutral which all matters in Scandi decor.
types of wood
Some of the types of wood you’ll see most often in Scandi homes include pine, white oak and douglas fir. The pine is usually white washed or bleached as natural pine can look yellowy-orange. Of all the types of wood, I would say I think pine is the one I have seen most used. This could be because it’s also the most budget friendly. Ultimately, the choice comes down to preference and budget but you can’t really go wrong with any of these three types of wooden floors.
planks or patterns
Planks are simple and minimal and you’ll often see them in Scandi homes. The one type of patterned flooring that you also often see is herringbone parquet. This is a personal choice and may be dictated by your space and budget – for e.g. if you have a period home a herringbone floor can work really well even if you have modern decor. Or you may be lucky enough to find original flooring in your home in which case the decision is made for you.
You could also opt for a mix like herringbone in the living areas and planks in the bedrooms. This is exactly what I’ve done because not only is herringbone flooring expensive but the costs add up as you’ll also need to hire a flooring installer. Whereas planks are a lot more budget friendly and are a lot easier to lay yourself. And if you did want to add extra interest with planks, you could always lay them in different directions in connected rooms.
If you’re after the Scandi look then chances are you’ll be drawn to more natural finishes. You won’t see shiny, highly varnished floors in Scandi homes. Instead you’ll see matte finishes that look neutral and natural. And sometimes when the flooring is already there but past it’s best, it’s painted white which also works and is much cheaper than replacing the floor.
While wood floors are very popular across Scandinavia, they are almost always seen with a rug on top. This not only adds extra warmth to a space but it also adds textures and breaks up the expanse of wood. Also many Scandi homes are open plan with the same flooring throughout so rugs can help define zones subtly but effectively.
Finally, just because you have pale flooring, it doesn’t mean all the other wooden furniture in the room should match. In fact it’s the opposite. Think of your floor as the biggest piece of wooden ‘furniture’ in the room and mix in different wood tones with similar undertones to create interest and stop the room looking too flat. Here’s how to mix different wood tones in case you’re not sure where to start.
These are some ideas to think about if you want the warm minimal Scandi look in your home. As you can see from the pictures, wooden floors really elevate a space and can even make a space look bigger than if carpeted. Personally, I can’t ever imagine having carpets in my home ever again!