If you’re here, I’m guessing you love Scandinavian style decor as much as me. Scandi interiors are very popular and will continue to be as it isn’t a design trend, its a way of life. Scandinavian decor appeals to so many of us because it’s all about creating an uncluttered environment and a home that is cosy, inviting and comfortable. It’s about creating a space that appeals to all your senses and gives you a feeling of calm. In the past, I’ve shared lots of tips on how to create a Scandi interior but today is about the mistakes to avoid when decorating Scandinavian style as there are some commonly made mistakes that come up.
Scandi decor is as much about what not to do as it is about what to do, especially as it follows a less is more approach. While Scandinavian decor can vary, there are some key elements of this design style. These mistakes focus on those key elements which can sometimes be forgotten, overlooked or ignored.
7 mistakes to avoid when decorating Scandinavian style
1. going too minimal
Many people think Scandinavian decor is the same as minimalist decor but it’s not, well… not exactly. While Scandi interiors do lean minimal, they aren’t about stark minimalism. Scandi minimalism is about having just enough — not too much or too little. In other words it’s about only having whats used, needed and loved to create a practical and cosy home but nothing extra. It’s about exercising some restraint by resisting the urge to fill every bit of space you have.
2. going all white
While white is a popular colour in Scandinavian homes, it’s not the only colour. Sometimes, all white space can look cold and clinical which is exactly the opposite of the look you’re trying to achieve. Scandinavians often embrace colours, especially tones inspired by nature like blues, greens and earthy tones. Lots of neutral tones like soft beiges, cool greys and dusty pinks are also often seen in Scandi decor. Even if white is the main colour, you will see other colours in the mix.
3. believing Scandi decor is expensive
This is one of the most common beliefs out there and it couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the best parts of Scandinavian decor is that it’s accessible on any budget. There are many ways to get the Scandinavian look on a budget by embracing things like the Scandi’s do — DIY’ing things, foraging for plants, upcylcing furniture, thrift shopping etc. While there are some high-end Scandinavian furniture and decor brands, you absolutely don’t have to shop there to get the look. Think places like IKEA and H&M home (AFF) instead or even online marketplaces for second-hand finds. One of my favourite ways to keep budgets in check is to have one high-end Scandi piece mixed in with much cheaper decor, mostly from IKEA. You still get the look without blowing the budget.
4. not having enough texture
This is a big one and usually the reason why a room doesn’t feel cohesive. Texture is so important in Scandinavian decor and this is the key to making a home feel cosy, comfortable and inviting. Texture is all about adding different natural materials in neutral tones. While wood plays a big role in Scandi homes, texture is not limited to just wood. It includes natural stones, metals, plants and natural textiles like linen, seagrass, sheepskin, wool, leather and more. Any room will look more interesting and inviting with lots of texture and it will come together cohesively.
5. not embracing negative space
This is a design principle that is always seen in Scandinavian interiors. Negative space is simply empty floor space in a room and empty space around design elements. From a practical point of view, this allows for easy flow of movement but there’s so much more to this idea. It avoids sensory overload and overwhelm and allows the decor that you do have to stand out. This is one of the reasons why Scandinavian homes look aesthetically pleasing and visually balanced. No matter how small a home, you will find empty space. Yet another reason to embrace this idea is that it can make even the smallest rooms look bigger.
6. not adding personal touches
Scandi interiors are ever popular and so it can be tempting to just copy the homes of others. This approach just doesn’t work and won’t make your space feel like yours. Scandinavian homes always have personal touches that make each space unique. These usually include artwork, favourite candles, coffee table books, sentimental objects, sculptures… the list goes on.
7. creating an overly-styled space
Scandinavian interiors have a lived in look about them. There’s an almost organic feel about the decor. In other words, it’s not about perfection or creating a show home. It’s about creating a home that is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing.