Scandinavian design is known for its sparse, modern, minimalist look. Characterized by white walls, wood floors, and sleek, contemporary lines, it is without a doubt one of the most influential design styles of the past century.
The style itself is associated with designers that include furniture and cabinet designer Hans Wegner, Finnish designer Eero Aarnio, and Ingvar Kamprad—the man responsible for Ikea—but it’s much more than colorful plastic, teak, and modular furniture. It’s about simplicity and light, combining form and function beautifully to conjure a genuinely timeless result.
Featured Kitchen Project: Patterson
Patterson was a client whose kitchen remodel was archetypically Scandinavian. The client wanted neutral, natural-looking wood for the cabinets, something without any real detail on them. They were flat-panel, nothing fancy at all.
The client wanted to “bring the outdoors in,” and so one of the things we did to achieve this was to add a back-painted glass backsplash. The back of it is painted a sage green color, but there’s no grout, it’s just solid glass; highly reflective, clean, and simple. The countertops were plain white except for a little tiny bit of a grey vein in it.
The light fixtures were also quite simple, just white globes – about as plain as you can get. The kitchen table was a tulip-style table, all white, flat white.
Featured Kitchen Project: Mauk
Another project we did in a very Scandi-style has cork flooring and grey cabinets. We didn’t actually set out to do the kitchen remodel in that style, but it ended up that way.
Some of the features included very simple slab-door cabinets. The countertops were white with the slightest detail and they looked solid white from a distance. The cabinets were a solid light gray. The backsplash was a soft off-white stacked tile without staggering or making any real pattern with the tiles.
All the fixtures, the faucets, the hardware – they were all really simple, and straightforward. Super functional; nothing extra, nothing frilly. The light fixtures were Logan grass shades, again, nothing decorative or fancy to them, just a natural feel and form with a little bit of texture sprinkled here and there. Very soft and muted, very simple, very warm, nothing overly bright or saturated in any way. The darkest color in there is probably the floors, which are natural cork.
How to Achieve Scandinavian Kitchen Design
If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen and you really like the Scandinavian design aesthetic, here are a few things we can do to make it all come together:
1. Simple, Clean, and White
White cabinets and white countertops – white décor in general – are the basis for the Scandinavian look. Lots of cabinetry to help you declutter and stow things away helps to complete the minimalist vibe. White surfaces give you a lot of reflection and will amplify the ambient light in the space, even if you don’t have a lot of windows.
2. Hanging Lights
Task lighting placed strategically in the kitchen add drama, and they are also much brighter than standard kitchen lighting.
3. Wood of Cork Flooring
Wooden floors are a typical feature of Scandinavian design. They help to soften the stark white of the room and come in many different styles, veneers, and colors.
4. Bright Colors
A splash of bright color pops against a white or neutral palette. This could be a piece of furniture, small appliances like a coffee machine, or a large item like a refrigerator. Houseplants also do the trick, as do fabrics, which could be added as curtains, table linens, or seat cushions.
5. Contemporary Wall Art
Hang a large canvas with muted colors, or perhaps a photograph with a simple or floating frame. Err on the side of monochromatic images, so it blends with the rest of the décor as opposed to competing with it.
6. Finger-notched Cabinets and Drawers
Rather than having hardware on your cabinetry, choose finger-notched designs to maintain a sleek profile and a flush finish.
7. Geometric Shapes
Many Scandinavian designs, whether it’s furniture or fixtures, have a geometric element, adding an eye-catching and dimensional aspect to the décor.
Are you thinking about adding some Scandinavian flair to your kitchen? We’ve got lots of ideas that can bring it home! Give us a call today to find out what we can do for you.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.