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Styling 101: How to Get That Scandinavian Look in Your Living Room

Scandinavian Styling 101

For as long as I can remember, I have gravitated toward Scandinavian design. Seeing images of homes that had that clean aesthetic made me want to transform my entire house into a peaceful and airy retreat. It's easy to believe that Scandinavian design means you have to be a purest: black, white, and grey spaces with very little clutter and furniture. But that's not necessarily true. There are all kinds of amazing styles that can mix well with the Scandinavian vibe we all love.

Today I'll show you three different ways to apply those Scandinavian principles (simple, minimal, and functional) into your home, no matter your personal style. I have a very blended style combination: Mid-Century Modern, meets Bohemian, meets Scandinavian. Yep, it sounds ridiculously complicated. So if I can give my home that Scandi-inspired look, believe me, so can you! 

Let's start with the coffee table!

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Clear the table of any objects. Start with a nice clean slate. Our coffee table is round, but these steps will work for any size and shape table you have in the home! Start with a tray. It's a sure way to keep items in one place without them looking like they're floating in nowhere-land. 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Place a stack of books to add height and to organize your favorite reads! 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Add a sculptural element to break up the rectangular shape on top of your books. 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

To balance out the table so far, add a vase with fresh or dried flowers (or any organic, sculptural plant you prefer). Since it's still winter, I opted for branches to create a natural and neutral touch. This will add texture and/or color to your table. 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Lastly, add a candle! It's kind of a must-have and it adds warmth and light to your space at night. Feel free to shuffle things around until they feel about right.  

And now for the sofa!

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Again, start with a clean slate. Then, throw down a sheepskin for warmth and contrast. Tip: If you want to mix it up a bit, try a grey or more colorful sheepskin!  

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Throw on a few pillows with colors and textures that compliment one another. I chose cooler tones to balance out the warmth of our camel colored sofa. Depending on the size of your sofa, I like to stick with 2-3 pillows so that it doesn't look too busy. 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Lastly, drape a throw over the sofa for those cooler evenings when you just want to cuddle up! 

Finally, let's focus on that shelf!

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Scandinavian Styling 101


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We all are bound to have a few shelves in the home. They are a great way to store and display our favorite pieces. I like to work top to bottom. Add a graphic and bold pop with a simple framed print. Lean it against the wall, no nails needed! 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Add a quirky and sculptural piece to balance the frame, in this case I went with a vintage ceramic glove form. Creepy or cool? 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Working on the next shelf, find a nice big piece that suits the color tones of your home. This will add breathing space in between the shelves, instead of it feeling too cluttered. As much as I love black and white, I also love the neutral colors nature offers. I went with a large piece of driftwood we picked up from the beach and then varnished it for a more finished look. 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Onto the next shelf, I added a small stack of vintage black, white, and grey books of different national parks. They are cool to read, but also happen to be in the color tones I love! 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

Feel like you need some more color, place a small plant atop your books. 

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Scandinavian Styling 101

And lastly, why not some more candles! I added cute little house votives instead of standard tea lights or tapered candlesticks. 

Scandinavian Styling 101

Now, take a step back and see how the space feels! These steps should help you on your way to achieving a more simple, minimal, and functional look in your home. If you still feel it looks too cluttered, simply take a pillow off the sofa, or remove an item from the coffee table or the shelf. Work the space until you feel happy with it! 

Scandinavian Styling 101

Scandinavian Styling 101

 

 

 

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