Kid-Friendly Scandinavian Design That You'll Love Too

There's a common misconception among the parents of young kids that you can't have nice things. But there are tons of great options in Scandinavian-inspired designs that work really well for young families and will grow with the kiddos. Check out some of our favorite Scandinavian designs that will inject your rooms with style and will stand up to the worst your kids throw at them.

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February 19, 2018

Photo By: Sesha Smith, Convey Studios

Photo By: Amy Bartlam

Photo By: Simone Haag in Collaboration with Nathan + Jac; Photo by Eve Wilson

Photo By: Sean Litchfield Photography

Photo By: IKEA

Photo By: Jenna Buck Gross

Photo By: Alyssa Kirsten

Photo By: Sean Litchfield Photography

Photo By: Amy Bartlam

Photo By: Scott Hargis Photo

Calm Neutrals, Open Spaces

Don't let the white couch scare you off. Neutrals are a big element of Scandinavian design, but they're made family-friendly by being crafted from natural materials that can be washed. The open space with moveable poufs and a comfy rug to loll around on make this a perfect spot for family, kids and friends.

No-Fuss Dining Room

Minimalism is a prime element of Scandi design and is great for life with kids. The simple no-fuss forms make the furniture comfortable but also so easy to clean up.

Pared-Down Color Palettes

Most Scandinavian spaces are anchored in neutral palettes with splashes of color to add interest to a room. Simplifying the color schemes takes the guess work out of buying furniture or decorating for a busy family.

Simple, Joyful Design

This is a playroom that kids and adults will both love spending time in. Using a very spare color palette, maximizing the light with bright white walls, and adding a playful but simple Swiss cross pattern makes this room super fun for the little ones and so comfortable and joyful for adults and kids alike.

Pale Wood Accents

Light wood makes frequent appearances in Scandinavian style. Wood is often unfinished or left natural to maximize the light in sunshine-starved countries. What's so great about this for families is that it makes furniture — like this kids' table and chair set — easy to maintain with soap and water or a little sanding if things get too dingy.

Fun Color, Lively Patterns

Bold colors, especially yellows, blues, reds and greens, turn up in many a Scandinavian room. Patterns are often very simple — like the herringbone wallpaper and triangle print pillow above — and can mix together very easily when the colors are kept to just a few. This works great in kids' bedrooms but can be carried through other rooms in the home without looking too young.

Lighting from Above

Because Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and the Faroe Islands) are so short on daylight for the winter months, lighting is very important in their interiors. Lots of light comes from above in the form of pendant lamps. Keeping the lights out of reach of little ones is a big plus!

White Walls, Wood Floors

Clean, white walls and wood floors highlight the bright openness of a room. Avoid a boring feel by adding bright hues like in this living room. The deep blue sofa and brightly patterned rug will conceal dirt, and the wood floor is so simple to sweep up. Keeping a can of white paint on hand for wall touch-ups every year or so couldn't be easier.

Clutter-Free Spaces

Because Scandinavian houses used to be fairly small, the space was optimized by limiting clutter. Today's Scandi-inspired design aspires to the same junk-free ethos. Even in this kids room with two sets of bunk beds and lots of toys, the overall sense is a tidy and calm space.

Unexpected Bursts of Color

One of the things that makes Scandinavian design seem youthful without being too childish is the surprising and artful use of unexpected color. The painted ends of the logs in this fireplace enliven an otherwise plain palette and will surely delight everyone in the family.

From: Target

Simple Kitchen Style

Like many European kitchens, this Scandinavian-inspired one has no upper cabinets. The simple open shelving provides easy access to dishware, and the lower cabinets keep everything in reach but out of sight. The minimal, clutter-free kitchen may even inspire your family to keep the counters clear.

Perfect for a Nursery

Many parents are eschewing the traditional pinks and blues for nurseries in favor of more sleek and gender-neutral rooms that will grow with their child. Enter Scandinavian design. The streamlined furniture, the simple pattern play and color appeal to parents and kids alike.

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