What is Scandinavian Farmhouse?
Blend the rustic charm of farmhouse style with the modern minimalism of Scandinavian design for a simply elegant contrast.
Photo By: Ryan Garvin
Photo By: Genna Margolis
Photo By: Tessa Neustadt
Photo By: Genna Margolis
Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency
Photo By: Vivian Johnson
Photo By: Justin Levesque
Photo By: Wanda Ely Architect, Inc.; Scott Norsworthy
Photo By: Flynnside Out
Photo By: codyulrich.com
Photo By: Genna Margolis
Photo By: Rennai Hoefer
Photo By: clfryphoto.com
Photo By: Dustin Halleck
Photo By: Ben Gebo
Simplicity Reigns Supreme
Less is more in Scandinavian design, where streamlined furnishings are prioritized over visual clutter. Paring down to the essentials also allows you to truly enjoy the pieces you've curated. The look doesn't have a stark quality to it though, since it brings in raw materials, like wood, natural fibers and stone, to exude ease and warmth.
Lean Into the Understated
Minimalist but packed with crucial functionality, this entryway is a cozy welcome home. Unassuming wood-and-leather hooks keep purses, scarves and jackets on hand as you walk out the door. The L-shaped bench has storage potential underneath and is a chic place to slip shoes on and off. Elegant moldings bring dimension to the clean white walls, while tone-on-tone neutrals add warmth.
Let in the Light
Since Scandinavians live many months in darkness, their design uses an abundance of big windows (and often no curtains) to bring in as much natural light as possible. When paired with pale woods and bright white walls, a certain brightness and airiness is created even in the dead of winter.
Living in the Green
Both farmhouse and Scandinavian styles love to invite in the outdoors, so bring on the houseplants. They breathe life into any space — literally. For a more modern aesthetic, look for sculptural potted trees, but any plant that brings you joy is the Nordic way, including a freshly gathered bouquet of wildflowers.
When marrying these two designs, you get an eclectic, lived-in vibe that is full of warmth yet leans toward a minimalist aesthetic. This living room is kept completely neutral minus the bold red rug. Open, streamlined bookshelves contribute much-needed storage without adding weight to the room, and the low-slung furniture reinforces the casual environment that both styles like to evoke.
Uncomplicate the Bed
Say no to fussy bedding and mixing patterns. Opt for simple linens that evoke an instantly relaxing atmosphere. A fuzzy throw and pillow up the cozy factor of this bedroom, but everything else from the modest bedding to the clean lines of the wood furniture maintain an unpretentious environment.
Bring in Color
Although white may be the favored hue, it doesn't mean your space has to be devoid of color. An earthy runner adds muted shades to this entry, while a provincial bench is a welcomed greeting to set bags and tuck shoes. Light woods are often preferred in Nordic design and they're found here on the front door and stair railings, but for the flooring, a rich wood is used to add depth to the space.
Functionality is a key element to Scandinavian design. These open, floating shelves not only keep towels and toiletries handy, but they also bring a spa-like atmosphere to this kid-friendly bathroom. The wide trough-style sink solves the problem of multiple tooth brushers, allowing all three kids to line up at bedtime. Subway tile is laid in straight lines rather than the typical overlapping style to bring a decidedly contemporary outcome to the room.
Mixing Two Styles
Combining farmhouse favorites — shiplap and reclaimed wood — with sparse Scandinavian-inspired furniture is a smart solution for this carport-turned-studio. A twist on traditional layouts, the shiplap is turned vertical for the walls and the floors are laid in a herringbone pattern.
Style With Purpose
Storage elements that also act as chic décor is quintessential Scandinavian: style as function. This mudroom turns to farmhouse's love of repurposing materials to achieve the effect. A ladder houses throws you can wrap around you on a cool morning, and even a found stick is hung as an unexpected rack for hanging a jacket or shawl. Shiplap walls and a beamed ceiling complete the look.
For the Little Ones
An uncluttered space gives kiddos a chance to clear their minds and use their imaginations. Bright white walls are softened by textured white curtains and a shades-of-blue area rug grounds the room. Tucked in the board-and-batten playhouse is a cozy bed made for dreaming.
Scandinavian style loves a white wall. Shiplap brings texture to the space while still remaining clean and uncluttered. The soft gray vanity is topped with marble and highlighted by brass fixtures and hardware. Starburst tiles create a quilt-like result that adds a note of country charm.
A muted color scheme + classic furnishings + antiques = a gorgeous space inspired by the Nordics. Weathered gray flooring and shiplap walls combine with a vaulted ceiling that's highlighted by a strip of natural-light-pouring skylights.
Look for light fixtures that are white or tone-on-tone with your room so that they blend with the surroundings. Be sure to select ones with a striking silhouette though so that they make a grand statement.
Softness for Your Toes
You won't find wall-to-wall carpeting in a Scandinavian home, but they still add cushy texture underfoot with rugs. Try a sheepskin area rug for an uber-plush addition.