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When you think “Nordic-style” home décor, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, that would be the ubiquitous Swedish brand that sells you flat-packed sofas with universal instructions. However, there is more to décor inspired by Nordic countries than giant stores with blue and yellow lettering. Here are a few of the staples of Nordic style in materials, textures and colors.

Nordic materials

Whenever you visit northern climes, you will notice that most of their homes are made of natural, traditional materials like wood and stone, both inside and out. These materials are naturally insulating, making them the right choice for cold winters and temperate summers. They also remind us that humans have needed nature for shelter for thousands of years.

This nordic-style living room features lots of natural wood on the walls and even the ceilings. You can easily imagine a family warming up around this fireplace on a cold winter night, listening to music or reading books.

This modern living room also has nordic inspiration, as seen by the bare wooden beam and the use of pale wood paneling for the storage space.

Here, wood and stone are used together to provide a unique feel that could belong in modern Scandinavia just as much as in the old dining halls of Vikings.

When planning a nordic-style remodel, look at how you can incorporate wood and stone into your home décor.

Nordic textures

Living Nordic-style means spending a lot of time inside the home during the short and cold winter months. Textures used in places like living rooms and bedrooms need to feel especially warm and cozy. Lush area rugs, woolen fabrics and even suede and leather characterize the textures of a Nordic-style décor. Scandinavian countries are known for their beautiful knit work as well as skills with leather, so no wonder these fabrics are integrated into their homes. Here are a few examples.

This Nordic-inspired mid-century style living room features a deep pile area rug, a cozy couch and a beautiful neutral leather armchair. Notice the wood ceiling and the wide, open windows for more of the nordic style home décor.

This original living room also uses Scandinavian-style couches, however in a bit more daring color palette. Even though this is actually a beach house, you can see the northern influence in the bare pieces of driftwood, the minimalist furniture and the natural dark wood dresser.

Nordic colors

For colors, Nordic-style décor is very easy to do. Think in shades of white: snow white, off white, eggshell and every shade of white you can imagine. White is very useful when you only get 6 hours of sunlight during the winter–it helps reflect light and brighten up what could otherwise be a very dark season.

This room is a gorgeous example of contemporary Scandinavian decor. White everywhere painted on wood, with neutral shades and tiny splashes of color here and there. Notice the neutral fabric armchair in the back, giving this living room all the comfort it needs to take you through long winter nights.

This absolutely gorgeous dining room incorporates many of the Nordic elements we’ve discussed before: natural wood, soft fabrics and yes, more white. The use of grays here give this dining room a comfortable cabin style where everyone would feel at home. The gas stove at the end adds the final touch: no one will be cold while staying in this house.

This Scandinavian-inspired family room is a bit more colorful, yet integrates all the traditional elements of Nordic style: wood paneling and ceilings, natural textures and lots of white and neutrals. The color here is brought on by the painting on the wall, the plant in the corner and the throw cushions on the sofa. The use of white offsets the darkness that most basements suffer from.

As you can see, Nordic style doesn’t mean boring. In fact, these rooms enjoy lots of light, minimalist styles and wide open spaces. The rules are simple: think natural materials like wood and stone, comfortable and homey textures like wool, cotton and leather, and color palettes dominated by whites and neutrals. The furniture remains minimalist and incorporates curves and right angles together for balance.

How do you imagine your Nordic space? Share your ideas in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.