Terms of the Trade: What is Scandi Style?

clean, elegant bedroom with grass rug and lamps, large white bed, white floor and white walls

Scandi style is a nickname for Scandinavian design, a loose term for the cozy, minimalist style of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

This loose collection of design principles began to cohere in the public imagination in the 1950s. Some of its signature elements include natural, durable materials, lean, curvy shapes, and spare elegance.

natural tones in bedside table next to comfortable bed

The clutter-free grace of Scandi style has been popularly commercialized by the Swedish furnishing company IKEA. Historically, Scandi style has referred primarily to home goods like furniture and decor, but in recent years it's expanded to include commentary on the form factors of technological products.

.Scandinavian design for home office with clean, elegant funiture

The airy comfort of Scandi style has been described as comfortable without being kitschy. Wood surfaces and house plants are common in this style, which celebrates the natural world. Inviting textures like rough knit blankets and woven grass objects fit comfortably this design world, too, as do calm neutral tones like whites, blacks, and tans.

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