How Do I Make My Bedroom Look Scandinavian?
From the lighting to the furniture, bedding, and more, see the must-have elements needed to give your bedroom a truly Scandinavian look and feel.
How Did Scandinavian Style Come To Be?
Before creating a Scandinavian look for your bedroom, it’s essential to understand how and why Scandinavian style came about in the first place—this will help you to adapt it to your living situation.
Life in Scandinavian countries—Norway, Sweden, and Denmark—tends to be cold and dark for much of the year, especially in the northern areas. In December, Danes receive just seven hours of daylight per day, and the average daily temperature is a chilly 2°C (36°F)!
As a result, Scandinavians tend to have small homes, as they’re more efficient to heat. Every element of Scandinavian design aims to maximize space and light levels in the home: from multi-functional, minimalistic furniture to light-colored walls.
If you’re dealing with a larger bedroom, as is the case in many American homes, fear not—our guide to Scandinavian design for large spaces will teach you how to adapt our top Scandi bedroom tips for your home.
White Walls, Light Wood
Walls in Scandinavian homes tend to be white, or a light neutral such as grey, light green, or blush. This helps to bounce around natural light—particularly advantageous in the bedroom as it’ll help you to get up on dark winter mornings. White and neutral colors also create a calm, peaceful atmosphere, perfect for weekend lie-ins or winding down at night.
Take care when choosing white paint. Very few whites are a “true white”—most will be either “warm white” (with red or yellow pigment added) or “cool white” (with blue pigment added). Though cool white can look striking and modern, it rarely looks cozy—and it’s much harder to find furnishings to match. Therefore, we recommend choosing a warm white for a more hyggeligt atmosphere.
Furniture in Scandi bedrooms tends to use pale woods such as pine or ash. Wood-design laminate is a tempting low-cost option but tends not to last, costing more in the long run. Check out your local vintage furniture store instead—you may stumble across an unexpected bargain!
A light-wood floor is essential to any Scandi look. But if your budget won’t stretch to hardwood flooring, try engineered hardwood instead, which layers a thin veneer of real wood over cheaper plywood. It’s just as durable as hardwood—and once it’s laid down, no one will notice the difference.
Serene Scandi Lighting for the Bedroom
Great lighting is a key part of the Scandi design ethos. Danes, in particular, have turned lighting into an art form: instead of using one main ceiling light, they create a serene ambiance by creating many smaller “pools” of light around the room.
In the Scandi home, the optimal number of lights per room is around five to seven—ideally, you should vary the height of your lighting, too. In the bedroom, this could mean a couple of bedside lights, a few wall sconces, and perhaps a floor lamp. Make sure all lights are the same (warm white) color temperature. Install a smart lighting system, so that you can dim or brighten lights as desired.
If you’re doing a full renovation (including building work), see if your electrician can install fixtures for wall sconces or pendant lights over each nightstand, which will free up space. Recessed LED lighting strips—beloved of high-end Scandi hotels—create a beautiful ambient glow and are surprisingly simple to install.
Key Measurements for the Bedroom
Scandinavians value practicality above all else, and a key factor in practical interiors is anthropometrics: design based on human measurements. Institutions such as Sweden’s Hemmens forskningsinstitut (Home Research Institute) were founded with the intention of standardizing home measurements.
In the bedroom, it all starts with the bed. There should be a clearance of at least 30 inches all around the bed—if you can’t manage that, your bed is too large! The best height for a bed (including the mattress) is 22-24 inches—much higher, and it’s a risk for young children if they fall out of bed during the night.
Nightstands should be around four inches higher than the mattress surface. For wall-mounted reading lights, measure eight inches out from the mattress edge, then 24 inches up—the light fitting should be attached so that the light source is at this point.
The Perfect Scandinavian-Style Duvet Covers
Now that you’ve got your bed set up, it’s time to pair it with the perfect bedding—and what could be more perfect than a set of our Scandi-inspired, organic linen duvet covers?
Scandinavian style is all about natural, sustainable, and long-lasting materials. Organic linen bedding ticks all of those boxes: it’s made from carbon-negative flax grown organically in Europe, and lasts for years if properly cared for.
Our European duvet covers feature beautiful designs based on Scandinavian flora and fauna. They’re printed on a white background, the perfect focal point for a white-walled room. Or if you’re working with a more saturated color palette, check out our solid-color duvet sets. No matter what set you go for, loose-textured, rumpled linen evokes a laid-back style that complements the Scandi aesthetic. And if you order through our online shop, we’ll offset the emissions from shipping through our partnership with Planet.
We dive deeper into Scandi finishing touches in our dedicated blog post—but generally, if you stick to Scandinavian principles of simplicity and sustainability, you can’t go wrong. Fill the space with green, flowerless plants—make sure they’re pet- and child-safe—and hang art that speaks to your personality. More than anything, designing a Scandi-style bedroom is all about creating a space that truly feels like yours.
What do you love about Scandinavian design? How will you be putting these tips into practice? Let us know on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter!