Scandinavian Home Design for Summer
Get your home décor right for summer—see tips and tricks for welcoming the warmest season in the most hygge-filled ways.
Is summer hygge? Considering that hygge is typically associated with candles and fireplaces, you'd think not—but Danes would disagree. Hygge is more about who you're with than what you have, and summer hygge can be achieved by spending time outdoors with close friends and family. Think: apple-picking, long forest walks, and barbecues at the summer house.
That said, you'll still need a cozy home to return to at the end of the day—and there are plenty of ways in which you can bring that outdoor hygge feeling indoors.
Whatever the weather, Scandinavians love being out in nature—but there’s something special about summer, when plants are at their most green and lush. You don’t always need to go outside, however—you can bring plants into your home.
Generally, Scandinavian design is all about achieving maximum effect with minimum ornamentation: in this vein, seek out flowerless plants with big leaves, which will catch the eye without looking fussy. Prime candidates include large pot plants such as fiddle-leaf figs and monstera (swiss cheese plant), or trailing plants such as pothos and philodendron. You can place these on shelves—the trailing foliage will give your wall displays a more casual, unstructured look. If you're lucky enough to have window boxes, plant them with bulbs to create a riot of color just outside, which will change with the seasons.
Studies have shown that just looking at images of nature can boost your mood and wellbeing. Plant prints and paintings—or even the color green—can enhance your mood in spaces that aren’t suitable for growing. Our Scandinavian design duvet covers feature Denmark’s most iconic plants: oak leaves on Agern, myrica gale on Porse and delicate blue flax flowers on Hørblomst. You can also buy our Scandi-style bedding in solid colors, including green.
Use cut flowers to add interest and variation to your summery Scandi home. Rather than using big bunches, break them up into single or double blooms and scatter them throughout the house. Present them in Nordic glassware from the Finnish brand, iittala—it’s a fixture in homes throughout the region.
Scandinavian homes are designed to make the most of natural light. This is particularly important in the dark winter months—but it’s also crucial in summer to make the most of those lovely long days, especially now that you’ve got new plants to care for!
Start with that comprehensive decluttering you've been putting off. Throw open the windows to let in fresh air, then have a good old clear out; start with wardrobes and drawers and assess whether their contents are still of use to you. Once you've done that, look at what you've got out in the open: can any of it be stored instead? Storing items away, rather than keeping them on surfaces, will bring you closer to a clean-lined Scandi look.
Then, make sure your windows are clean and remove any clutter around them that may be blocking the light. Place full-length mirrors in strategic places to bounce light around, and paint walls white or in a light color.
How to Introduce Color
Scandinavian design isn’t just about whites and greys—experiment by adding a little color to your space. These can be muted and pastel or bold and beautiful—see our post on Danish Maximalism for more on how to work with bright colors.
If you’re unsure, green is a great place to start—as it’s a color found in nature, it’s unlikely to clash or look dated. You can also turn to flowers for inspiration: think of yellow sunflowers or the delicate blues and pinks of hydrangeas in bloom.
If you’re feeling brave, summer is the perfect time to give your walls a paint makeover: with long daylight hours, you’ll be better able to spot missed bits and flaws that would go unnoticed under artificial light.
However, you don’t need to go that far to add a little color. Candlesticks, cushion covers and artwork will all make your home more vibrant; duvet covers, too. Our Fugle organic linen duvet covers feature beloved Scandinavian bird species; their blue, yellow, and red feathers can be used as a jumping-off point for your own interior design creations.
Get Inspired by Danish Summer Cabins
For many Danes, the summer cabin is an essential part of a hygge-filled life. City-dwellers can escape the urban sprawl, slow down, and spend quality time with family and friends, away from the distractions of modern life.
Traditionally, these summer cabins look like quaint woodland homes: a thatched roof, multi-pane windows, and clapboard walls painted yellow or red. Lately, however, many cabins are being built in a high-end, modern Scandinavian style. This summer house in Sjælland, for instance, has light floors, pared-back décor, and clean-lined, mid-century-style furniture.
If you have the budget for a more comprehensive makeover, why not borrow inspiration from these designer homes and create your own “summer cabin” right in your living room?
Wood floors are a must, of course—wide panels look more contemporary than narrow ones. If you really want to lean into the look, go with wood-paneled walls too! And clear away all visual clutter: Danish cabin design is all about a few curated, well-placed items. Without anything surrounding them, their presence elevates the space.
Whether you prefer the “old” or the “new” Danish cabin style, a reindeer-hide throw is essential for that rustic feel. They come in dark or light varieties, so pick the one that best matches your décor.
Finish off the look with a set of our Nordic bedding, made from European flax linen. As an all-natural, organic material, it’ll add just the right amount of texture without looking fussy.