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Scandinavian Design Tricks to Lighten Your Space

Life seems like it’s always getting busier, and sometimes it can all get overwhelming. Your home can be the perfect thing to help you detox at the end of the day, and Scandinavian design techniques can help you lighten up your space so that walking into your home is a breath of fresh, soothing air. 

Bold Lighting Design

Julie Hole / My Scandinavian Home / Nordic Design

Part of what makes these Scandinavian interiors so gorgeous is the lighting. Even if you don’t have the ideal window setup, using copper globe lights or large paper lanterns can keep with the aesthetic and light up your space. If you really want the appearance of pooling daylight without having the windows for it, consider buying dimmable daylight bulbs. These bulbs generate the same color of light as sunlight, and the dimmable element will allow you to match interior lighting to exterior lighting.

Reconsider Your Statement Pieces  

Not all statement pieces have to be huge couches or art pieces that span your entire wall. Sometimes, smaller is better. Consider some of these pieces featured in Scandinavian homes.

La Maison d’Anna G.

These leather-backed wooden chairs, seen in Swedish stylist Lotta Agaton’s Stockholm apartment, are gorgeous and make such fun statement pieces for the room. Because their stain is so light, they’ll liven up a room without weighing it down. The best thing about these chairs? They are functional and easy to maintain, while still adding zest to the room.


Your statement piece doesn’t even have to leave the ground if you choose a bold rug for your space. To make it work, keep everything else in the room subdued and supportive of the rug. Rugs as statement pieces can have incredible pop, but a little more planning than other statement pieces take. Be careful though, if you really emphasize color elsewhere in the room, your rug can overwhelm or busy it. Make sure the rug you choose contrasts well with both your flooring and your walls.

If you really enjoy art statement pieces, consider a gallery wall. When you’re planning a gallery wall, keep all of the art in the same color space and group them together. All of the frames don’t need to match — in fact, I encourage you to mix it up some with the frames — but they should be in the same color family and generally mix well together.

Make sure that you do not leave your gallery wall stranded. Plan the room around this wall, and guide attention to the artwork using furniture placement, lighting, and texture to highlight the pieces in the most flattering way. If you’re really worried about how a gallery wall will work with your space, consider monochrome artwork – that will keep the pop subdued, while still making an impact on the space.

Using Color & Texture to Move Your Space

The way that color is used in Scandinavian design is a huge part of how the spaces pop so much. The color of walls is of particular importance: white and grey walls are a frequent feature but there’s more than just that. Using muted colors on the wall can help liven up a room if you feel that neutrals are too aloof. Try using blues, browns, even oranges in chalky, soft, colors.

As far as other features of the room, incorporating pops of blue, black and white stripes, purples, and yellows can be a great way to brighten a room up. Love color but don’t like to be overwhelmed? Add colors to a mostly neutral space.

Bungalow 5 / Nordic Design / Decorology

If you enjoy a more muted color palette but feel that it is too stuffy, try playing with textures instead of colors. If you restrain your colors, you can have more going on in the space in terms of furniture, floor, and wall textures. Just remember, negative space is important – space furniture out to allow it room to breathe visually. Rich textures can be used across furniture, on the wall, in carpets, and more, to create visual appeal to a room that might otherwise feel stagnant. You can mix and match textures like in the gorgeous room featured in the center above.

This Scandinavian decorating style of using texture instead of color can help you create a more soothing and welcoming environment without having a space that feels lifeless.

Living with Greenery

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The final element to include in this soothing, Scandinavian-inspired space are plants. The green will pop beautifully, but having living things around will also help literally liven the space. There’s been research to suggest that house plants produce psychological benefits, reduce stress, and improve concentration. It’s also suggested that they can boost your ability to maintain attention and increase memory retention, simply by being in the environment. On top of that, they’re great for design!

Greenery spruces up a space that could otherwise feel clinical. If you don’t feel comfortable taking care of some of the more difficult plants, cacti and air plants aren’t as hard to care for. Cacti require some care in terms of soil, climate, and light. If this seems like too much, consider air plants: air plants need to be spritzed with water every week or so and don’t live in soil, instead surviving solely off of the nutrients they obtain from air, water, and sun. Both of these varieties of plants are very visually appealing and distinctive, and would be great design elements in your newly relaxing home.

If you end up using any of these tips, or if you have Scandinavian design tricks that we missed here, comment below! Otherwise, you can let me know your thoughts by visiting me on Facebook or Twitter and leaving a comment.