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By 2022, we won’t be renting anymore. Well, hopefully.

We’ve been renting a humble home for more than a decade now, so I guess it’s about time we have a place of our own.

Right now, we are checking lots of home design inspiration. I’ve been showing pictures to hubby, Sasha, and Adele.

I’ve always been saving photos of home inspo every time I came across truly gorgeous ones. These are the pictures that move me or pictures that I can visualize our family living there while looking at them.

Nordic /adj/
Relates to Scandinavia as in Nordic countries; literally means “the North”

Nordic /n/
A native of Scandinavia

I’ve seen lots of Nordic home decors on Shopee and Lazada. I got intrigued with what Nordic is. All I know is that a Nordic home looks so visually appealing.


What is Nordic home design exactly?

The Nordic home design blends functionality, minimalism, and craftsmanship. Combined, they allude to simplistic living.

A renewed interest in the aesthetic happened post-World War II, particularly in the 1950s. Although, it has already been widely used in Northern Europe by then. The design actually emerged in the early 20th century among the Nordic countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway.

Evidently, the phrase Nordic home design appeared because of its origin.

Nordic design versus Scandinavian design

Nordic and Scandinavian are words commonly interchanged, but should they be?

According to Gessato, Scandinavian design is one of the most popular design movements today, if not the most popular. This design originates from the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden that make up Scandinavia, a subregion in Northern Europe. This is also known as the Scandinavian Peninsula.

That means if the particular design is from any of these three countries, the appropriate term is Scandinavian design.

It gets more confusing due to the overlap, though these countries belong to Nordic countries as well.

Personally, Nordic design is more appropriate. It’s more all-encompassing than Scandinavian design.

To answer the question, yes, they can be used interchangeably but only when referring to Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish design elements. Other than that, we should use the term Nordic design.

What are the main characteristics of the Nordic home style?

Nordic home design is currently enjoying its renewed popularity. There are several Scandinavian interior design characteristics such as below:

  • Clean lines
  • Lack of clutter
  • Chic minimalism
  • Light and neutral colors
  • Muted and dark hues
  • Bright color accents
  • Airy feel yet light-filled
  • Negative space
  • Wooden furniture
  • Wooden accents
  • Decorative lighting
  • Plush sofa
  • Tactile fabric
  • Natural textile
  • Brass or copper accents
  • Artworks as a focal point
  • Lush greenery
  • Traditional patterns
  • Large windows

These are the defining factors of Nordic design (and a pretty exhaustive list, if I may say so).

No wonder people favor this decorating style for their interior design that is so understated yet follows function.

You may mistake Nordic with boho. But when you see stylish pendant lights or hanging plants in macramé planters, you just know. It’s like everything has a place, and by everything, I mean very few but standout pieces.

Huge windows that allow natural light are fundamental to the design as well.

When it comes to colors, the muted and dark hues pay homage to the picturesque Nordic landscapes. That’s why the design invites in as much natural sunlight and greens.

What are the main materials of Nordic design?

Nordic designs use very few but distinct natural materials such as:

  • Pale woods (beech, pine, and ash)
  • Soft fabrics (linen and wool)
  • Leather
  • Glass

While the Nordic style has a unique minimalist appearance, you’d know that it’s Nordic once you see it.

Together, the elements create hygge, which is also fundamental to Nordic interior design.

hygge /n/

quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality

What are the key Nordic design colors?

Nordic interiors have an equally unmistakable color palette. Here they are:

  • White
  • Off-white
  • Gray
  • Beige
  • Cream
  • Muted blue
  • Muted green
  • Muted brown

Pale colors abound due to the wooden furniture and accents. The wood materials primarily used in the furniture pieces are abundant in the Nordic countries. They are lighter in color and have subtle grain and minimal to no dark markings.

Anything that complements wood material is fine, particularly nature-inspired colors such as sage green that is reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights.

Think of the space as monochromatic. Nonetheless, darker accents can be used for creating bold contrasts of colors. So this interior design is not entirely void of colors. Blush colors (millennial pink, anyone?) and grayish-blue or bluish-gray are also used.

How to recreate the Nordic design at home?

Some may find it challenging to incorporate Nordic design into their own home. Photos are a great way to draw inspiration from, but of course, you still need to start somewhere. I compiled that ‘somewhere’ through a Facebook page that I recently created called Nordic Home Inspo PH.

Personally, I think Nordic interior design is so versatile that it perfectly complements modern living. But, it also favors self-expression.

One can make a room stand out with Nordic furniture and lighting alone. A simple wall can be dressed up with vividly colored accents in traditional Scandinavian patterns, for instance.

Perhaps, the key here is the creation of the ‘focal point.’ You create one, whether it’s a series of morandi wall art or a terrarium on the wooden center table.

Anything that complements wooden surfaces is welcome, including leather and linen.

What is morandi?

If you’ve been searching a lot about Nordic design lately, you’ve encountered the term ‘morandi’ for sure.

It’s not a question of what, though but, who—who is Morandi?

The known figures of the Scandinavian design movement are Olav Haug, Alvar Aalto, Kaare Klint, Timo Tapani Sarpaneva, Arne Jacobsen, and Bruno Mathsson. No mention of Morandi whatsoever.

I found out it’s because Giorgio Morandi is an Italian painter. He is known for the simplicity of execution and compositional balance in his still-life paintings. His style thrives in the economical use of color that is apparent in minimalism.

This is known as the morandi colors in a muted and pale palette. It’s like the colors have a gray tone upper layer. There’s no intention to show off, creating a soothing elegance in the process. Morandi colors are considered some of the most comfortable colors.

I guess that is his connection to Nordic design.

So there.

If there’s one thing that I really like is the sense of calm that Nordic design invokes. I live a cluttered life that’s why this home style appeals to me.


3 responses to “Everything you need to know about Nordic home design and décor”

  1. Janis Avatar

    Interesting. I’ve always chosen Scandinavian home decors but I have never attempted to read about it… until this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jenvtcorre Avatar

      Hi Janis!
      I’m glad my post piqued your interest.
      Nordic decors are so widespread nowadays, and terms like Scandi, Morandi, etc. I also learned from writing this post. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Janis Avatar

        It really did! And learned some terminologies too!

        Liked by 1 person

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