Design a Scandinavian Dining Room That Wows

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on September 8, 2020

Winters might be cold and dark, but hygge, a principle of Scandinavian design, makes a home feel warm and bright, no matter the season. With the perfect blend of materials, open space, and a cozy touch or two, Scandinavian design is a simple style that will make any guest feel welcome in your home. 

What better place to create cozy than your dining room? The site of many future dinner parties and warm gatherings, bringing this design style to your entertaining space can bring a casual, but sophisticated style that will impress friends and family, while still making them feel at home. 

Ready to serve Scandinavian style in your dining room? Take a cue from these unique dining spaces.

Scandinavian design was founded on functional pieces with simple elegance. Bring that energy to your dining room with a set of wishbone back chairs with classic curves that make a statement while feeling decidedly minimal. 

In a lesson of less is more, keep finishes flat and simple, opting for natural, ornate-free finishes like Belgian linen curtain window treatment or natural-toned jute rug. With the room clear and clutter-free, guests will focus on the little touches, including the striking pop of greenery in the corner.

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We’ll understand if flat-natural finishes don’t feel “finished” for every homeowner. If you want to add a little touch of glam, you can throw metal finished into the mix, as long as you play by the rules. 

Start with wood in the dining room, like this light oak dining table. With its gentle curves and laid-back design, it’s classic light wood finish pops against the bronze legged dining chairs. More recently, Scandinavian design has evolved beyond just wood and natural fiber, you can mix in a touch of metallic finishes, like copper, brass, or bronze, as long as it’s balanced with hallmark materials like wood and natural fiber. 

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Traditionally, Scandinavian decor relies on a very specific color palette. You’ll find most rooms stick with blacks, browns, grays, and whites. This matches both the material and the drive uncomplicated design. 

But, the limited palette does lend some space for play. White walls and neutral hues make it easy for a subtle accent color to pop. In Scandinavian design, you’ll see sea greens and soft pinks used on occasion. Try a seafoam velvet pillow or a pair of blush pink chairs to make the colors stand apart.

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Scandinavian countries are so far north that residents sometimes experience just four hours of sunlight in peak winter season. To keep thinking feeling light and airy, even in the dead of winter, the style maximizes light with an emphasis on windows and bright, white walls as well as lots of bright lighting to make the room feel sunny, even in the dead of winter. 

The focus on lighting creates an opportunity for a simple, yet striking lighting fixture. Refrain from a light fixture or chandelier that’s too ornate, and opt for something more modern and industrial. When it comes to lighting on the dining table, try a few pillar candles to make the room feel cozy and romantic during an evening meal.  

In Scandinavian design, simplicity reigns, but it also gives opportunity to highlight the little details and cares you take in your dining room. Living in the space between chic and comfortable, your hygge-inspired dining room can make guests feel at home during a holiday meal, while also making you feel perfectly put together while enjoying a morning coffee.

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Ready to take on Scandinavian design, or are you hunting for another style? Take Havenly’s style quiz to learn more.  

Words by Emma Diehl