Scandinavian & mid-century modern interior design ideas

Whether it’s mid-century modern or Scandinavian minimalism, modern interior design is known for bold, clean lines and simple functionality where form follows function. The aesthetic beauty of these design styles emanate from the pursuit of functionality. Furthermore, it exists in harmony with humanity and its environment.

How to Give Your Home a Scandinavian or Mid-century Modern Vibe

Today, we are discussing the two design styles most prevalent in modern homes. We’ll also look at interior design ideas to help you decorate without clashing while expressing your own personal style.


The roots of mid-century modern and Scandinavian minimalism can be traced back to the Bauhaus movement. This started in early twentieth-century Germany.

Founded in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius, Bauhaus united fine arts with applied arts. This birthed a new form of architecture characterized by functional shapes, simple colour schemes and industrial materials. They also emphasize balanced asymmetry and holistic design. Prior to the Bauhaus design movement, traditionalist ornate and intricate designs with loads of embellishment were preferred.

Living room interior in dark blue with a pink sofa, glass tab…
Stylish living room interior in dark blue with a pink sofa, glass tables and a golden floor lamp. Mid century modern style

To stoke your creative fire, we take a deep dive into mid-century modern and Scandinavian interior design styles. After that, we will give you a breakdown of how to decorate with each. Both styles are known for clean, simple lines, lack or ornamentation and the use of natural light.

The main differences between Scandinavian and Mid-century Modern lie in the use of colour and types of materials. Mid-century modern is all about bold colours and man-made materials. Scandinavian design, on the other hand, is partial to muted tones and natural materials.

Mid-century Modern

What is mid-century modern?

Mid-century Modern design is known for its contemporary and clean look in almost any space. It’s all about simple lines and gentle curves. These are further mixed with pared down colour pallets and geometric prints on wallpaper, rugs and scatter pillows.

Form follows function and iconic furniture pieces are highlighted. Classics like the Eames lounge chair and ottoman and Flos’ Arco floor lamp are honored in spaces devoid of ornamentation and embellishment. Pieces like the Florence Knoll sofa and the Noguchi table get the same treatment.

Gaining some serious traction after World War II, the mid-century modern era existed between 1933 and 1965. It was largely fueled by new found post-war wealth and advances in new technologies. The era saw the birth of a revolutionary egalitarian design movement. This made beautiful furniture available to everyone.

Mid-century Modern Decorating

It is always a good idea to mix mid-century modern with other styles that reflect your own personality. Otherwise, your home could end up looking like a mid-century television set.

Combining mid-century modern and other styles in an open plan home.
Combining mid-century modern and other styles in an open plan home.

1. Always keep in mind that less is more. Do not try and copy a 1950’s room, but choose one or two representative pieces of furniture. Next, add other functional décor in keeping with the principle of simple lines. Use little or no ornamentation. An Arco floor lamp is both iconic and a space-saver while table lamps with peg legs add loads of charm.

2. Embrace geometric patterns. Add wallpaper with a funky, cool pattern to an accent wall. You can also opt for geometric prints in wall art. Gradient art was big at the time and can be introduced through scatter-pillows and throws.

3. Have fun with colour. Bring a retro, mid-century modern look into a space by using big, bold colours. Favourite picks include bright orange, purple, olive green, bright red or teal. SnoMaster’s retro beverage cooler in bright red is the perfect representative piece to honour in the bar or outdoor entertainment area.

4. Use iconic sculptural furniture. Some classic examples are the Arne Jacobson egg chair, Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich Barcelona chair. The George Nelson platform bench or a couple of Hans Wegner shell chairs are also great options.

A mic-century modern space where wallpaper, bold colour cushions and iconic furniture pieces are used.
A mic-century modern space where wallpaper, bold colour cushions and iconic furniture pieces are used.

5. Don’t be afraid to use man-made materials. These include plywood, Plexiglas, vinyl and Formica.

6. Heavy drapery is a definite no-no. Let in loads of natural light by leaving windows bare and using light curtains where necessary. Geometric patterns and tweed fabrics in bright colours fit perfectly into a mid-century modern home or office. Teal, orange and yellow are some good examples.

7. Choose appliances that complement your overall theme. With high quality, sleek design that combines industrial and natural materials, SnoMaster’s range of luxury home appliances is the ideal enhancement to any luxury design style. The range of retro beverage coolers and ice makers are eye-catching statement features that can be honoured as iconic appliances in a mid-century modern home.

Scandinavian Minimalism

Scandinavian winters are cold and dark. Because of this, the goal of this style is to create warm and cosy spaces that are beautiful. They should also let in lots of natural light. Don’t forget to use a neutral colour pallet that reflects light into a space.

Scandinavian living room with natural materials and a fireplace as central feature.
Scandinavian living room with natural materials and a fireplace as central feature.

This is a calm, light and airy style that brings elements of nature into the space. People who love colour and graphics details and ornaments may not take shine to Scandinavian minimalism. The same goes for those who like dark, moody spaces and traditional elements.

Decorating with Scandinavian minimalism

1. Take advantage of natural light. Scandinavian countries get below average daylight. Therefore, the style maximises available natural light. This, while also working with artificial light to create warm spaces when the sun disappears. Do not use heavy drapery. Opt for light, cotton curtains in white or a light neutral tone or simply leave windows bare instead.

2. Maximise light in the home. You can achieve this with the use of a soft neutral colour palette that bounces light off surfaces. Think light wooden flooring, white on walls and white or cream furniture with accents of muted colours. Colours such as nude, taupe, light grey or pale pinks, greens and blues are usual favourites.

3. Choose furniture with simple, clean lines and very little detail. Create a minimalist look by only bringing in necessary furniture pieces and avoiding clutter. SnoMaster’s sleek and stylish range of wine coolers is the perfect fit for a Scandinavian style home. Display your best wines and Champagnes in the bar, kitchen or outdoor entertainment area in a wine chiller. Ones with internal LED light will really make your wine collection shine.

4. Layer natural elements. Wool, cotton, rattan, light stone and a few leather accents make for good starters. Carpeting does not work well in a Scandinavian home. However, a few neutral rugs can add warm accents to key spaces.

Natural elements adding warmth to a Scandinavian style lounge.
Natural elements adding warmth to a Scandinavian style lounge.

5. Use plants to add life and a bit of colour as well as warmth and cosiness. The goal is to create harmony between the interior and outside world.

6. Add warmth. If your home has a fireplace, it should be a focal point to bring warmth into a space. In the absence of a fireplace, warmth can also be added with rugs, wool blankets, candles, and sheepskin throws. You can also throw in some wood décor pieces, cushions and leather accent pieces.

Layers of neutral tones and natural materials create a warm space in a Scandinavian bedroom.
Layers of neutral tones and natural materials create a warm space in a Scandinavian bedroom.

Scandinavian design style typically integrates a lot of natural materials like wood, stonework and rattan. Incorporating adjustable beech wood shelves behind a clear glass door, SnoMaster’s range of wine coolers are a perfect match for Scandinavian style homes.



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