Scandinavian Beach House: Decor Ideas for an Elegant Feel

Modern living room

Scandinavian home design is readily recognizable with its simple beauty that is also functional and practical. The Scandinavian beach décor reflects this and takes advantage of the sea elements in its design.

Five Must Haves for a Scandinavian Beach House

The base design for building your décor is one of simple elegance that utilizing form and function. There a few specific design aspects and elements you need to incorporate in your décor to create a Scandinavian home, especially a beach cottage design.

#1 Color Palette

The big colors in this design style are white, off white, gray and blue. You can use a large spectrum of these colors. In addition, the colors of nature play a significant role when you want to add a bolder pop of colors, such as a medium russet hue or a green-blue color.

Great paint choices:

In her book Paint Recipes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Colors and Finishes for the Home, Liz Wagstaff discusses the Scandinavian color palette and its growing popularity in home decors.

She states that "The misty, cool blues and greens of those northern landscapes" are "spiked" with various earth tones. She describes how the fine Scandinavian furniture craftsmanship emerged as a result of the long harsh winters when the farmers were unable to do much of anything else. These colors make it into beach cottage palettes.

#2 Flooring


Painted wood floors that are light colored, either white or gray will grasp the authenticity of a Scandinavian beach that is reminiscent of weathered driftwood. Wood floors can be used throughout your cottage. Some people like to use a blue or gray tile floor in bathrooms. Other people prefer tile floors in the kitchen. Just be sure your selection is in keeping with that specific Scandinavian look of function and style. You can also add a Muuto Varjo Rug or two.

Wide plank to narrow wood floors can be used in this style. Some choices include real, engineered or vinyl laminate flooring:

#3 Walls


You can't go wrong with wood cladding also known as paneling for the walls. If you have an older cottage with dark pine paneling, then give it a good white or gray paint job. If you don't have paneling then you may wish to add this authentic touch to your home.

Wood cladding (paneling) is also a popular for ceiling designs, typically narrow strips similar to flooring. The architectural style of the high-pitched roofline found in Scandinavian designs just begs for this type of wall and ceiling treatment. While the wall and ceiling paneling is often painted, some designs use a blond colored stain finish instead.

  • Gustafs Linear Planks can be installed in traditional vertical style or more dramatically with horizontal or even diagonal placements. You can also use these planks for ceiling paneling.
  • Elmwood Reclaimed Timber gives an excellent choice using reclaimed wood paneling.

Don't forget to decorate your walls with some spectacular wall art to reflect your personal likes or even add a pop of color to your overall room décor.

#4 Furniture

Napoleon 5 Piece Dining Set

While IKEA is often a go-to source for Scandinavian designs, you can expand beyond this well-known brand for cabinets and household items, including furniture. Houzz offers quite a few excellent choices of furniture and other furnishings.

Some of the great Swedish and Danish furniture designers, such as Hans Wegner (Wishbone Chair) and Arne Jacobse (Series 7™), lend authentic pieces to your décor. Wegner is especially well-known for his Danish Moderism style that blends comfort and design; he has world-renowned styles like the Shell Chair that would fit into a beach style. Don't forget the designs by Finnish architect and designer, Alvar Aalto and shop at his online store.

Other furniture choices include:

#5 Lighting


Lighting design is another area where the Scandinavians excelled in the 20th century. Home Building & Renovating in the UK suggests that lighting is also a very distinguishable design element for the Scandinavian style and points to Poul Henningsen's designs that were created for Louis Poulsen.

Utilitarian designs hat have great lines for a clean look are lighting choices in keeping with this style. Keep in mind that many industrial lighting styles work well with Scandinavian interiors.

Creating Your Cottage Design

There are other features you'll want to include in your design to make it feel more authentic. When you begin to put all of your selections together, make sure you keep it a cohesive design.

Keep It Simple

The key to a successful Scandinavian beach cottage décor is simplicity. Don't add too much furniture and accessories. Adopt a minimalist attitude and be very selective in what you add to your design. Cluttering your rooms with a lot of wall art and knick knacks will destroy the look you want to achieve. Clean lines that are sleek, linear or curving are ideal for your furnishings.

Stay With Color Palette

You want to adhere to the Scandinavian color palette. White walls and white or gray floors are always excellent choices. You can introduce a pop of color if you feel your decor needs more with blues, browns and other earth colors. Choose colorful accessories, rugs and throw pillows for fun additions. Keeping a crisp clean decor that is airy and cool is your overall design goal.

Add a Fireplace

The winters are long and brutal in Scandinavian countries and a wood-burning fireplaces are a must, even on the beach. If you don't wish to deal with wood, then you can always opt for a gas log insert for an authentic appeal. You may choose to purchase a stand alone fireplace with an emphasis on radiant heat properties. The Malm Fireplace is a free-standing fireplace that has the modern retro look expected in a Scandinavian décor.

Art of a Scandinavian Beach Décor

You can achieve this very special Scandinavian look for your beach cottage with these simple tips and suggestions. Your cottage will something you enjoy as a refreshing retreat.

Trending on LoveToKnow
Scandinavian Beach House: Decor Ideas for an Elegant Feel