Scandinavian Office Design Ideas: Truly Amazing and Inspiring!

Scandinavian Home Office 3

Home Office Design Store is reader supported. If you make purchases from links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Characteristics of Scandinavian Office Design Style

When designing your home office workspace, be sure to consider the Scandinavian style which has craftsmanship and quality at the forefront of the design. An inviting look, coupled with a warm and cozy atmosphere makes this style highly desirable.

There are three primary considerations when contemplating a Scandinavian office: 

  • The design must be simple
  • The design must be functional
  • The design must be minimalist without sacrificing beauty.

Keeping the design of the workspace minimal helps keep it functional.  Clean, simple lines also limit distraction and clutter.  Scandinavian design overlaps with other design styles, and when done well, is absolutely beautiful, warm, and inviting.

In today’s world, simple and functional also translates to affordable, and this is another appeal of the Scandinavian design.  The affordability factor is also rooted in the culture of the Nordic countries that are part of the Scandinavian clan.  The culture favored inclusivity and wide appeal rather than catering to the rich and upper class.  The Scandinavian design represents a style that everyone can enjoy.  Scandinavian design includes furniture that is not flashy but simple and well made.

History of Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design came about in the early 20th century and resonates in the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.  Nordic comes from the word “Norden” which means the North.  The Scandinavian design became popular n the 1950’s.

Scandinavian Nordic Countries

You can trace some of the characteristics of Scandinavian design to the region itself.  The Nordic countries are cold for long periods of time with minimal light during the winter months.  Families had to hunker down for long spells of primarily darkness. Fireplaces, wood burning stoves, candles all create warmth.

Summers are very short and bright.  The lighter colors help to promote warmth and keep the space inviting, lively, comfortable, and above all, practical. 

Many years ago, those who lived in Scandinavian areas had to be resourceful and use the wood and other natural elements available.  This is reflected in Scandinavian design.  The resulting products are durable, functional, and reliable. 

The “Look”

Everyone can agree that Scandinavian design has a certain unique look.  Indeed, when you first encounter Scandinavian layouts, you almost want to change whatever design you had in mind to Scandinavian.  It’s just that inviting.  Furniture pieces are light and airy.  Floor coverings are cream or natural colored.  Large mirrors are utilized to maximize light, and meaningful fixtures help to further warm the space. The entire space is clean, gentle, cozy, and calming, and the office decor follows suit.

Take a look at the following Scandinavian office, and note the various components which are simple by themselves, but when combined, gorgeous:

Scandinavian Home Office 5

Here are some characteristics of the Scandinavian design “look”:

  • Excessive use of wood, especially wooden floors. There’s generally no wall-to-wall carpeting in Scandinavian homes, but rather wooden floors and often wooden beams on the ceiling to accent.
  • Natural light in abundance. Part of the Scandinavian design includes large, wide, floor-to-ceiling windows that permit a lot of natural light. This may not be easy to achieve in your Scandinavian office, particularly if you already have blinds or other window coverings. Try opening the blinds or pulling back the curtains to let the light warm and brighten the space.
  • White is the color of choice. You will often see white walls in a Scandinavian design. Color is achieved with accessories and furniture. Consider the following image. Color is achieved in this Scandinavian office with the green plant, hanging light fixtures, and throw rug. Indeed, you could add other decor to add color as well.
Scandinavian Home Office 4

From Grig Stamate, Scandinavian Apartments
  • Natural, pale wood colors. Use unfinished wood paneling to add texture and warmth. The wood is pale to highlight its true color and beauty and has an earthy feel.
  • Clean, geometric lines simplify the space and promote functionality.
  • Use colors of nature – pale, neutral, muted colors such as chalky white, greys, grey with a blue hue, grey with a brown hue, beige, pale grey, and pale pink. Essentially, a Scandinavian office color uses a light color palette, predominantly white. This helps link the space to nature and all things natural and creates a subtle feeling of being one with the outdoors.
  • Lots of lighting – floor lamps, table lamps, natural light. Big windows are not uncommon in a Scandinavian office. Natural light adds to the comfort and coziness of the space.
  • Patterns should be geometric – monochrome stripes, for example. The geometric shapes add to the clean look and a sense of organization and symmetry. Notice how the throw rug with geometric shapes in the following image gives the space a sense of balance and form:
From Grig Stamate, Scandinavian Apartments
  • Use natural fibers such as jute or wool. Natural fibers are comfortable and better for the environment.

Tips to Create a Scandinavian Office Space

Scandinavian Home Office 2
  1. Declutter the space. Clean and simple means just that. Removing clutter from the workspace not only enhances the look of the space, but also helps you be more productive. It helps create a feeling of being organized and creates an inviting space.
  2. Create mood with low lighting or candles. This may not be ideal when working from home, but if you happen to be working in the evening, try creating mood with low lighting or candles. This may provide a different perspective for your project.
  3. Introduce throws and cushions into the space. Throws and cushions make the space more inviting. Since they’re portable, you can move them around or change them up. Throws and cushions can also be used to add color or texture.
  4. Use sheep skin rug to warm the space. Sheep skin rugs are very popular in the Nordic countries as well as Scandinavian design spaces. The plushness of the rug makes the room comfortable and homey.
Scandinavian Office Cream Sheepskin Throw Rug
Scandinavian Office Geometric Throw and Sheepskin pillows

There are many home office style ideas to create a warm and inviting space. There are also design tips to help you learn the basics so you can really step up your room!