How Do I Create A Scandi Kitchen?
15 Minute Read
Scandinavian interior design has been having a serious moment in the world of design, and when it looks so utterly gorgeous, is no surprise how popular it has become with homeowners. If you’ve started to apply Scandinavian design principles to your home, then you might already be thinking how fabulous it could make your kitchen – and you’d be absolutely correct. We believe Scandi kitchens aren’t just a passing trend, and they’re going to become more popular, and a go-to style for both designers and homeowners for years to come. With that in mind, we thought we’d look at how to get the look.
Because Scandi style is simple, and relatively classic, it is a great way to decorate your home – it is less likely to date significantly over time. If you’re concerned with keeping your home sustainable, then choosing a thoughtful design that you love (rather than following trends) means that you won’t have to redecorate as often. Scandinavian décor emphasises uncluttered spaces with natural materials and quality products, which works perfectly as a basis for a sustainable home.
Key elements of Scandinavian style
There are a few elements that Scandinavian homes tend to have in common:
Muted colour palette of whites, greys, and other neutrals
Natural lighting should be used as much as possible
Sleek, modern furniture in warm woods, with gentle curves and tapering
Contrast between wood and different natural textiles
Plants and greenery
Less is more
Spaces should be sociable
High quality products that last are important
How to apply Scandi style to your kitchen
The points in the list above make it relatively simple to apply Scandi style throughout the home, but as a working room, the kitchen needs careful consideration, so let’s take a detailed look at how to create a Scandi kitchen.
Use shades of white and neutrals liberally
Whites and neutrals are at the heart of all Scandi interior décor, and that’s true in kitchens too. Using white kitchen units, and for other elements of your kitchen will help to keep the light bouncing around – which is important in Scandinavia where there isn’t much of it! We’ll get to that in a moment, but when it comes to walls and furniture, the more white, the better.
If an ‘all white everything’ look feels like it is going to be too much to clean (we hear you!) then look at using black elements and natural woods, which aren’t quite so high maintenance. Bringing in shades of black, charcoal, and ebony means that you can lean towards the Japandi trend – applying the best elements of Japanese décor with Scandi styling to create a beautiful, and functional look.
A final option is to keep to a colour palette of neutrals. Off-white shades, light greys, beige, and pale browns are all great alternatives that work well in a Scandi style kitchen. Don’t be tempted to mix too many shades – Scandi styling is simple, so just pick one or two colours.
Add pops of colour
All that white can get to feel a bit too much, even if you’re not worrying about fingerprints from children (or nose prints from furry family members!). In Scandinavia, pastels are widely used to break up all that white. The key is not to overload with too many colours – you don’t want to make the space feel too busy. In the kitchen, there aren’t quite as many options for soft furnishings as in other rooms in the home, so look at having certain items of furniture, kitchen appliances, and your wall décor in your chosen pastel hue.
Of course, if pastels aren’t your thing, there’s always the option to bring in greenery in the way of plants – which is always a good idea! Plants don’t just add colour though, there are wonderful health benefits to add them to your home. If you’re thinking about adding plants or trees to your kitchen, check out our post that talks about how to style your home with plants here.
Make use of natural materials
Natural doesn’t always mean sustainable, but in many cases, it does. When you’re choosing elements of your kitchen, look for natural materials such as solid woods, natural stones such as slate, and woven materials such as wicker and rattan. Oak furniture is often preferred in Scandi homes, and while solid oak furniture looks wonderful and can add warmth, it can be expensive and takes longer to grow compared to other woods. If you’re not in your ‘forever home’, or don’t have a huge budget for pieces such as shelving, pine with a wood finish can be a better option, and is much more sustainable too – you can read more about the difference between oak and pine here.
Install the best flooring you can afford
Kitchen floors take a lot of abuse – drips and spills, breakages, and family members constantly in and out throughout the day. That’s why it is important to get the best quality flooring you can afford, and with Scandi kitchens, solid wood floors, flag stones, and tiles feature heavily. Each type have different qualities, so be certain to do your research carefully before you make a decision. If your budget is tight, consider vinyl and laminate flooring – they aren’t just the cheap option that they were in the early 2000s! They continue to improve, and quality types can last as long as you need them to.
We talked at length about the Scandinavian idea of hygge in this post, the way of living that emphasises wellbeing and happiness. There’s more to it than that, but hygge is definitely a consideration when decorating the home – and especially in the kitchen. Social spaces are key in Scandi interior design, so if it is possible, add a dining table and seating to your kitchen so that you can share meals with your loved ones. If you’re short on space, look for benches for your dining table as an alternative to chairs – their slimline design works perfectly in a Scandi kitchen. Choose dining tables and matching benches from our range, and because we hand make every piece to order, we can make the perfect size for your space.
Get your lighting right
Natural daylight is in short supply in Scandinavian countries through the winter, and so it is little wonder that windows play a big part in Scandi interior design. If you’re lucky to have large windows in place already, perfect – and if not, if replacing them is within your budget, then doing so will enhance the Scandi feel. Bi-fold glass doors are a perfect option if your kitchen is on the ground floor, and skylights are another perfect option too.
Once you’ve got as much natural daylight as possible, then look at feature lighting for your kitchen. Pendants are a great option for Scandi kitchens, particularly for above kitchen tables or islands, and there are so many different styles that you can get a completely unique look very easily. Just be certain to hang at the right height – pendants should be roughly 30-36 inches above kitchen islands and dining tables.
In addition to your main kitchen lights, you’ll need spotlights or downlights to illuminate the areas that you’re working – above the sink and the counter. You can add a lovely glow to units with LED strip lights too, and they require very little power to give off a lot of light.
Add functional storage
Functional is key when it comes to Scandi kitchen styling, and of course that applies to storage too. Finding a place for everything can be tricky, especially if your kitchen is tiny, but there are possibilities for open storage that still suit the Scandi style. Display kitchen equipment that you particularly love using shelving, racks, and hooks, or use countertop storage solutions such as canisters for utensils like serving spoons and spatulas.
Having open storage doesn’t mean that your kitchen should be messy, or feel cluttered – that isn’t the Scandi way. Curate your open storage in the same way you would if you were styling a shelf, and only have the things you love and use regularly out. Tuck everything else away in cupboards.
Adorn the walls
Kitchens don’t have to be purely functional – and if you choose the right wall décor for the space, you can add beauty too. Go with what suits your taste, so whether you love one large print, a gallery wall, a mirror, or another type of wall decoration, you can put your own unique stamp on your Scandi kitchen.
Our final thoughts
Scandinavian interior design has become popular over the past few years thanks to how photogenic it is, and Instagram has played a huge part in drawing attention to the style. A Scandi style kitchen is definitely one to be proud of, and if you’re renovating your kitchen, then when you’re doing your before and after posts, tag us @bensimpsonfurniture – especially if you’ve picked a shelf, dining table, or chair from our range.