What is a Scandinavian-Style Home?

When you think of Scandinavian design, what comes to mind? You can imagine bright and airy interiors with minimal, mid-century furniture pieces and decor. The Scandinavian aesthetic is reflected in this simple and refined interior design. However, it’s important that the overall design of your home also reflects Scandinavian sensibility.

While not all Scandinavian homes look the same, there are certain characteristics that designers think of when they talk about homes with Scandinavian-style architecture. While some of the original features are still present in modern American homes, it is important to remember that they also incorporate other characteristics.

What is exactly a Scandinavian-Style Home?

Scandinavian-style homes, inspired by traditional Swedish farmhouses, feature a two-story wooden construction, bright colors and lots of windows.

What makes a house Scandinavian?

You’ve likely seen these charming wood-constructed homes in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark if you have ever taken photos of these countries. They are reminiscent of the Swedish farmhouses. Flammia states that the traditional Swedish farmhouse of two stories is often red and has a pitch tile roof to shed snow. There is often a small porch or vestibule that can be used to shed warm clothes or don them.

These homes had low ceilings and floors made from raw wood. Flamma said that these floors are excellent at keeping the heat in colder areas. Flammia states that there was a lot of light raw wood in Swedish homes. “I can recall seeing homes that exuded the lovely smell of freshly-cut wood.

Scandinavian homes have fireplaces made from beautiful ceramic tile and wood stoves for heating individual rooms. This is to keep residents warm during the winter months. The second floor often resembled a loft space with low ceilings and exposed wood beams.

Although not all Scandinavian homes have the same design traits, there are certain interior and exterior features that define the overall style.


  • Wooden construction
  • Wood siding is traditionally painted red, yellow or white.
  • Two stories
  • Casement windows with multiple panes of glass and without screens
  • To shed snow, use a steep-pitch tile roof
  • Porch or vestibule to dry or put on warm clothes


  • Ceilings made of low-quality wood
  • The best way to keep heat in your home is with raw wood floors
  • Fireplaces with glazed ceramic tiles
  • Wood stoves
  • Stone, wood, metal materials
  • Second-floor rooms have exposed wood beams and low, slanted ceilings
  • Through windows, there are many connections to the outside world
  • Skylights for more light

The History of Scandinavian-style Homes

Scandinavian-style homes are functional, as with many other home styles. Flammia says Scandinavian homes are rooted in Viking longhouses. These houses evolved into farmhouses attached to barns or outbuildings with courtyards. This farmhouse design was the inspiration for many Scandinavian homes that followed.

Do you love decorating your home with indoor flowers? For greenery, a Scandinavian-style home should have lots of windows and skylights.

Some features of modern Scandinavian homes might also be unique. Flammia states that they often have many connections to the outside through windows. She says that light is scarce in winter and plentiful in summer. She says that skylights are a common feature in many homes to bring more daylight into the home.

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