15 Scandinavian Nursery Ideas and Design Tips

Nordic kid's room in black and white


When it comes to kids rooms, it’s hard to beat the elegant simplicity of ​Scandinavian design. Bright, clean, and thoroughly modern, the Scandinavian aesthetic values both form and function. Even though it's a relatively minimal style, it's still possible to create kid-friendly spaces that are as practical as they are beautiful.

Dreaming of a Nordic-inspired nursery or kid’s room for your little one? Get the look you love with these simple tips for decorating a space in Scandinavian style.

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    Begin With a Blank Canvas

    White, Scandinavian style kid's room with colorful decorations

    Fresh white walls and wooden floors are a hallmark of Scandinavian style, which tends to put greater emphasis on more subtle design elements like shape and texture. Furniture should also be mostly neutral and bright, featuring natural or white woods and light-colored fabrics. The goal is to create a clean and simple backdrop for your design. 

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    Introduce Color

    White nursery with bright, colored accents

    While our Scandinavian friends prefer white walls, they don’t shy away from color, especially in kids’ rooms. Colorful accents are a must. Keep things simple with one or two bold accent colors, or introduce an entire family of primary or soft pastel hues. A mural or a wallpapered accent wall is another excellent way to inject a little color into your design. 

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    Think in Black and White

    Black and white nursery with a lively mix of patterns
    Project Nursery

    Black and white rooms are so quintessentially Nordic. This minimal beauty features playful patterns and plenty of dramatic contrast. Craving some color? Consider adding a a few bright accessories or even a single statement piece in a bold shade like yellow or red.

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    Go Graphic

    Nordic-inspired girl's room with graphic patterns
    Mommo Design

    Graphic prints and simple patterns featuring geometric shapes and kid-friendly icons like stars, hearts, and animals are most definitely Scandi-chic. Use them liberally, and don’t be afraid to mix and match.

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    Let the Light In

    Bright and airy nursery with dramatic light fixture, large windows, and lots of natural light
    Nordic Design

    Nordic design and natural light go hand in hand. Large windows let in plenty of sunshine, and simple shades offer a functional yet understated alternative to heavy curtains.

    Lacking in the natural light department? Good interior lighting is the next best thing!

    Track lighting or recessed bulbs are popular in Scandinavian spaces, as are dramatic light fixtures featuring sculptural details. 

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    Make It Modern

    Modern, Nordic boy's room in black and white

    Nordic style is distinctly modern, boasting clean lines, simple forms, and plenty of mid-century flair. To capture the right aesthetic, focus on creating strong, straight lines. Opt for simple furnishings and geometric shapes, and highlight the natural lines of windows and other structural elements. 

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    Take the Minimalist Approach

    Scandinavian style, minimilist kid's room
    Petit and Small

    Kids don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. Cut the clutter and take the less-is-more approach. Instead of storing dozens of dusty books on bookshelves, try displaying your little one’s latest library haul on slim, easily accessible book ledges. Pass on cheap, plastic playthings in favor of toys that encourage imaginative play, and keep your little one’s wardrobe to a minimum. 

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  • 08 of 15

    Choose Functional Furnishings

    Stokke Sleepi Convertible Crib
    My Scandinavian Home

    Scandinavian design is nothing if not practical. Versatility is prized, and how you use your space is as important as how it looks.

    When choosing furniture, opt for multifunctional pieces, such as cribs that transform into toddler beds and seating with built-in storage. Furniture with wheels is also a sensible choice, allowing you to move and rearrange things as needed.  

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  • 09 of 15

    Keep It Kid-Friendly

    Scandinavian style girl's room with kid-friendly furniture
    Petit & Small

    If you want to create a functional living space for your little one, you’re going to have to think like a toddler. Look for scaled-down furniture, and consider replacing wardrobes and dressers with low-hanging hooks and manageable cubbies. Simple, child-sized bed frames or floor beds allow kids to climb in and out of bed on their own without fear of falling, and low shelves allow for easy access to toys while doubling as play surfaces. 

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    Add a Touch of Whimsy

    Nordic style kids room with whimsical, house-frame bed.

    Scandinavian kids’ rooms always inspire a sense of whimsy and wonder, putting an emphasis on imagination and play. Lively patterns and whimsical art prints featuring fun sayings and illustrated characters add a uniquely childish charm. Playful touches like colorful bunting and strings of fairy lights are also a perfect fit. 

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    Be Eco-Friendly

    Scandinavian style kid's room with woodland theme

    Committed to the eco-friendly design movement, Nordic decorators strive to use organic products and responsibly sourced materials whenever possible. Natural textiles and rustic woods dominate their living spaces, and children’s rooms often have natural themes, featuring trees, flowers, and lots of furry, woodland friends

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    Incorporate Calming Textures

    Kids' room with shelves

    Cathie Hong Boutique Interior Design Firm

    Print wallpapers are still doable in this style of kids' rooms, they just have to be the right pattern. This soft wave illustration is calming and subtle, providing just the right amount of color and texture to the space. The presence of light wood in the frames, dresser, and shelves makes it feel all the more Scandinavian, too.

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    Be Choosy About Color

    Light pink nursery

    Design: Emily Henderson / Photographer: Tessa Neustadt

    Scandinavian-style rooms are known for their subdued color palettes, but that doesn't mean color can't exist at all in these spaces. Be selective about where you choose to use it if you want to maintain the simplicity and quiet atmosphere. This room has a small strip beneath the windows and a splash of print by the door, creating a kid-friendly palette that's still inherently serene.

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    When in Doubt, Opt for Cool Colors

    Scandi nursery with navy rug

    @thehouseonhillsidelane / Instagram

    Stormy blues and grays will never lead you astray when it comes to creating a Nordic-style kids room. Cooler colors will forever be reminiscent of these northerly places and the cozy homes there. To prevent it from feeling cold, add layers of soft textures through rugs, ottomans, and cushions and incorporate warmer features into the room. The wood flooring and golden decals do just that in this nursery.

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    Play With Different Tones

    Scandi and beige baby nursery

    @truehome_ / Instagram

    Monochrome color schemes are staples in Scandi rooms. In order to make the most of a relatively similar palette, try adding different shades and tones. While many of the beige colors in this room fall into the same family, their slight variances create dimension and depth. These calming tones also promote a relaxing atmosphere for little ones.

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