What Is Scandinavian Farmhouse Style?

Scandinavian farmhouse decor

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You’re probably already quite familiar with both Scandinavian-inspired and farmhouse decor as distinct styles—but between the white-washed shiplap and rustic charm, Scandinavian-inspired decor and American farmhouse-style decor have much more in common than meets the eye.

Origins

The hybrid interior decorating style originates from two different regions: Denmark, Norway and Sweden and the American countryside. Due to their visual similarities and overall guiding ethos, the combination of the American and Nordic styles result in a charming and livable space that is both cozy and practical.

Scandinavian farmhouse style is largely inspired by both minimalism and nature, which results in a sort of warmth and coziness without being overly busy or impractical to execute.

The blending of decor styles is also known for its abundance of textiles and plants juxtaposed against unfinished woods and monochromatic colorways; this sort of decorative marriage allows for clean lines and practical spaces without coming across as sparse or sterile.

Homes that adopt a Scandinavian farmhouse-inspired decor style achieve a balance that is optimal for both city and country living—the coziness and warmth of the Nordic design elements offer an instantly relaxing atmosphere while the addition of American farmhouse ensures a more functional space that can places emphasis on the practical and pragmatic side of day-to-day living.

How to Achieve a Scandinavian Farmhouse-Style Home

Scandinavian farmhouse decor

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The Scandinavian farmhouse style takes two iconic styles and melds them together to create a strong contrast between the classic look of the farmhouse style and pairs it with bright white spaces and sharp distinguished features one can expect from a modern Scandinavian design, while using natural reclaimed woods as accent pieces to create a striking contrast in designs.

The two distinct styles lend themselves well to busy households or those looking for a more minimal approach to living that doesn’t feel like a showroom or a space devoid of personality and warmth.

“Throughout a Scandinavian farmhouse styled home there is a focus on minimalism, allowing each element of the home and decorative piece to make a visual impact in its space,” says Paul St-Germain, founder of Swedish Door. This doesn’t mean you have to bid adieu to your cheeky decorative items or tendency for bold art but rather allowing these items to have more space to breathe; to be enjoyed rather than take over your space.

In terms of the typical Scandinavian farmhouse color story, you’ll want to focus on a limited number of colorways, especially naturally occurring colors like whites, light browns, and black. 

“The walls in these spaces use design elements such as shiplap paneling and wall appliqués to keep rooms exciting and give them their own unique texture,” explains St-Germain. “Although there is not usually a color focal point in this design, you’ll generally see reclaimed wood beams, furniture and shelving throughout the home for a natural contrast between farmhouse and Nordic design.”

“Unfinished wood accents and large windows are some must-have features,” points out Benjamin Stenson, founder of Norsemen Home Remodeling. “Make sure to take a minimalist approach while decorating—and be sure to add pops of strong contrasting colors like white and black.”

According to Stenson, Scandinavian farmhouse style also has a lot of plants and varying textures. A pop of green color and some intentionally comfortable fabrics can prevent your home from looking too monotonous and sterile while fostering a sense of coziness without venturing into kitsch territory.

A Trend That Endures

Scandinavian farmhouse decor

@jonnakivilahti / Instagram

Scandinavian farmhouse style might be one of the trendiest home decor styles at the moment, and that's for a reason. The hybrid decor style combines a variety of influences in a simple and practical way that can be a great way for anyone to foster a more cohesive and comfortable living space.

Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian design all offer a very rustic appeal—without the typical country or rural-inspired decor. It goes back to nature and uses natural materials like wood and clay to evoke a sense of earthiness and comfort. The Nordic-inspired decor also features very simple shapes, like circles and squares that can both foster a sense of relaxation while also being very easy to decorate with. 

In short, Scandinavian countries offer beautiful landscapes with lots of open spaces, forests, and other naturally occurring wonders and as such, Scandinavian-inspired decor, especially when swirled into American farmhouse territory, should bring the same feeling of natural wonder and appreciation for the great outdoors into the home.