13 Scandinavian-Inspired Decor Ideas for the Holidays
Drawing inspiration from Scandinavian design is pretty common these days. From our own homes to Instagram-friendly shops and restaurants, the simplistic and striking elements associated with this design approach are fan favorites. If you’re looking to incorporate some Nordic charm into your holiday decorating this year, we’ve got you covered. From the must have ornaments to the perfect way to arrange candles, these tips will help you fill your home with holiday cheer all season long.
For a truly authentic experience, head to the source—or the closest thing to it: Ikea. The retailer recently released their new winter collection and it’s chock-full of sleek ornaments, cozy textiles, and ultra mod decorative accessories. We’ve got our eyes on that star pendant, which will instantly transform your dining space into a Scandi-chic retreat. Even if it’s just for the holidays.
Christmas Tree Alternatives
When it comes to Scandinavian style, streamlined minimalism is the name of the game. If you find yourself short on space, it shouldn’t necessarily equate to giving up your Christmas tree. Take to the walls with this ultra sleek version on the celebratory figure, which exudes pure effortless minimalism.
Rustic Advent Calendar
Whether you display an advent calendar every year, or this is going to be your first time, skip the store bought options and opt to make your own. Caitlin and Manda of The Merrythought share this DIY that will fit perfectly in any room in the home. For this project you will be hanging your pieces from a pine branch that still has all of its needles. This combination of natural wood and pine gives a high-style look while still incorporating coziness.
Fur Around the Home
Add faux fur the Nordic way. Drape sheepskin over the backs of dining chairs to make your eating area look extra warm and seasonal. Don’t stop there though: From covering up once exposed stools to accenting the arms of your sofa, the extra textiles around your home is the perfect non-flashy decoration option that will still scream Christmas.
Spreading the Love with Christmas Trees
Still not sold on the idea of skipping the grand tree and opting for the Charlie Brown option? Place your table topper tree on a sleek stool for the season. You can still have the traditional tree you do every year, but consider adding a miniature tree like this one in a different area in your home. Who wouldn’t want holiday cheer waiting for them around every corner? These small trees are great surprises around the house and sleek alternatives to more extravagant decor.
Trees Here and There
Sometimes bigger is better and more is awesome. Don’t be fooled though, simple design options have the ability to delight just as much as any ole’ animatronic Santa does. Big Christmas trees in entryways have a powerful wow factor. Tiny, undecorated trees can have just as much of an impact though. Rather than placing your sweet little tree anywhere, make sure you choose a place that gets it the attention it deserves—like on the staircase. Aside from being perfectly understated, it will extend the holiday decorations from the main living space through the rest of your home.
Star Wall Hangings
The running theme you’ll encounter when sourcing Scandinavian Christmas ideas is that there is a strong emphasis on neutrals and natural components. Delineate Your Dwelling shares an easy DIY from the book Scandinavian Gatherings that would be a perfect way for you to introduce this theme into your space. By hanging stars (they give you all the details on how to make your own rather than buy them) from a bare tree branch with some simple string or twine, you instantly have decor you can suspend from a ceiling or hang on a wall. It doesn’t necessarily scream “Christmas,” but it still brings layers of festivity into your space.
Leather Christmas Ornament
It may be hard to depart from traditional red, green, gold, and silver color schemes that we are so familiar with, but these ornaments by Delia Creates make it easier. Besides hanging these on your tree, you can also create wall hangings with them or simply leave them on any surface area. Try this in an assortment of natural shades from tan to dark brown and mix in some pops of red from berries to make these ornaments really stand out.
Since the northern hemisphere doesn’t get much daylight during the winter season, lighting is a crucial aspect during the holidays. From the cozy glow it emits in your space to the homey feeling it introduces, candles are a must. You can display them in a variety of ways, but we love them showcased in sleek wall sconces. Plus, kids and pets won’t be an issue since the candles are out of reach.
Sprigs For Decor and Wrapping
Sprigs and pieces of branches are your friends. Don’t toss the extra pieces from your tree. From putting together wreaths of all different sizes to using smaller pieces for simplistic gift wrapping, these small pieces will have big impact.
Orange and Cloves For the Tabletop
Don’t forget about the kitchen and dining tables. A fun, rustic, and beautiful way to turn any bowl of fruit into an amazing center pieces is to add cloves. You can come up with any pattern you like, poke some tiny holes and insert cloves to spice up your fruit. If you’re trying to avoid vases filled with traditional Christmas ornaments and things of that nature, this Scandinavian trick is perfect for you.
Who even needs pine when you can have completely stripped down branches. Leave them natural or paint them white or black and throw on some simple ornaments. If you want to add even more flair, gather Christmas lights at the base of the vase you are keeping your branches in. You can add these to any room of the house on the floors and on surfaces to bring Scandinavian elements into every corner of your home.
Originally published November 2016. Updated November 2017.