After a year stuck staring at the same four walls, it would be easy to assume the pandemic is what’s driving the massive wave of decor updates. A new study shows that’s only part of the story. According to a poll of 2,000 Americans by OnePoll on behalf of Puffy, the real forces behind the surge in redecorating are wanting more luxury goods around the house (28 percent); fixing up a space to feel like a sanctuary (25 percent); and, the biggest reason, the influence of the Scandinavian aesthetic (40 percent). We’d guess its soothing qualities are a factor—one of our editors came to that realization last year and she turns to the style on Instagram when she’s stressed. Achieving cozy, minimal interiors can be a challenge, but we’ve got some tips to help any renovators in the process.

Skip the Patterns

Put prints back on the shelf and opt for neutral tones in natural fabrics. If various shades of tan feel too boring, mix and match textures, like furry rugs and reclaimed wood tables that show their knots.

Don’t Forget to @ the Brand

When in doubt, turn to the core brands doing it best to help steer things in the right direction. Ferm Living and Finnish Design Shop are great examples to find something modern, but to really dive headfirst into Nordic style, comb through vintage deals on 1stdibs and Chairish for an authentic armchair or table by Celine Hallas.

Explore Other Countries, Too

Scandinavian isn’t exactly a new trend, which means it’s existed long enough to develop its own new subgenres that could also pique your interest. Most recently, Pinterest has been flooded with scenes of Akari paper lanterns, minimalist bamboo-made furniture, and angular woven pieces in what’s now dubbed Japandi. This is your chance to get ahead of the curve.

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.