13 Scandinavian-Inspired Decor Ideas for the Holidays
How to bring the signature aesthetic to your home this season.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:25 AM
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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.
Embrace the unconventional by eschewing fresh greenery or florals for something a little more rustic. Stripped down branches or dried flowers make for a more interesting focal point; when paired with a few neutral-hued tapered candles and an equally earthy tablecloth (this linen blend option is from Ferm Living), the whole table becomes a nod to the natural aesthetic Scandi design is known for.
The Nordic aesthetic is nothing if not practical: Simple colors, timeless pieces, and versatile silhouettes. When it comes time to decorate for the holidays, use that logic to save you time and money. In lieu of splurging on bigger items that scream “festive,” incorporate the season in smaller ways—a tree-emblazoned bedspread that still looks great with your regular bedroom decor, maybe, or a new set of table linens that brings in some symbol of the holidays.
Change Up Your Color Palette
According to some of our favorite Scandinavian bloggers, the colors they embrace have three things in common: They’re neutral, seasonless, and ultimately livable. Why should your holiday decor be anything else? Instead of the traditional red and green, opt for muted, earthy tones like dusty rose or rich sea green. Not only will your tree look infinitely chicer, but it’ll play off your pre-existing decor scheme nicely. Come January, you might just not want to get rid of it.
Christmas Tree Alternatives
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 its needles. This combination of natural wood and pine gives a high-style look while 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 stools to accenting the arms of your sofa, the extra textiles around your home are the perfect subtle 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 tabletop tree on a sleek stool for the season. You can still have the traditional tree you do every year, but consider adding a miniature one like this in a different area in your home to spread the festivity. 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. That said, simple design options have the ability to delight just as much as any animatronic Santa does. 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.
Leather Christmas Ornaments
It may be hard to depart from the 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 bits of nature will make a big impact.
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 floors and surfaces to bring Scandinavian elements into every corner of your home.
This story was originally published in November of 2016; It has been updated with new information.
See more holiday decor ideas: Our Top Holiday Destinations That Won’t Break the Bank Make Some Festive Decor Updates With H&M’s Newest Collection 23 Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas To Steal From Instagram