Everything You Need to Know About Cozy Scandinavian Design

Welcome to Balance and Rhythm, where we will be talking about cozy Scandinavian design and ways to make the most of our homes to create happiness, health, and well-being.


No matter where you go in Scandinavia, you'll notice that coziness is built into the culture. Instead of complaining about long winters that are cold and dark, learn how Scandinavians have chosen to embrace the season and have elevated coziness to an art form all year round.

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Hygge and other cozy concepts

I use the term coziness as a loose translation to English because it means so much more in Scandinavia.

Hygge definition

In Denmark, the concept is hygge, defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.

Mys and kos

In Sweden, a very similar concept is called mys, and in Norway, the term for coziness and a good time is kos.


These words form part of other words, whether as a prefix or suffix so that coziness is intricately woven into the vocabulary as part of daily life.

The foundation of coziness

To create that hygge, mys, or kos feeling, let's take a look at some Scandinavian design concepts and how to layer in the cozy that makes Scandi design so unique.


Light, bright, and clutter-free spaces are a hallmark of the Scandi interior.

Lagom definition

Using lagom, the Swedish word for moderation, creates an inviting and comfortable space by clearing clutter and layering in only what you need and love.

Scandinavian color palette

Then, build your room's envelope using a neutral color palette of whites, grays, tan, and black as the primary colors.

Simple Scandinavian modern classic furniture

White walls and light wood flooring reflect natural light, which is in short supply during the cold, dark Scandinavian winters.


This makes the perfect neutral backdrop to set off the beautiful simplicity of Scandinavian modern classics.

Making the most of natural light

Bring in nature

Nature and love of the outdoors figure prominently in the Scandinavian lifestyle, so it's not surprising that they take a very biophilic approach to decorating by making the most of natural light and exterior views and bringing nature in with natural materials like wood and natural fibers.

Rounded furniture, natural materials, and live plants

Sculptural pieces in rounded shapes, objects from nature, and live plants emphasize this love of the outdoors.

Mixing textures together

A variety of textures

The cozy starts by layering in textures that make this Scandi home warm and interesting. Layer in soft organic fabrics like wool, cotton, and linen, and textural weaves like boucle and chunky knits to create a cozy atmosphere.

Mixing soft and rough textures

Then juxtapose them with rougher natural textures like jute, sisal, and burlap for variety and interest.

Warm and comforting interior design

Warmth & comfort

Some final touches that seal in the hygee, mys, and kos are things that remind you of warmth and comfort.

Cozy candlelight and light fixtures

Gathering around the fireplace or the fire pit with hot chocolate, dim lights with candles softly flickering is the essence of coziness, and adds to the softness of blankets and cushions.

Personal touches to decor

Personal touches like an heirloom or vintage pieces, photos, and your favorite books help round out the cozy for an authentic and inviting space where you can relax and enjoy time alone or with your favorite people.


Norlii subscription boxes

I use Norlii's subscription box service out of Copenhagen, Denmark, to add the coziness I crave. I get six beautifully curated boxes of modern Nordic design and nature-inspired home decor items per year.

Norlii subscription box

A sculptural clay vase, beautiful linen table runner, lovely and quite sturdy paper ornaments, and sweet coffee and caramel marshmallow treats exemplify the spirit of winter coziness perfectly.


Cozy Scandinavian design

Please share your thoughts in the comments on how you like to bring cozy Scandinavian design to your home. What elements of this design are your favorite? Share the ways you use this design style to make your home warm and inviting.

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