7 key features of Scandinavian kitchen design

We may be moving into Spring and leaving the Winter behind us, but Scandinavian design still has a place in our kitchens. Coming out of the cold, rugged climates of the far north, modern Scandinavian design is one of minimalism and warmth that accentuates its connection to nature. Scandinavian kitchens are homely, while also delivering a strikingly modern touch. As such, they are a perfect addition to almost any home from Lapland to London.

If you’re looking to bring a touch of the classy and modern, yet natural and traditional Scandinavian flavour to your kitchen, look no further. We’ve put together a list of the 7 most important features of Scandinavian design and how to bring them into your home.

Neutral colours

Minimalism is one of the main things that many people associate with Scandinavian design, and there’s no better place to start getting minimal than with the walls. Scandinavian winters can be dark and cold, so bringing a bit of brightness into the home is important. As such, white walls often form the basis of the home, they go a long way in accentuating any artificial light.

Plain white walls can feel a little clinical in the kitchen, so experiment with different shades. Using combinations from a predominantly grey colour palette can really help to break up and add depth to a purely white kitchen. Plus, doing this helps to remove any clinical undertones that you could have potentially experienced.

To really make your kitchen stand out while remaining true to that Scandinavian neutrality, consider dressing up predominantly white spaces with splashes of colour. Muted tones of green, brown or blue are certainly in line with Scandinavian design trends. These kinds of colours can also help to inject a little more life into the kitchen. To really go one step further, consider using a single very vibrant appliance, like a Smeg refrigerator, or piece of decoration to make your Scandinavian kitchen really pop.


As we’ve briefly touched on above, minimalism is central to Scandinavian kitchen design. Not only in the way you should deal with colours, but also in how you actually decorate and design the kitchen itself.

Having a busy kitchen is decidedly un-Scandinavian, so make sure that you have plenty of smart storage space and keep any bulky or unnecessary items out of sight. A Scandinavian kitchen should feel almost seamless in its design, with nothing bulky or out of place to disrupt the room’s workflow. It may sound daunting to start hiding things out of view, but once you do it you’ll wonder how you ever survived before.

With such minimalism at the forefront of the Scandinavian design world, extra details can have a huge impact. Even minor changes in the materials used for worktops, or the small details you choose to decorate with, can have a major effect on a minimalist kitchen. As such, you need to focus on ensuring that any changes that you make to your kitchen will complement the minimalism without overriding it. Minimalism is the bread and butter of a Scandinavian kitchen, so you should definitely try to preserve that.


Natural elements, most notably wood, are imperative to creating a truly Scandinavian kitchen - but more on that later. While natural materials are important, many people forget the importance of natural decoration and the way it can tie into Scandinavian design.

For a Scandinavian kitchen, bringing nature indoors can be a great way to add further design touches to the room. This doesn’t mean you should have big flowering bouquets, however. Rather, just using splashes of green to brighten up the kitchen’s minimalist design is the way forward.

Whether you use natural or artificial plants to achieve that interior hit of nature, it will have a big impact on the look and feel of the room. Not only will natural plants enhance the look of your kitchen, but they introduce new smells and help to purify the air. Ultimately, they’ll give your kitchen a serious boost.


We’ve mentioned the importance of bringing nature into the home for Scandinavian design, but there’s nothing quite as Scandinavian as wood. The use of, light wooden countertops and flooring is doubtless a cornerstone of Nordic design, giving your kitchen a suitably warm and homely feel. This comes in sharp contrast to the bright white walls that also form the basis of the trend.

Despite that, you needn’t find yourself cooking in what feels like a log cabin more suited.Today, many Scandinavian design trends lend themselves to a combination of both the rustic and the cutting edge.

Therefore, replicating the warm feel of wood with other materials can be a great way to bring that sense of rustic modernity into the kitchen. Metals such as copper and brass are ideal replacements for the more old-fashioned wooden aspects of Nordic kitchens. Such metals make great finishes for handles, light switches, your cookware and more. Furthermore, using deeply coloured metals such as these ensure that you retain the unique, stand-out aspect of the metals - a factor often lost on stainless steel in a more minimal kitchen.


Thanks to the long, dark winters that many Scandinavian countries are subjected to, lighting has become an integral part of the region’s interior design. Bright lights are a staple. When combined with light-coloured, minimalist walls, these lights brighten up the entire home with a welcoming glow.

As with most things Scandinavian, when it comes to the lights in your kitchen the key is to go simple and straightforward. However, despite this, choosing more statement lights - whether due to their size or colour - can be a great way to add flair to the kitchen. Scandinavian kitchens are the perfect canvas on which to add some industrial chic, so don’t be afraid to experiment and make the minimalism look great.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you prefer lights that are on the cutting edge of design or those that are a little more conservative. Whatever the case may be, as long as they are bright, cosy and help to warm up the room, you’ll be heading towards a definitively Scandinavian style.


The concept of ‘Hygge’ is a decidedly Danish idea. It has no definite translation into English, but it’s more like a feeling. Hygge is an idea of warmth and cosiness that runs throughout Danish design. To a lesser extent, it’s found in Scandinavian design too, combining many of the other elements we’ve addressed.

For a Hygge kitchen, really focus on the wooden accents, warm metals and use of plants that we’ve mentioned above. Hygge is more than cosiness, it’s almost a lifestyle. As such, your entire home should reflect Hygge ideals - especially the kitchen. Everything from the cookware and cutlery to any wooden accents should bring with it a warmth that makes you feel at home.

Overall, if you follow the first six features of Scandinavian kitchen design on this list - you’ll be well on your way to having the Hygge home of your dreams. Scandinavian design is beautiful, modern and functional; perfect for the kitchen. Easy to picture yet often difficult to nail, we hope that this article has given you an idea of the key principles you should be pursuing when creating a Scandinavian kitchen.

Here at Squarepeg Designs, we know how to create great, bespoke kitchens with you in mind - Scandinavian or not. Our specialist team of London-based designers and cabinet makers work hard to bring traditional craft values to each of our projects. Get in touch!
Back to all Posts