How to create a Scandi kitchen
Mindful ideas for cooking without clutter
All set on a mood-boosting health kick for the new year? Then it’s time to invest in your kitchen. With a few tips and tricks - from soothing hues to smart storage ideas - you can transform a tired space into somewhere you’ll be more than happy to spend time in.
Make your space work for you
A neutral base works best for Scandi interiors, so if your kitchen is white, dove grey or even sage green, you’re already on to a winner. These lighter shades maximise natural light and pair well with any wood accents. The next step? Paint cabinets the same colour as the walls – it’ll feel cohesive and give a sense of visual calm.
Natural light is the ultimate mood-booster, but clever lighting can be a great help when it’s in short supply. For maximum impact, layer functional lighting – angled towards kitchen counters or a central island - with warm, mood-setting light that isn’t task focused, such as wall lights, floor lamps and dimmable spotlights. If your kitchen is both a prep area and a place for the family to gather, a row of long-hanging pendant lights can distinguish between kitchen and dining areas.
The key to a space that feels streamlined? A place for everything. Open shelving is a staple of Scandinavian design and an easy way to create the illusion of space, where top cabinets might feel heavy. Use your shelf to display dinnerware, cookbooks, kitchen linens and more all at arm’s reach. Clear out the inside of your cabinets, too - they might be out of sight most of the time, but can still contribute to a sense of clutter.
Pay attention to the details
When it comes to dinnerware worthy of display, earthenware has a rustic look and feel but can be heavy, so consider opting for super versatile stoneware. Beyond the sea of ceramics - tiles, plates et al - opt for marble or wooden accents, like rustic boards, racks and utensils in lighter species like ash and beech. Bonus points for unfinished wood, which forgoes varnish or sealant in favour of the natural look. On open shelves, add a few plants, herbs or kitchen linens to soften rows of ceramics.
Scandinavian design marries form and functionality, and both are key in the kitchen. Plates, mugs and more will still need to serve their purpose, but subtle design elements will have more impact than you might think. Avoid sharp angles in favour of clean but curved lines and relaxed shapes, and pay attention to tone – mixing shades of the same hue will keep it feeling curated.
Those little variations that make artisanal textiles and ceramics unique are what give this trend such staying power; who doesn’t want a one-of-a-kind? Look out for embossed, etched and glazed details and finishes, embroidered textiles and bubbled glassware - all the better if they’re hand-crafted. Don’t hesitate to mix in a few different sets, combining modern designs with vintage finds.