Defined by clean lines, bright spaces, raw materials, and muted color palettes - Scandinavian design is an elegant aesthetic for the modern nursery.
Below, we share some nursery decor inspiration, as well as our favorite ideas for creating the Nordic nursery of your dreams.
1. Paint It White
A clean, white space is a must for the Scandinavian nursery. A blank canvas creates the perfect background for mixing textures and patterns.
- A warm off-white or even a light grey or cream achieves the same effect. Make sure to test paint colors on the wall first :)
- Mixing and matching different light neutrals works well too - for example, pairing white with natural canvas and light woods.
- Add depth and variety to the monochrome base with different textures such as a plush white rug, painted furniture, and pillows with white-accented patterns.
We also love the ease of pairing black and white with pastel accents and decor, such as the colorful hexagonal storage units and the blue Animal World Map shown above.
2. Black + White + Wood
This nursery has such a calm, cool, cozy vibe with the wooden rocking horse and tent! The added black and white patterns creates a gender-neutral space that still looks clean, modern, and goes with literally any accent color.
- Use a variety of patterns for added interest - for example, a fun, illustrative wallpaper pattern, triangular patterns in the rug, and circular patterns in the laundry bag as shown above (similar laundry bags here).
- Using black and white in your nursery is a also good way to create a high contrast, visually stimulating space for your child. It is well known that babies respond well to simple, high contrast patterns, providing visual stimulation and promoting their development by keeping them captivated and engaged.
3. Use Graphic Patterns
Graphic patterns and hatches adds a playful and stimulating quality to your nursery. Be creative - you can introduce patterns through a wide variety of means: furniture, wallpaper, art prints, rugs, wall paint, etc.
- If you want to experiment with this look without too much hassle, use black and white wall decals such as the one pictured above - they are visually impactful and easy to install and remove.
Another great way to introduce patterns into your nursery is by emphasizing accessories of the room such as pillows, prints - such as our black and white animal world map, and rugs.
The nursery above mixes a variety of star, stripe, and herringbone patterns. The grey watercolor map softens the feel of the room, and the wicker baskets help break the strict monochromatic look.
4. Bring Color Back Through Accessories
A completely black and white room can look chic and fresh, but can sometimes feel almost too modern, especially for a nursery. Adding a few bold colors (virtually any color goes well with black and white), or a wide palette of soft colors like pastels can make this look feel much more cozy and fun.
- Light teals and greens are calming accent colors that work well with wood furniture. This room features a beautiful palette of teals and blues reminiscent of the colors you would find in nature.
- We also love the playful wallpaper and little wood chairs. Cozy textures such as the faux fur chair cushions and velvet bedspread add a touch of softness, and even the scribbles on the chalkboard add to the character of the room.
- A neat (quite literally!) idea for introducing a lot of color in functional way is to have a color-organized bookshelf, where the books and toys add colorful elements of the room. This works especially well because the base furniture will still match any new toys or books.
One of our favorite ways of brightening up a room is through the use of art prints (we might be a bit biased, of course). The illustrated state maps above tie in to the pink and blue pastel color theme without overwhelming all the other pastel elements in the room, plus they're a fun way to teach your child about the different places and animals of the world! As a bonus, prints are easy to change every once in a while, especially as your child grows older.
5. Light Up the Space
A beautiful pendant fixture can be a great way to make your nursery more magical. Choose a light pendant that can illuminate the space brightly but also make a statement in the room.
- Soft materials like wood or canvas keep the Scandinavian style and look great. For instance, we like the Painted Coral Pendant by David Trubridge (left), and Numero74's Star Lantern (right).
- Ikea also carries some fantastic light pendants that are very affordable. The Ikea Krusning and Maskros pendants are both soft, whimsical, and imaginative.
6. Go Simple and Modern
A key element is to embrace the clean and simple lines and forms of modern design.
- Go for geometric shapes and color-blocked themes rather than curves and trendy gradients.
- Choose furniture that is not ornate or complex but rather sleek and linear like this wonderful bunk bed from Oliver Furniture.
7. In Terms of Stuff, Less is More
It is hard to not accumulate dozens of toys and accessories for your child but a clean, minimalist space will do wonders to the room.
- Storage units can double as decor - for example, woven baskets can double as toy storage, as can ottomans, underbed boxes, etc.
- When purchasing toys, keep in mind that they will be part of the design and thus will fit better if they are complementary to the space. Choose toys that are made out of natural materials like wood, linen, or cloth. This little Ooh Noo Toy Pram is a great example.
8. Create a Sense of Wonder + Whimsy
This space has been furnished with small pieces of furniture, and a little playroom over the bed. We especially love the swings in this simple and incredibly inviting children's room.
- Imagine the space from the perspective of a child. Be creative! Scale-down the furniture, lower the beds, and incorporate small elements to make the space child-friendly.
- Rugs can be both educational and fun instead of only decorative, such as the world map rug shown in the photo above.
- Use children's drawings as decor instead of buying pre-made art. We love the string and clothespins idea shown in the picture above - it's an easy, affordable way to personalize your child's space.
- There are tons of whimsical furniture pieces that you can add to your nursery to achieve this sense of wonder. Consider the Montessori bed frames from Bonnesoeur or the playful teepee as pictured above.
9. Think Long(er) Term
One of the hallmarks of Scandinavian design is its focus on functionality. When it comes to furniture, functionality translates into clean and simple designs that can will be versatile for years to come.
- Many cribs convert to young children's beds, which would save both effort and money in the long term.
- Convertible high chairs like the Tripp Trapp chair also transforms to accommodate children up to a certain age.
- Removable wallpaper decals like the triangle wall decals pictured above are easy and mess-free to install and remove.
- Display storage, such as this fun and affordable wall shelf by IKEA, are a great way to accommodate for changing tastes as well!
That's it! We love the Scandinavian aesthetic, whether in a modern nursery or a minimalist living room, and we hope these tips inspire you to incorporate a little bit of pared-back, Nordic design into your own home.