Scandinavian Exterior Design

Traditional white wooden house in Norway, summer day

Scandinavian design is clean and uncomplicated by frills. It’s no wonder that minimalists and classic designers love the simplicity it exudes. Let’s take a quick look at its history, features and a few tips for wowing your friends and family.

It was in the 1950s when the phrase Scandinavian design was first used. A traveling exhibition made its way through North America. It was called “Design in Scandinavia: An Exhibition of Objects for the Home” and brought forth a new home design look for the people in Canada and America.

Designers from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland had their work showcased during this time. Their work included:

  • Screens
  • Furniture
  • Rugs
  • Lamps
  • Fabrics

The lineage of the Scandinavian region is what truly propelled its popularity. The people in Nordic countries had limited resources available. They had only certain types of materials to work with inside their art. It was this more traditional and simplistic approach that caught on throughout the traveling exhibition.

There are specific features you’ll notice when you’re looking at Scandinavian design.

Simplicity & Wood Design

This type of design is simple at its core. The thought process is one that says simple things make people more comfortable. The thought process behind it says people are more comfortable when things are simple. That’s why you’ll notice wood materials are the mainstays when it comes to the structure of the Nordic style of home building.

A Home’s Path & Porch Presentation

A beautiful, winding path that leads up to a home’s doorway is a sure way to tell that a builder was thinking about Scandinavian home exterior design. Another Scandinavian design feature is an inviting porch. A porch provides space for flower pots and furniture to enjoy on quiet, comfortable nights. These humble additions are a look into the Nordic style.

Use Neutral, Muted Colors

Nordic design incorporates colors that originated from a need to make dark, long winters seem brighter and feel more enjoyable. Repaint your home’s exterior with the following colors to create a more Scandinavian feel.

  • Grays
  • Whites
  • Tans

Bold colors, such as blue, make for excellent accents against the main neutral colors. The result is a sharp, simple look to your home.

Use Modern Furniture

Nordic design features modern furniture choices for patios and porches. Making use of furniture with the following features falls directly in line with presenting a simple, relaxed feel to your home’s exterior.

  • Gentle lines
  • Warm wood tones
  • Tapered legs
  • Subtle curves

Extended Home Platform

Install an extended platform along the length of the back of your home and you’ll suddenly add a major Scandinavian design feature to your property. It will provide comfortable shade during the hot months as you and your family enjoy cool drinks on your modern furniture.

Use Greenery

Sprinkle in flowers, plants and other types of botanicals around your home’s exterior in your attempts at adding a simple Nordic flavor. Plants and flowers add a bit of color and brighten up your home’s spaces against the simplistic spirit of Scandinavian design.

Use Front-Door Stairs

If you have the room to build out stair steps leading up to the front door, add a classic Scandinavian for the clean lines most associated with this style. The resulting look is one that provides an inviting street view…one suggesting to visitors that entering your home will present them with a welcoming experience.