September 16, 2021

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7 modern Scandinavian kitchen design ideas

The contemporary cool of Scandinavian design transcends function and provides the ideal style for kitchens

Timeless and elegant, the clean lines and emphasis on natural materials that define the Scandinavian style are especially appropriate for kitchens. Today more than ever, due to the increasing popularity of real food and plant-based diets.

Scandinavian interior design has been popular in homes since the middle of the last century. Order and functionality are intrinsic elements of Nordic design. The trick, however, with the Scandinavian kitchen is to combine minimalism with cosiness. The following list of 7 modern Scandinavian kitchen design ideas will help you get the look.


Newport Natural 59.6X59.6

Residence Kitchen Furniture from Gamadecor


Why Scandinavian?

Scandinavian design first gained widespread appeal after WWII, during a period of unprecedented construction. Even today, designer pieces by figures like Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen and Verner Panton still furnish our homes and are popular. The Scandinavian style is very similar to Mid Century but with subtle differences. An approach to interior design that is quintessentially contemporary.

What is truly remarkable about these interiors is how fresh and modern they still look. Scandinavian design is all about authenticity and applying age-old craft skills and sensibility to mass-manufactured items of furniture. The modern Scandinavian kitchen belongs to this tradition of being thoroughly contemporary but yet familiar.


Scandinavian kitchen design 

Giving your kitchen a Scandinavian feel necessarily involves embracing the philosophy behind the Scandinavian design. It is a way of living – an attitude towards life based on simplicity, conviviality and balance – reflected in the materials, colours, environment and organisation of space.

Having lots of storage in the kitchen to keep worktops uncluttered is a must. So is having a dining table, preferably made of wood, to sit down with family and friends for sharing a meal. A soft colour palette with warm touches and loads of natural light is also a prerequisite. It’s important to emphasise the functional aspect of the Scandinavian kitchen because, first and foremost, it is a working space.



Bottega Caliza 120X120

Residence Kitchen Furniture from Gamadecor


Scandinavian kitchen ideas 

The following ideas provide advice on putting together a kitchen décor that is guaranteed to look good now and two decades from now. Not necessarily in any order, but these ideas should be taken into account when it comes to choosing the layout and decoration.


#01 Think functionality when planning layout & décor 

The worktop is the most significant element of the modern Scandinavian kitchen in terms of functionality. To ensure an uncluttered workspace, ample storage space and good lighting are essential for working in it. Storage can include pantry units (from floor to ceiling), wall and base cabinets, as well as open shelving. Metal hooks and profiles for hanging pots and pans also help to create a sense of order.


Remember to invest in good quality and durable cooking utensils if on display. The initial investment will pay for itself over a lifetime of use.

#02 Use a warm colour palette

Timber is a significant natural resource for most Scandinavian countries, and handmade timber furniture is therefore characteristic in home decoration. Likewise, the use of wood for kitchen cabinet doors is very typical of the Scandinavian style. Nowadays, however, the focus is on recycled wood as everything to do with recycling is something Nordic societies encourages and favour.

The variety of warm timber colours and tactile textures for cabinet doors provides plenty of scope for individual expression. To create a cosy, homely effect, combine a smooth, glossy surface with a warm oak, walnut or cherry finish.



Bottega Caliza 59.6X59.6

Residence Kitchen Furniture from Gamadecor


#03 Scandinavian modern kitchen materials

Natural and organic recycled or recyclable materials are the ideal choice for the authentic Scandinavian modern kitchen. Timber, ceramic, metal and stone are the basic materials to combine. Today, of course, we can achieve the same look with much more sustainable versions, such as timber-effect porcelain tiles for flooring. These alternatives are not only convincing aesthetically but also true to the core philosophy.


#04 Scandinavian kitchen flooring

The choice of flooring will not only define the appearance but also the performance of the kitchen. The timber-effect porcelain tile looks stylish and performs exceptionally well, as it requires very little maintenance compared to natural alternatives. Another option is larger format tiles in bright colours with minimal joints to recreate a continuous effect.

For smaller kitchens, it is best to feature just one flooring material. For larger spaces, two distinct tiles can be mixed and matched for different areas, which also helps define zones in a large open-plan kitchen.



Smart Tanzania Almond 22X90

Residence Kitchen Furniture from Gamadecor


#05 Scandinavian kitchen minimalism 

Even though the overall approach to décor is minimal, the Scandinavian kitchen should feel like a ‘lived’ space. Jars and storage containers should be exposed, and plants should be ubiquitous. Family photos should be placed on walls and be visible. Include a blackboard for writing down recipes and messages. Make the kitchen reflect your personality. Select good quality and colourful cooking utensils to sit on open shelves. This approach manages to keep the silhouette clean but at the same time adds character.


#06 Make the most of natural light 

Because of the northern latitude of Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland), everything to do with capturing natural light is sacrosanct. It means paying particular attention to window reveals, paint them white or tile them in reflective materials. Having generous windows and tall ceilings also helps. A roof light over the worktop is ideal. However, even a dark space can make the most of the available natural light with a brightly coloured backsplash, neutral wall colours and white cabinets.


#07 Include artificial lighting & good ventilation

As stated, functionality is the touchstone of the Scandinavian kitchen. It means cooker hoods and kitchen extracts have to work optimally to guarantee air quality by removing smells and humidity. Because of the lack of light near the arctic circle, it’s not surprising that artificial lighting takes on a significant role in the Scandinavian kitchen. Craft and industrial lighting fixtures are typical of the style, especially vintage look fittings. Combine sconces and suspended fittings throughout for a sleek, contemporary feel.



Smart Minnesota Ash 22X90

Residence Kitchen Furniture from Gamadecor


Here are some tips to help you create a modern Scandinavian kitchen:

  1. Work out the best storage solution for the space available to keep the kitchen space as clutter free as possible.
  2. Choose a timber or white cabinet door.
  3. Match with a natural stone, composite or timber worktop.
  4. Try to make the backsplash a feature and use a quality tile.
  5. Coordinate the flooring with the cabinets.
  6. Keep within a neutral and bright colour palette for the chosen materials.
  7. Create pools of artificial lighting around the space defining separate areas.
  8. Accessorise with bright coloured fabrics and metal elements.

Even small kitchens can have the Scandinavian feel. Open plan layout to a living room works best for the smaller kitchen. Use the entire height of the space for pantry cabinets and open shelves. Reduce the materials to 3 or 4 and keep the focus on the details. Such as coloured grouting for backsplash tiling. One or two feature accessories will also draw the eye but not overpower the space.

Yes. The style is universal but add a local twist and customise the décor with cook wear, accessories and personal items.

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