‘Tis the Season to be… Scandi! Decorating Ideas to Create Your Own Scandinavian Christmas

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Christmas is often synonymous with cold weather for the Northern Hemisphere inhabitants, especially in Scandinavia. Thanks to its close proximity to the North Pole, the countries here are practically covered in snow during the year-end time. (Not to mention, the sun also appears only several hours in one day.) But we think this only adds more charm to the Christmas celebrations throughout the region!

For most Scandinavians, Christmas is the right time to relax. The Danish word hygge—meaning cozyness—encapsulates this idea of being inside your house with friends and family while sharing comfort food during the cold and dark winter period. Aside from that, they have a signature home decoration style during Christmas that is signified by minimalist yet rustic elements that make the celebration even cozier.

For those of us living in tropical climate, well, there might not be a literal “white Christmas” for us. But it doesn’t mean we can’t create our own version. Simply follow the 5 easy tips below to be jolly and merry the Scandinavian way this holiday season!

White Décor (with a Dab of Colors)

You might think the snowy landscape that the Scandinavians encounter outside their houses during the wintertime will make them tired of white—but the opposite happens. This purest of shade can usually be found painted on the walls and various furniture and décor pieces, like dining table, cushions for sofa, and even the wrapping paper for their Christmas gifts. But it doesn’t mean you cannot put more colors. The Scandinavians are also fond of giving homespun touches in red, silver, and gold—be it through table accessories or tiny décor trinkets that can be scattered around your living space.

Minimalist Furniture

It comes as no surprise that the Scandinavians like their furniture to be minimalist. From dining chair to sofa, every piece is shaped in the simplest form as possible, while still serving their main functional purpose. With mid-century Scandinavian design in mind, you can try finding these furniture pieces in two extremes of palette: polished wood brown or upholstered in quirky embroideries and prints. Whichever your choice, don’t be afraid of mixing and matching these pieces at, say, your dining table. It will only add a more charming rustic feel for the Christmas dinner with your family.

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An Even More Minimalist Christmas Tree

In concurrent with the minimalist theme, the Christmas tree showcased in a Scandinavian household are, well, barely a tree. Instead of the well-groomed evergreen fir trees that we are accustomed to, their version is more humble, to say the least. You can see the branches and twigs jutting out from every direction with some green shrubs here and there. The ornaments are also kept in minimal and usually rendered in silver and red. But don’t forget to still put the star on top of it! That way, your guests will know that they’re looking at a Christmas tree—a chicer version of it, that is.

Natural Touches and Rustic Elements

Despite the minimalist décor, natural elements are important for the Scandinavians. Add some touches through fir tree wreaths, red berries, and pinecone accessories. Potted plants will also lend more greenery to your interior.

Lastly, add some rustic elements to the decoration through candles, lanterns, patterned carpets, and handmade knickknacks that will exude an offbeat charm to your celebration. Don’t forget about the delectable food, either, such as the Norway-style gingerbread cookies; the Swedes’ smorgasbord that usually includes meatballs, smoked salmon, and pickled herring; and the traditional saffron buns, also known as Lussekatter.

Photo credits: Decorator’s Notebook, Noden Collective.