Discover Scandinavian design living room furniture that you’ll enjoy for years to come
What is Scandinavian design?
Scandinavia encompasses Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In the 1940s, following World War II, these three nations came together through a series of conferences in Scandinavian cities where the Scandinavian design movement began to form, according to The Spruce. The Spruce writes how this new approach combined “beauty, simplicity, and functionality.” Functionality had long been a fundamental component of Scandinavian design since harsh winters made utility and simplicity a much more important priority than pure decoration.
Elizabeth Gordon, an editor of House Beautiful magazine in the 1950s, helped bring the movement into the mainstream. The Spruce writes how she described the design movement as “an alternative to Nazi-era design fascism” since it is “democratic, natural, minimal, intimate, and focused on the home and family, not the state.”
So what does Scandinavian design actually look like? Scandinavian-style living rooms and spaces tend to favor a neutral color palette and natural textures and materials, like wood and stone. Just look at our Instagram feed to get a glimpse of Scandinavian design in action.
Scandinavian furniture continues to stand the test of time, with designs that can somehow appear both modern and timeless.
Now, let’s dive into the world of Scandinavian design, living room edition.
Scandinavian Design Sofas and Lounge Seating
Scandinavian chair design is perfectly encapsulated in this Origin Lounge Chair from Danish design brand Form and Refine. Made from rare ash wood sourced from the forest of Damsbo in Denmark, Form and Refine collaborated with designer Alexander Seyfarth on this striking chair. Seyfarth carefully crafted this piece that embraces the body like a soft wind. Each chair is carefully made to order and well worth the wait.
(P.S. We did a deep dive into the story behind Form and Refine in an earlier blog post––read it here.)
We love a living room that brings in black accents, especially to balance out the stark black appearance of a large TV screen. Ferm Living’s Herman Lounge Chair is crafted from oak veneer and powder-coated metal. A design inspired by mid-century modern lounge chairs, its low profile wraps you up in comfort thanks to a generous oval base and a gently curved backrest.
Hinting towards archetypical design and Scandinavian traditions, MUUTO’s Cover Lounge Chair is a sophisticated take on a timeless form. With its sturdy oak frame and ingenious wide and curved backrest that stretches into armrests, the chair has a refined yet durable appearance that takes up very little space in a room. Designer Thomas Bentzen wanted to create a low-profile seat for the modern Scandinavian home that remains compact, comfortable, and carefully crafted with no visible hardware. Bentzen said the design came “from a desire to create a comfortable lounging design in wood that was at once modern and timeless whilst deeply rooted in the traditions of Scandinavian craftsmanship.” This neutral piece is ever-so-versatile, offering so many ways to style it so that you can keep your space fresh for many years. Pair two as additional seating in a living room, or even in an office or bedroom. Add softness and texture with a soft cotton throw (we suggest this one from Kristina Dam Studio).
A Scandinavian design living room is not complete without a sofa, of course! MUUTO’s Three-Seater Rest Sofa is the perfect option. Anderssen & Voll brought plush comfort into a classic design with plenty of neutral color options to choose from. We love the subtle details of its soft folds. The legs come in natural or stained black oak. Oak is often found in Scandinavian design furniture due to its durability against things like water and mold, as well as its long-lasting strength. That’s why so many Scandinavian design sofas are selected over other options since you can count on the materials to withstand years of use.
Scandinavian Coffee Tables
With seating in place, a low-profile Scandinavian design coffee table is the next step.
Whether playing host to drinks or home to the remote control, the Passage Lounge Table brings a feeling of soft serenity thanks to its lovely round shape and solid wood construction. This round Scandinavian coffee table is made with FSC-certified solid wood with either a natural or dark lacquered oak finish. With three different sizes (small, medium, and large), you can pair multiples together in a nest-like formation.
Made with solid White Ash wood, the Milking Table from the LAX Series collection is another great round Scandinavian coffee table option. With just three legs, this table is both sturdy and strong thanks to the careful craftsmanship of the cross-braces.
Scandinavian design coffee tables aren’t always round, but they are often quite low-profile. Take MUUTO’s Workshop Coffee Table. Designed in collaboration with Copenhagen-based Cecilie Manz, this timeless piece is the ideal expression of Scandinavian style, with both a classic oak or black option. If your living room could use a more compact size, take a look at the smaller version.
Cecile Manz took an entirely different approach with her Airy Coffee Table which lives up to its name thanks to its light and clean composition. The simple and aesthetic design is mirrored in several size variations (see them all here) and neutral colors including black, grey, and off-white. We love how these options invite you to pair or group them together in common spaces. Style them singularly as an eye-catching display piece for your favorite plant or piece of art.
Somehow both simple and vibrant, the Around Coffee Table brings a new perspective to round Scandinavian coffee table design. With a smaller size plus an extra-large version, there are so many ways to pair, group, and nest this design that comes in multiple neutral colors. Note the thoughtful detail of the rounded wood veneer frame.
Ferm Living takes a completely different approach to rounded coffee table design with the Insert Coffee Table. A usable work of art, this sculptural piece plays with geometry through its oval top and heavy cylindrical base. Both the natural Ash and black-stained Ash options are a durable, functional, and beautiful addition to any Scandinavian-style living room. Pair it with the matching side table for a complete sculptural set.
For a more playful take on a round Scandinavian coffee table, turn to Normann Copenhagen’s Tablo Table. The contrast of the bold yet neutral wide top paired with wooden legs blends into any home style. The large surface area provides plenty of room to style your favorite design objects, plus a drink (or two).
Speaking of drinks, have you seen our guide to minimalist bar cart styling?
Scandinavian End Tables
Scandinavian side tables and end tables are another Scandinavian living room staple.
Classic Scandinavian aesthetic and honest manufacturing and materials come to life through the Kristina Dam Table. Made from solid oak in either a natural or black finish, this sculptural side table can seamlessly blend into any Scandinavian living room while also adding a textured and geographic element wherever you place it. Some even choose to use it as a smaller coffee table if space is limited!
Sculptural Scandinavian design is equally showcased in MUUTO’s Halves Side Table. MUUTO collaborated with Toronto-based MSDS Studio on the design. MSDS Studio notes how “The Halves table is youthful and informal in its aesthetics, but represents more traditional values of durability and practicality simultaneously. We were inspired by the unique properties of the solid surface material which led to the specific exploration of form with an emphasis on planes and intersections. We further wanted to pursue a form that was practical, yet somewhat abstract, and therefore played with asymmetry: Halves presents different aspects of itself over time, depending on the position of the observer.”
Playful, modern, and minimalist, Normann Copenhagen’s Block Table is the type of piece you’ll find yourself using in a multitude of ways as your needs evolve. Its two levels offer plenty of surface area for your favorite design objects, or even a modern table lamp. Set on wheels, this table can be styled and moved in any direction, making it a great option for living rooms that also serve as home offices, playrooms, or at-home workout studios!
The smaller Tablo Table is yet another lovely option from Danish Design brand Normann Copenhagen who collaborated with Nicholai Wiig Hansen to create a piece that unites function and aesthetics in a simple design. The refinement of the tabletop's sharpened edge compliments the lacquered legs beautifully and gives the table a pure and minimalistic feel. The name, Tablo, refers to the English 'table' and the French 'tableau', the latter meaning a scenic, organized arrangement. Hansen says how “it is paramount that function, materials, and aesthetics all come together. The design needs to both be useful and solve a basic need - without compromising the visual expression. Being easy to assemble is therefore part of Tablo's function.”
With an adjusting height of 16.34 inches to 21.65 inches, Normann Copenhagen’s Turn Table serves as a lovely end table in a Scandinavian-style living room. Made with a lacquered ash veneer tabletop supported by a matching steel base, this distinct design is ready to be styled with your favorite stack of books, a lamp, or even a sculpture.
There is something both earthily Nordic and expressively avant-garde about Normann Copenhagen’s Pine Table. The tables gain a pleasing organic quality from the distinctive pinewood grain, and the overlooked wood species is given new life in a playful form. Designer Simon Legald says how “the wood’s fiery growth rings and characteristic aroma represent Nordic soul and warmth. Not least, it makes a lot of sense to use a material that can be found locally in large quantities.” Its voluminous octangular foot is gently opposed by the tabletop’s narrow, rounded edge frame, adding a visual lightness to the solid wood design. The grey wood stain option shown above allows the grain to show through, but there’s a natural option available as well. Did we mention there’s a large option as well?
Scandinavian Sideboards + Cabinets
Yet again, Copenhagen-based Thomas Bentzen brings us another Scandinavian furniture masterpiece with MUUTO’s Enfold Sideboard. This simple yet stylish storage solution merges the use of industrial materials with a modern form. Lacquered steel is combined with a solid oak top surface and bottom base, giving a warm yet super modern look. Along with the dusty green shown above, there are black and grey options. A statement piece all by itself, there are so many ways to style this functional sideboard in your Scandinavian living room!
Kristina Dam’s Grid Sideboard features strong lines and an overall elegant appearance. Made with powder-coated metal, the top and front of this piece are perforated to add an element of transparency. In the living room, style it with your most coveted books and design objects, or use it for glasses and plates in the kitchen.
Simple in nature, the Jut Cabinet is a timeless solid oak sideboard that values quality over fashion. The brass handles align perfectly with the solid oak top while the slender legs are pushed to the corner, adding a unique rounded detail. With its high-quality construction and heirloom-quality materials, the Jut Cabinet offers a classic Scandinavian aesthetic fit for living rooms, dining rooms, entryways, and even as a console underneath a mounted TV.
For a dedicated entertainment unit with Scandinavian flair, look no further than the LAX Series Entertainment Unit. Designed for play, its deep cubbies leave plenty of space for design objects or various electronics while the signature sliding aluminum panel keeps everything you need to access within reach while hiding whatever you’d rather not see.
Both the Kabino Sideboard, shown above, and the new Kabino Sideboard with Drawers from Normann Copenhagen provide ample storage for the living room or even the bedroom. Similar to the original Kabino Sideboard, the new sideboard with drawers has perforated holes in the one sliding door which gives a visual elegance. Both sideboards have an inbuilt cable outlet, making them ideal for use as a TV console that aesthetically stows away all of your electronics. The many small details help create a visual break in the uniform surface of the front and add dynamics. A frame of ash softens the industrial expression and adds warmth and exclusivity. The signature open handles in doors and drawers pull the entire look together.
Ready to design your dream Scandinavian style living room? Discover how to add organic and natural texture to your space right here.
More Like This: 21 Beautiful and Modern Design Objects for 2021
Batten Home carefully curates Scandinavian furniture designs and minimalist decor objects for the modern home. We are inspired by a Scandinavian aesthetic and Danish design philosophies with a new modern design feel we like to call new Nordic design.Have any questions for us? We’re family-owned and independently operated, and we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or find more inspiration on Pinterest.