How to furnish a Scandinavian style bathroom

If you love bright, inviting, minimal spaces, then Scandinavian style is for you. Come with us as we show you what Scandinavian style is and what the basic rules are for a Scandinavian style home bathroom, whether it’s a spacious room or a small, cosy space, in a city apartment or a house in the countryside.

Come arredare un bagno in stile nordico

Brief history of the Scandinavian style

Scandinavian, also known as Nordic style, originates, as the name suggests, from Scandinavia in Northern Europe. It began in the early 20th century, although it wasn’t until after the Second World War that it became established as one of the most influential and enduring design movements of the century.

Alvar Aalto, the multifaceted Finish architect born in 1898, was one of the foremost pioneers of Scandinavian design. His work stood out for its organic, humanist approach centred around a deep respect for the environment and rooted in an intimate understanding of human needs. His designs are a harmonious fusion of forms and materials with the surroundings.

Other important designers who contributed significantly to defining and spreading Scandinavian style throughout the world are Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Verner Panton and Eero Saarinen, to name just a few.

Characteristics and flavours of Scandinavian style

Scandinavian style has gained in popularity over time, precisely because of its ability to create comfortable, relaxing rooms where a minimalist aesthetic goes hand in hand with functional design, through clever use of natural materials – like wood, ceramics, glass – and light. In Scandinavian design there is also a tendency to eliminate superfluous details and focus on the essential. Hence it is associated with clean forms and minimal lines, which are the main distinguishing features of this style.

Another important aspect of Scandinavian style is the concept of hygge, a philosophy based on the idea of comfort and well-being. Pronounced something like “hoogah” – although pronunciation tips are welcome from any Danish-speaking readers – hygge is not easy to define, but it means something like the happiness that comes from savouring everyday moments.

If you’re wondering what hygge style has to do with the bathroom, just think about sinking into a hot bath at the end of a hard day or taking delight in a shower with colour therapy, then wrapping yourself in a soft, clean-smelling bathrobe and towel. Those comfortable and comforting experiences are so very hygge.

Ispirazioni hygge bagno nordico persona immersa nel relax di una vasca freestanding

Another interesting flavour that draws inspiration from Scandinavian style is Japandi, a sophisticated combination of Japanese aesthetics and Scandi minimalism.

Simplicity and essentiality are the words that best describe this style, where everything goes back to the idea of lightness and order. For example, room composition designs aim to establish a functional layout, while leaving room for aesthetics, wherein lies the similarity to Scandinavian style.

Ispirazioni colore bagno nordico toni neutri e composizione floreale minimalista stile japandi

Key factors for designing a Scandinavian style bathroom

Scandinavian style is more than a trend. It’s an all-round lifestyle that continues to inspire design enthusiasts the world over. Its ability to establish harmony between form and function gives it a starring role in every room of the home, including the bathroom.

Here are a few simple, but essential tips, if you’re looking to create a Scandinavian style bathroom.

arredo bagno stile nordico total white con maniglia a gola

Materials and colours inspired by nature

Nature is the source of inspiration for Scandinavian style design. Wood is the prince of materials. It conveys a feeling of warmth and tranquillity and can be used for accessories and furnishings (shelves, footstools, benches…) but is also suitable for floors or as pannelling for walls.

Palette colori e finiture bagno stile nordico legni e tonalità delicate

When it comes to colours, white holds pride of place in the Scandinavian style, although it’s not the only colour that matters. You can also opt for a neutral colour palette of beiges and greys, including dove grey, which add warmth and elegance to the room, without dulling the brightness of the white. An example is the solution suggested below with split-level base units.

Arredo bagno stile nordico colori neutri beige e grigio

The naturalness andcolours of wood, preferably in light tones, provide a neutral canvas that can be personalised with details and accessories in soft tones, such as pastel or nature-inspired colours.

An example can be seen in this composition from the Shape collection. Here, sage green emphasises the Scandinavian design of the rocking chair and adds a hint of freshness to the bathroom.

accessori colorati per bagno stile nordico con armadiatura e sedia a dondolo verde salvia

Choose fabrics in keeping with the simplicity, softness and naturalness of the rest of the room. So, bathroom curtains, where installed for privacy, should preferably be in natural, lightweight materials like linen or cotton, to create the sensation of bright freshness. Roller, Roman or panel blinds emphasise linearity.

No colour means total white

Light is an essential feature of Scandinavian design and nothing reflects it better than white.

As the colour of purity, in addition to evoking a sense of cleanliness, white brings so much brightness to a room. Not only is it perfect for walls, it’s also ideal for bathroom furniture and accessories, including shower profiles, as in the total white look below.

Arredo bagno nordico stile total white, basi sospese e mensole colore bianco

Less is decidedly more

The overall vision of Scandinavian style is minimalist: walls with just a few but essential elements, including simple, geometrical furnishings and accessories, perfectly emphasising the ethos of clean essentiality

This composition presents a large floor-standing base unit with groove handles for the drawers to preserve the linear outline. The washbasin in the stone-look countertop, apparently suspended above the unit, has sleek taps, while see-through glass shelves flank a large round mirror with integrated lighting. The overall clean look is completed with a multifunctional freestanding metal clothes stand and a soft fabric footstool.

Arredo bagno legno in stile nordico, base a terra e specchio tondo in vetro

Wall-mounted furniture

Scandinavian design is synonymous with practicality and lightness, hence its affinity with wall-mounted furniture. Wall-mounted pieces, like wall units, shelves and sink base units, leave more floor space available, making the bathroom look larger and more open, and also making it more convenient to move around and to clean.

Arredo bagno stile nordico con elementi sospesi in tinte neutre

Organised spaces: a place for everything

Scandinavian style means order. That’s why furniture has to be functional and provide space for organisation. Care should be taken when designing storage space. Units should have compartments and there should be dividers for drawers. Or there could be multipurpose accessories, such as mirror cabinets and clothes stands with catchall trays. Such solutions ensure the space and the entire bathroom stays tidy and organised.

Mobile a terra capiente effetto legno in stile nordico
Arredo bagno stile nordico con cassetto interno organizzati, divisi in comparti e illuminato

Freestanding tub for a relaxing bath

If a Scandinavian style bathroom is the ideal place to sit back and relax, a freestanding bathtub is the perfect solution for achieving this.

Soft curves and a minimal outline bring a touch of the romantic to this type of bathtub, unencumbered by walls or other installation features that would take away from its dramatic impact. Place it anywhere in the bathroom to create a personal spa and wellness corner in the home.

vasca freestanding e sgabellino in bagno stile nordico

Lighting: natural and artificial

Natural light is a key feature of Scandinavian style, so it is worth making the most of the transformative power of daylight, which not only illuminates, but also creates an inviting atmosphere of serenity. Designs should therefore incorporate large windows or other openings to allow natural light to flood the room and emphasise the essentiality and clarity of the forms.

Bagno luminoso stile nordico con ampie finestre e arredo bagno in legno

As for artificial light, the aim is to maintain the warm, welcoming atmosphere, so avoid lighting that is too intense or too cold in a Scandinavian style bathroom. Wall lights, spotlights, pendants or backlit mirrors are all perfect ways to diffuse soft light.

lampade sospese per bagno stile nordico

Plants and accessories in a Scandinavian style bathroom

Scandinavian style bathrooms need only a few accessories that should be eye-catching but, above all, functional. Jute or braided baskets can store towels and washcloths, while boxes and trays hold toiletries and cosmetics. Soft rugs and natural fibres, but also wooden stools and fabric footstools. Wooden or metal ladders make perfect towel rails, while and small wooden tubs, candles and minimal decorative items complete the spa atmosphere.

Wooden slatted benches are the hallmark of essential, Scandinavian design. A must-have for any bathroom in this style.

panchetta in legno stile scandivano

Lastly, don’t forget to add a splash of green with plants. A connection to nature is at the core of Scandinavian design. So adding plants and greenery is more than a decorative touch, its a key feature. This also applies to the bathroom. They bring life and vigour to the space and play an important role in purifying the air.

piante ornamentali verdi a cascata per
bagno in stile nordico

Whether gifted with the versatility of ferns, with their soft, hanging fronds, or the minimal elegance of small succulents, a Scandinavian style bathroom will be a haven of tranquillity and freshness, where nature mingles harmoniously with the purity of design.

Piante grasseornamentali per bagno stile nordico
Pianta grassa per bagno stile nordico

No doubt these tips have inspired you to bring the timeless appeal of Scandinavian design to your bathroom. Natural materials, accessories that enhance the enjoyment of water, green plants, neutral tones, natural colours or total white, and linear, functional design. These are the key features that you can have fun mixing and matching as you design your cosy, relaxing Scandinavian style bathroom.

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