Construction & Design / Owner Blog

8 ways to bring Scandinavian style to your chalet

Simplicity, functionality and practicality are the watchwords of Scandinavian style. This look mixes design and nature to create visual harmony and a warm atmosphere. It’s a concept that works brilliantly with mountain style.

If you love warm and cosy environments and need inspiration for your chalet decor, look no further. Scandinavian style is what you need. Here is a list of hints and tips to guide you.

1. Great lighting – the basis of Scandinavian style

The way you light a room is very important, and even more so if you’re looking for a Scandinavian style.

It is an essential element when it comes to creating the right atmosphere. You can go from a cold and dull interior to a warm and welcoming one, simply by changing the lamps.

Knowing how to use natural light is very important.

For example, large windows and sliding doors let in a huge amount of sunlight. The Nordic look usually avoids thick, dark curtains. Instead, choose light colours and thin, even transparent curtains, as in this room in Balmaz Lodge.

Scandinavian style - light curtains are used to  maximise the light at this bedroom in Balmaz Lodge
This bedroom at Balmaz Lodge uses large windows and glass doors to great effect. It is welcoming and bathed in natural light.

Natural light is of prime importance when it comes to the Scandinavian look, but artificial lighting is also used to create different light sources.

By varying the heat and intensity of artificial lighting, you can change the atmosphere of a room. Choose simple and modern lights, for example, metal ceiling lights and wooden wall sconces.

The dining room at Chalet Riparian
The lighting in this dining room at Chalet Riparian is a good example of warm Scandinavian styling

2. Simple and practical furniture

Scandinavian furniture meets precise criteria and provides plenty of storage.

It is recognisable by clean lines, curves and contemporary geometric forms. Often made of wood, it is heavily influenced by nature, especially in the materials used.

Each piece of furniture must have a purpose and a flexible role in the design. The aim is to create a visual harmony between the different rooms and a light, natural and welcoming atmosphere, conducive to a relaxed lifestyle.

Light colours are the perfect choice for your furniture, as they create a warm and natural environment.

Shades such as off-white are timeless and guarantee a successful Nordic look. Stick to natural materials such as wood, resin and other fibres.

You could also add touches of metal such as copper and other materials such as marble to create a contrast. Furniture can also be used to add more vibrant colours.

Scandinavian style is based on a relaxed way of life and aims to create a warm and cosy home.

It offers more freedom than other styles, and you can fit a room quite simply, using floor cushions for example. This is ideal for a reading area or a children’s room, as in Lodge Le Grizzly.

Find deco inspiration from OVO Network properties


3. Wood – the primary material

Wood is central to the Scandinavian look. Timeless and natural, it helps to create a bright and warm interior and is economical and eco-friendly.

Choose light woods such as pine, oak or beech, and add ash for darker touches. These can then be tinted, smoked or bleached to obtain different designs, according to the look you are going for.

A wooden floor can make your room look brighter, more spacious and more welcoming. Try a beautiful rug with a typical Scandinavian geometric design if you want to dress it up.

The modern living room at Bleu Infini
The rug in this living room at Chalet Bleu Infini dresses the floor and uses texture to add contrast

Wood can be used in many ways – in furniture, storage, bunk beds or even in decor. It can be mixed with other materials such as metal in a table, such as in Chalet Dorealp, below.

The contemporary Scandinavian style living room at Chalet Dorealp
Wood is combined with other materials to great effect in this living room at Chalet Dorealp

4. Mixing styles – an advantage of the Scandinavian look

As we have already mentioned, the Scandinavian style is a great way to mix materials.

Usually, wood is mixed with metals such as gold, silver, brass, copper and tin. This creates a contrast and enhances the room’s visual interest.

However, it’s important to keep minimalist, and not mix things up everywhere – two different metals are usually enough. This can be very useful, for example in a ski room.

The ski room at Chalet Bleu Infini
This ski room at Chalet Bleu Infini mixes shades of wood and metal to great effect

It is also possible to mix different styles for an original look. The flexibility of the Scandinavian style is one of its advantages.

For example, the Nordic look combines very well with industrial design. The trick to making this work is to find and use the similarities between the styles. The aim is to create a coherent and pleasing look, as in this bathroom, made of marble and wood.

Marble and wood is mixed to create this beautiful bathroom at Chalet Belle Cour
Marble and wood are mixed to create this beautiful bathroom at Chalet Belle Cour. The candle and the plant bring freshness and warmth

5. Use of colour in the Nordic look

Let’s talk about colours. As we have already said, the Scandinavian look is essentially based on light colours and pastel tones.

White is often mixed with other neutral tones such as beige, grey etc. The aim is to create a peaceful, pleasant environment that is easy on the eye. However, bright colours are not banned!

Bold can be good, as long as it is not overdone. Try adding that splash of colour to specific parts of the room, such as occasional pieces of furniture, cushions, throws or a duvet cover.

Scandinavian style uses relatively few motifs, but these trends have become increasingly popular, especially in the use of wallpaper and murals.

The designs are often taken from nature and recall the Scandinavian landscapes – you can get a better idea from the bedroom at Balmaz Lodge where the mural depicts a forest design.

6. Play with textures and layers for a Scandinavian approach 

The use of textiles is very important.

Use throws or cushions to play with textures, and don’t be afraid to pile up elements to create layers, particularly in the bedrooms.

These elements can be used to break geometric shapes and bring depth to your living room – for example, a linen blanket on the edge of a sofa. These techniques are also helpful when it comes to dressing a terrace.

Cushions and throws are used to create texture on the terrace at Chalet Elomaz
Cushions and throws are used to create texture on the terrace at Chalet Elomaz

7. The importance of storage

When it comes to the Nordic look, storage is a vital element – you only show what you want to show.

Before you decide on your Scandinavian interior, you need to decide how much storage you need. It’s a good idea to start with a big sort-out!

The principle of Scandinavian design is obtaining a balance between comfort and minimalism.

8. Scandinavian style and its love of nature

As well as using natural materials and patterns inspired by nature, the Scandinavian style likes to bring nature inside.

You can do this simply by using plants in your rooms to brighten them up and add freshness. Many plants do very well inside – try tulips, orchids or ficus.

Of course, you need to be able to take care of these plants. For example, orchids need a lot of moisture and will be better suited to a bathroom than tulips.

We hope these ideas will inspire you to decorate your chalet.

If the Nordic style isn’t your thing, we have plenty of ideas in our construction and design archives. For example, check out our guide to achieving Alpine decor, or discover the difference between modern and traditional styles.

Make sure to follow us on our social media channels to find more inspiration for decorating and running your rental business!

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Insights on running a holiday rental property, expert opinions and the latest industry news all sent straight to your inbox