Lighting Design in the Scandinavian Interior: tips and photos

By | November 17, 2022

The world of interior design is diverse. Among the popular stylistic trends there are old, classic ideas adapted to modern realities and technical innovations that provide comfort in everyday life. New interior solutions, such as eco, eclecticism or contemporary, trend this season, regularly appear and rapidly develop.

Property owners can only choose from the variety of available options the best, psychologically close. After all, the main purpose of interior design, according to experts, is to ensure maximum comfort for residents. The atmosphere in the house should inspire a sense of security, because it is a quiet, cozy harbor in which you can hide from the storms and troubles of the outside world. That is why in recent years the choice has increasingly been made in favor of the Scandinavian style. For all its simplicity and conciseness, it gives everything you need for life.

In order for the Scandinavian interior to reveal all its secrets and sparkle with new facets, it is necessary to choose lighting devices that match the style. Just buying the first chandelier you like will not work, because just such light touches form a harmonious perception of the space united by one idea. One wrong stroke can completely ruin the whole picture, introduce dissonance. Therefore, today we will talk about the features of the Scandinavian style. And about which lamps are ideal for this type of interior.

Lighting in the kitchen area.

History and basic principles of the direction

The Scandinavian style, as the name implies, originated in the Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland. It is known that the first interiors made in this style appeared in the thirties of the last century. But some elements have been used by the inhabitants of these states since ancient times. The style has absorbed the philosophy of life, the ancient way of life and traditions of the Northern European peoples. Two main concepts have become decisive: “comfort is always and in everything”, “there is no need for excess.

By the middle of the twentieth century, the best interior designers were talking about the Scandinavian style. The direction quickly gained popularity, turning into a fashion trend. After all, it fully met the consumer needs of those years:

  • maximum convenience and practicality;
  • discreet, attractive beauty and harmony;
  • accessibility for all segments of the population, since expensive, exclusive materials and elements are not used in the interior.

Scandinavian style.

The inner essence of the Scandinavian style was greatly influenced by the harsh climate of Northern Europe. Cold, long winters. A cloudy summer. And in spring and autumn the rains come almost without a break. In order not to slip into depression, the house must have a cozy, bright atmosphere. This is exactly the task that the Scandinavian style solves.

  • The interiors are decorated in a light, neutral palette, with a large number of natural wood surfaces. The main colors are all shades of white and gray, beige and light brown. Pastel colors are used – greenish, bluish, powdery pink. As well as deep dark shades and bright accents – sunny yellow, burgundy and red, turquoise and emerald.
  • The minimum necessary set of furniture and accessories is purchased, so the rooms delight with an abundance of free space. Such an environment creates a stable feeling of freedom, a lot of air and light.
  • Excellent natural light is provided by large windows without dense curtains. You can often find floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows and glass entrance doors opening onto an outdoor terrace.

The northerners also took care of high-quality artificial lighting. After all, in the conditions of a long winter and cloudy summer, this is not a whim, but a vital necessity.

Chandelier in the kitchen-living room.

What are the features of Scandinavian lamps?

To create a cozy, comfortable space, designers use all known types of lamps, from ceiling and suspended chandeliers to stylish table lamps and sconces. Thanks to the thoughtful multi-level lighting, there are no shaded, gloomy corners in the house. Lamps in the Scandinavian style can be described in a few words:

  • laconic, aesthetically attractive design;
  • convenience and practicality in operation;
  • wood, glass and metal as raw materials;
  • monochrome painting of lampshades and frames;
  • mainly spherical, cone-shaped and cylindrical forms of lampshades;
  • the color shade of the lamps, as close as possible to the natural daytime or yellowish.

Scandinavians do not use excessively powerful, bright lamps, which act irritatingly on the nervous system and are dangerous for vision. The abundance of white color in the decoration and furnishings of the rooms helps to strengthen the restrained artificial lighting.

The concept of sufficiency and restraint is also manifested in the arrangement of lighting in an apartment or house. There is no place for senseless decor just for the sake of admiring sighs. All lamps perform practical functions:

  • they highlight work surfaces in the kitchen and in the office, in designated areas for creativity or study;
  • they provide general lighting of rooms and corridors;
  • they illuminate the dining table and bar counter;
  • they give a comfortable dimmed light for the bedside area.

When decorating an apartment or house in Scandinavian style, experts recommend purchasing lamps in the most similar design for all rooms. This design serves as a unifying element, creates a single, harmonious space.

Ceiling lighting.

Important criteria for choosing

The fixtures must match the selected wall, floor and ceiling finishes, as well as furniture and other design elements. The products are selected so that they harmoniously fit into the overall entourage, complement it with a special accent or enhance the impression of a stylish design. Therefore, experts recommend choosing lighting fixtures last of all when the appearance of the rooms is determined.

So, if the room is dominated by pure white color, the best option will be models with a frame of bleached oak or other white wood species. White matte or transparent glass lampshades are perfect. If the room is made in a contrasting range, with light and dark (black, ash, dark blue) tones, then a natural woody texture of soft golden shades will perfectly suit such an interior.

Pendant lights.

Also, when choosing lamps, experts recommend paying attention to the following nuances:

  • The Scandinavian style allows you to move away from the standard rules of the “golden proportion”. They say that the height of the ceiling chandelier, for example, should not exceed a quarter of the distance from the floor to the ceiling, and its diameter should not exceed a third of the width of the room. Therefore, you can safely buy and install a volumetric chandelier or a lamp on a long suspension, an overall floor lamp or a table lamp. Or, on the contrary, provide lighting with the help of several miniature models.
  • The use of plastics and synthetics is unacceptable. All products must be made of natural materials – wood, fabrics, metal, stone, glass. Sometimes designers use more exotic materials – vine and bamboo, rare tree species, fur and feather.
  • Functionality is a priority. Scandinavian style is the epitome of practicality and convenience. Therefore, difficult to clean, pretentious decor, which causes inconvenience during operation, is completely inappropriate. In addition, the laconic design with light, open ceiling lights provide better lighting than complex mosaic and metal structures.
  • Harmony and unity of living space imply the use of the same type of lamps throughout the house. You can even buy products from the same collection, if the author’s design is to your liking and causes pleasant emotions.
  • This interior direction is characterized by a monochrome color scheme. All lighting devices are selected in one, maximum – in two different colors. Festive-bright or multicolored ceiling lights are completely inappropriate. If the owners want to diversify the interior, then you can buy products of different geometric shapes, from different materials or with an original texture.

Lighting above the table.

And one more important rule of the northern style. The light spectrum of the lamps should correspond to natural daylight as much as possible. This color temperature is the most comfortable psychologically, does not cause negative emotions and headaches, protects vision. In addition, in this case, artificial lighting is most harmoniously combined with daylight coming from the windows.

Chandelier in the bedroom.

The subtleties of lighting design in rooms

When choosing lamps, buyers often have a question: which models are suitable for a particular room? After all, the visual perception of the whole composition, the general mood in the room depends on how successful the choice will be. Let’s analyze the principle of selection on the example of the main rooms in the house.

Living room

For the living room, the best option is multi–level lighting, since it is impossible to qualitatively illuminate a spacious room with one chandelier.

  • If the ceilings are high, then a logical option for overhead lighting is a suspended or ceiling chandelier located in the center or above the seating area.
  • In the corner for a comfortable stay, floor lamps or a pair of sconces mounted on the wall look great.
  • If there is a fireplace or shelves with interesting things in the living room, wall products with a directional light stream will help visually highlight the composition.
  • Table lamps are used for coffee tables or a desktop.

Lighting in the living room.


In Scandinavian cuisine, lamps are used at all levels.

  • Individual chandeliers or groups of suspended, ceiling lamps are placed above the functional areas – a dining group, a working triangle, a bar counter.
  • Spotlights, spots and track systems are installed to illuminate the work area.
  • The kitchen set is illuminated with built-in or overhead lamps of small sizes.

Expert advice: for the kitchen, choose a concise design, without relief texture and small details. This way you will noticeably simplify your work to restore order in the room.


Even in a small bedroom, several types of lamps are traditionally used:

  • chandelier or ceiling lamp in the center or above the bed;
  • sconces or table lamps at the headboard;
  • a night light in the form of a candelabra with candles or a garland of elegant, light as fluff, “cotton balls”.

If there is a soft, cozy armchair in the room, either a floor lamp with an additional lamp for reading and needlework, or a wall lamp-sconce is placed next to it.

Scandinavian style in the bedroom.

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