At its basic elements, functionality is the heart of Scandinavian design. It only helps that clean, minimal lines and simple material combinations are quick runners-up. Combine all of those elements together and you have a product that not only does what it’s intended to do but also looks really, really good doing it.
Scandinavia is overwhelmingly cozy and that should come as no surprise given the cold, dark winters most northern countries face. Scandinavians have come up with the best ways to combat the winter blues through design: warm sheepskin rugs, slippers you never want to take off, beautiful chairs with simple silhouettes, wool blankets with blasts of color.
Consider this your guide to giving your own life a little Scandinavian boost, whether you’re looking for something small to gift yourself (or a loved one) or a design centerpiece with a history that will spur dinner party conversations for years to come. We did a little research and pulled together a shopping list that will have you feeling a little cozier, no matter where you may be.
Walk into any number of homes in Scandinavia and there’s a good chance you’ll find a sheepskin rug somewhere. Not only are they so wonderful to walk on, they look fantastic against any type of flooring. Make sure and place yours in a low-traffic area to preserve its beauty.
To buy: $1,060; wayfair.com
Hay Glass Jug
While Scandinavian design may favorite neutral colors when it comes to furniture paint, and lighting, have some fun with your tableware. This glass jug from iconic Danish design company Hay is the perfect pop of blue.
To buy: $45; shop.moma.com
Splash Coat Rack
This coat rack is simple in design, but the split wood-and-white palette brings an added bit of texture to your decor. Bonus: The footprint of this coat rack is perfect for smaller rooms.
To buy: $329; allmodern.com
You can lean this mirror up against any wall, which is only one of the great things about it. Its light silhouette makes it perfect for a bedroom or an entryway and the wooden frame will fit in with any existing color palette or decor theme.
To buy: $333; finnishdesignshop.com
Rainy Days Throw Blanket
About that burst of color: Go all out with warm throw blankets (they’re easy to switch in and out of a room). This goldenrod-yellow blanket is from Brita Sweden and is made out of wool, the unofficial material of Scandinavia.
To buy: $56; scandinaviandesigncenter.com
Risom Lounge Chair
This iconic chair is by Jens Risom and was one of the very first designs manufactured by the iconic brand Knoll. The frame finish and webbing color is customizable, meaning you can pick the perfect color combination for your room. It’s also available with or without arms.
To buy: $1,347; knoll.com
Globule Stjaki Candle Holder
Handcrafted by Reykjavik designer Ragna Ragnarsdottir, these candle holders mimic Icelandic landscapes, from the black sand beaches to the terracotta-hued lava rock fields.
Pear Floor Lamp
This floor lamp by George Nelson for Herman Miller is quintessential Scandinavian design with its curvy, bubble-like shade that glows when turned on. This is the perfect light to place next to your favorite reading chair.
To buy: From $670; pntra.com
Stille Rocking Chair
There’s no better place to watch the snow fall than on a rocking chair, and it would be hard to find one that looks better than this sleek pick.
To buy: $1,299; scandinaviandesignstudio.com
Wild Style Cloak
If cozy were to be turned into an actual thing you could wear, it would be this quilted cloak from Brooklyn-based design company Haptic Lab. They release a limited set of designs each year, so act fast.
To buy: $245; hapticlab.com
Glerups Wool Slipper
House shoes are about as important to Scandinavian culture as candles. Leave your outdoor shoes at the door and slip into these wool slippers from L.L Bean—we promise you’ll never want to take them off.
To buy: $95; llbean.com
Skandinavisk Candle Set
Scandinavians take candlelight to a new level—we could all take a lesson from their lighting book. This candle set embodies the different landscapes, scenes, and harmonies across Scandinavia (think: the freshness of the fjords, saltiness of the sea, and forest pine).