Nordic style interiors: 7 secrets to bringing dark and dramatic vibes home | Real Homes

Nordic style interiors: 7 secrets to bringing dark and dramatic vibes home

Be inspired by these Nordic style interiors, just in time for autumn...

Nordic style interiors
(Image credit: Jemma Watts)

Our love of Nordic style interiors will never end. And, like all trends that hang around for years (hygge is the prime example) we will, every now and then, come up with a new name for what is basically the same style, just with a twist – case in point: new Nordic. 

So, here are a few of the very best New Nordic design ideas to steal from the slightly darker, slightly moodier take on the classic Scandi style... Find more gorgeous Scandi design ideas on our hub page.

1. Add lots of texture to your living room 

You will see that texture is a recurring theme with the Nordic style. As the colours and designs tend to be kept pretty simple, a lot interest comes instead from layering textures. In a living room this obviously means piling up the cushions and throws in all different finishes – fur, sheepskin, chunky knit, the more the better. 

Layering is life

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DFS sofa

(Image credit: DFS)

From multi-level wall decor, to cushion upon cushion, this is a lounge we would happily get lost in on a cold and drizzly night.

Fluffed up floors

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lounge by dfs

(Image credit: dfs)

Create a seamless transition of textures from your couch to the floor with faux fur rugs, teamed with cushions and the like.

Rug on rug

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Nordic woven rugs

(Image credit: Woven)

Pick out a few rugs that are made from different materials and overlap them in the centre of the room to add some visual interest to an otherwise simple space. New Nordic style sorted.

2. Choose Nordic bedding that has a relaxed vibe

When you're bringing Nordic style vibes into the bedroom – choose bedding that has a texture to it, and combine it with a throw in a similar shade. 

Texture forever

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(Image credit: Lapuan Kankurit)

This super soft grey throw is from Finnish store Lapuan Kankurit, but lucky for us they ship their lovely sustainable products to the UK. The washed out look gives that gorgeous effortless feel that's very Scandi (and yes telling yourself you are embracing the Nordic trend is also a great excuse to not make your bed). 

Love the bedding? It's from Soak & Sleep.

Nordic blue

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Shalstone bedstead by Ercol

(Image credit: Ercol)

Pattern is a great way to add warmth and depth to a Scandi bedroom, especially when you're playing with darker coloured bedding.

Both this bedside table and double bed frame are Ercol for John Lewis

Layers of grey

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Scandi bedding ikea

(Image credit: IKEA)

Grey is perfect for a Scandi bedroom setting, and by layering different tones of grey you're going to add heaps more comfort.

3. Keep the colour palette simple

While the Scandis may have mastered the minimalist white washed everything, take note that they are also proficient in adding just the right amount of colour, usually in the form of cushions, throws and accessories. Just stick to a couple of colours and choose muted hues like blush pink, grey-blue or earthy colours like forest green and ochre. 

White on white

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Arada Stoves

(Image credit: Arada Stoves)

A white living room colour scheme works well, especially if you introduce cooler tones with the odd pastel and dark accessory here and there.

Clean, bright, cosy

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Out There Interiors

(Image credit: Out There Interiors)

White walls brighten up this space, while the natural colour of the interiors keeps the warmth in for a perfect Nordic balance of fresh and cosy.

In the detail

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Out & Our Original dresser

(Image credit: Out & Our Original )

The wall panelling adds interest to this subdued colour scheme, and the accessories speak for themselves. Crisp character is the vibe we're getting.

4. Incorporate darker shades 

This is where the whole New Nordic style slightly varies from the more traditional Scandi inspired rooms you might be more used to seeing. New Nordic definitely incorporates darker, dramatic colour more readily than the light and airy classic Scandi style. 

Teal time

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Scandi lounge

(Image credit: Debenhams)

Create a moody Nordic look by experimenting with deep blue and green paints (something like Farrow and Ball’s Vardo) and mix in elements of lighter wood and statement accessories. 

One dark side

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Scandi-inspired living room by John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

If you love the idea of moody and atmospheric interior design ideas but don't want to fully commit to the dark side, the New Nordic look is definitely for you as it incorporates more dramatic shades but keeps furniture and accessories light and simple. Try painting just one wall in a deep colour like Farrow & Ball's Stiffkey Blue and pair it will slimline, pale furniture and light, neutral accessories to recreate this look.

Cool hallways

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Sally and Owen have extended their 1950s semi in Swansea in colourful style

(Image credit: Georgia Burns)

It doesn't have to be the walls that nod to moody colour schemes. Be bold and paint a staircase or a doorframe in black for a little drama and to really polish off a Nordic interior.

5. Sculpt and declutter

The new Nordic style is very minimalist. But obviously, it’s not very realistic to live in a home that’s completely void of any un-aesthetically pleasing things, but that’s where clever storage comes in. You can create the illusion of a clean, uncluttered space, when in fact, open any cupboard and you’ll find a Pandora's Box of stuff. 

Sleek and natural

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sewlyn sideboard

(Image credit: Habitat)

Choose closed storage for your unsightly knick knacks and then invest in a sideboard, like these from Habitat, to keep all your Nordic-approved decorations on show while you hide the rest. 

Simple lines

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Shot of a white sideboard with a gallery wall hung above with a monochrome theme

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

With new Nordic design ideas, you keep the colours minimal and let the furniture do the talking. Clean lines, simple structures and a dose of functionality pretty much sums up Nordic-style furniture, so make sure you choose pieces that reflect this. It’s pretty Mid-century in that sense, but whereas Mid-century style favours darker woods, Nordic style is all about the paler more natural finish. 

On display

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living room with white scheme by cuckooland

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

The Scandis are masters of accessorising – without cluttering. Think beautifully, simply curated shelves, sideboards, cabinets and most importantly, choose whatever you have on display wisely. The key is to mix and match old, new and curious items for simple but intriguing interest.

6. Accessorise with nature

Plants are a budget-friendly and effective way to embrace new Nordic design ideas – bring the outside in... 

Green centrepiece

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living room with white scheme by covert house

(Image credit: Covet House)

You only need one indoor plant to create the perfect feature. 

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plants at home

(Image credit: Sainsburys Home)

You could invest in a few easy house plants for a more layered plant look. For indoor gardening tips see our advice piece. 

Hues and height

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living room with white scheme by argos

(Image credit: Argos)

You could go even more Scandi and forage around your garden for bare branches, tall grasses or simple flowers which, when displayed in an unfussy jar or vase, will create a beautiful effect. Go for height, and you could even dry out your flowers to nod more to this trend.

7. Just hygge

And there it is, the word you all knew was coming. This is by far the easiest way to add a dash of new Nordic design ideas to your home – choose the perfect lighting, grab a blanket, a cuppa, a book and light a candle for these looks.

Walls of interest

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Bedroom painted with Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball )

Colour blocking is a great way to incorporate the trend into your room, without fully committing. Here Farrow and Ball’s Railings has been combined with Estate Eggshell to create a much softer look, made only more so by the folksy printed pillows and the sheepskin throw. 

Layers of light

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Lights4fun warm white fairy lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

A trio of natural light, decorative fairy lights and (equally as decorative) task lighting makes for a bright and balanced room.

Candle lit

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Scandinavian style bedroom by Soak & Sleep

(Image credit: Soak & Sleep)

This converted loft bedroom is singing with Nordic vibes, complete with layers of bedding, lighting and candles, of course.

Looking for more decorating ideas?