Scandinavian furniture: 8 best buys for a laid-back look

Scandinavian furniture is beautiful in its simplicity, transforming any room into a calming, relaxed retreat. Don't miss our edit

Scandinavian furniture in a bedroom with a navy bed and pink modular bedside table
(Image credit: Made.com)

Why choose Scandinavian furniture? When furnishing and decorating your home, the first thing you should consider is how you want to feel in your space. And if you would love a little more time for relaxation (and who wouldn't?), Scandi is the style for you. 

To sum up the look, it is minimal, functional and clean, usually with a neutral palette and soft, natural textures to add interest (and cosiness!). Scandinavian furniture comes in all shapes and sizes, but in general we're talking pale woods, simple lines, angled legs and functional shapes. 

And so, in the latest episode of the Real Homes Show, our Style Editor, Anna Morley, reveals how to create the Scandi-style look in any room of your home, and on a budget. And we've done an edit of the best Scandinavian furniture you can buy –from sofas to dining tables, beds to desks. You're most welcome. Or Varsågod, as they say in Sweden.

John Lewis sofa

(Image credit: John Lewis )

1. House by John Lewis Sweep Sofa

Best Scandi style sofa

Specifications
Dimensions: H88 x W136 x D87cm
Upholstery: fabric
Filling: foam and fibre
Self assembly: fully assembled
Colours: blue (pictured) and grey
Reasons to buy
+Good quality, good price+Compact size 
Reasons to avoid
-Bold colour not to everyone's taste

If you're after an affordable, stylish sofa that's perfect for small spaces, the House by John Lewis Sweep is the perfect option. Creating a tranquil, airy feel in your living room, it's just what you need to open up your living room and make it seem bigger.

What size is it?

This John Lewis sofa would be ideal for smaller living rooms as it's just 136cm wide. The design is slimline too, with thin arms and space underneath the sofa, which is a must when picking out furniture for a smaller room. If you like the style and shape of this sofa but are after something bigger, it does come in a medium size and a large size too. 

Which room will it suit?

Literally any. This shape oozes Scandi style, but it would fit into any existing scheme. Obviously, if you went for the blue upholstery it's going to be more of a statement piece, but this John Lewis sofa does come in grey, too , if the pared back look is more what you're after.

Colour and finish options?

As mentioned, you can pick between blue or grey. Both are quite cool-toned, and will look different under different lights, too, so order a swatch first to see what the colour and the fabric looks like in your space. 

Assembly required?

This will be delivered to be assembled at home

If you have got more of a budget, the Sweep sofa comes in leather too. 

Dunelm dining table

(Image credit: Dunelm )

2. Dunelm Torino dining table

Best Scandi dining table

Specifications
Best for: Price
Material: MDF
Seats: 4-6
Size: H74cm x W140cm x D75cm
Reasons to buy
+Good price +Stylish design 
Reasons to avoid
-Some may prefer solid wood to MDF

If you are after a more budget-friendly dining table, you can't go wrong with Dunelm. They have some gorgeous pieces at amazing prices, but we chose the Torino dining table as the best...

What size is it?

It seats four comfortably, six at a squeeze so it would be good if you have guests over occasionally but on the daily don't need loads of space. It's also quite narrow too so could be a good choice if you are fitting this into an open-plan kitchen.

Which room styles will it suit?

There is definitely a Scandi vibe here with the tall, tapered legs and the grey finish. We can imagine this with some spindle back chairs around it, each with a sheepskin thrown over and a vase of bare branches in the middle. Oh look how convenient, Dunelm make the exact chairs we made in mind.

Colour and finish options?

Grey is your only option here. But if you eventually get bored of the grey this would be the easiest piece of furniture to paint. 

Assembled required?

There is some self-assembly required. 

Best single bed you can buy: La Redoute Jimi Platform Shelved Bed

(Image credit: La Redoute)

3. La Redoute Jimi Platform Shelved Bed

Best Scandi kids' bed

Specifications
Best for: On-trend design
Dimensions: W227cm x H56cm x D104cm
Material: Oak-stained solid pine
Built-in headboard?: No
Colour: Oak
Reasons to buy
+Handy shelf built in +Matching furniture available 
Reasons to avoid
-No headboard-No storage

Creating a kids' bedroom that's both practical, stylish AND approved by the kids, can be a nightmare. Keep things simple with this Scandi style bed and you're sure to be on to a winner...

What size is it?

This La Redoute single bed is 190cm long. With the additional shelf at the foot of the bed, the mattress is slightly smaller, and so this is really a bed for a child, rather than an adult solo sleeper. 

Which room styles will it suit?

Have you ever seen a simpler style bed? With no headboard and a simple wooden frame, this Scandi style design is perfect for a kids' bedroom where space is limited.

Colour and finish options?

This bed is only available in an oak-stained solid pine, perfect for adding warmth to any bedroom scheme. 

Assembled required?

This is delivered for self assembly.

4. Celine Desk by Nazanin Kamali

Best Scandi desk

Specifications
Best for: Unique style
Size: H75cm x W110cm x D55cm
Material: Solid walnut, veneered carcass
Colour: Walnut or oak
Reasons to buy
+ Made from solid wood + Fairly compact in size  
Reasons to avoid
- Lacks significant storage space 

If there's ever a space where you need to feel calm and at ease, it's at your desk. Build yourself an airy, light and bright working space, starting with this simple, pale wood desk...

What size is it?

This stylish desk is 110cm long and 55cm wide, making it an ideal size for either a desk space in a bedroom or for you very own home office. The secret white drawer and open shelf is perfect for stowing away a laptop. 

Which room styles will it suit?

This simple style will most certainly sit back in any scheme, but with a clear Scandi feel, a room with a pale colour palette, minimal fuss and soft textures will help to create the ultimate pared-back, relaxed vibe in your work space. 

Colour and finish options?

Oak is your only option for this one. But the white secret drawer helps to give it more contemporary twist.

Assembled required?

There is some self-assembly required. 

Vitra Eames RAR Rocking Chair

(Image credit: John Lewis)

5. Vitra Eames RAR Rocking Chair

Best Scandi armchair

Specifications
Dimensions: H67cm x W62cm x D69cm
Upholstery: Polypropylene
Filling: N/A
Self assembly: no
Colours: white
Reasons to buy
+Iconic design +Well built
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for small spaces 

The Vitra Eames Rocking Chair is iconic, and the playful, functionality of the design feels as fresh as it did when it was introduced 60 years ago. 

What size is it?

At 63cm wide and 76cm tall, it's the perfect size to fit into a cosy corner, where you can rock 'til your heart's content with a good book and cosy blanket. The rockers do take up a little extra space though, at 81cm long, so ensure your space is big enough to avoid a bump on the head!

Which room styles will it suit?

This is definitely an investment, but you'll be able to move it around your house and use it in every room over the years as this is a style that will never date. The moulded, recyclable shell is designed for every body shape, and so will be comfy for everyone in your home. From the living room to the hallway and kids room, part of this chair's beauty is in its simplicity.

Colour and finish options?

This bad boy is available in a plethora of colours - pinks, yellows, blues, greens, black, white, to name just a few. You can also customise the chair legs, with silver and matt black being the most popular options. 

Assembly required?

You'll need to assemble this at home.

Habitat desk chair


(Image credit: Habitat )

6. Habitat Ginnie Office Chair

Best Scandi desk chair

Specifications
Best for: Price
Material: plastic frame, PU leather seat pad, chrome metal base
Colour: White, grey, orange and yellow
Dimensions: H86-96cm x W53.5cm x D48.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Flexible height+Minimal design
Reasons to avoid
-No arms, so may not be the comfiest

Looking for a really affordable desk chair? This Habitat Ginnie desk chair would be perfect...

What size is it?

This seat height is 45cm high, so be sure to check that this is an appropriate seat height for your desk. You can move the seat up and down, allowing more flexibility and letting you use this as a spare dining chair when necessary. 

Which rooms will it suit?

The best desk chairs can be a little... cumbersome and aren't the easiest on the eyes, but this one is a great combination of style and practicality. The seat reminds us of a classic Eiffel chair, but then the base has everything you would want from a modern desk chair. 

Colour and finish options?

Available in orange, grey, mustard and white.

Assembly required?

You'll have attach to seat and legs at home.

John Lewis Show Wood sofa bed

(Image credit: John Lewis )

7. John Lewis Show Wood sofa bed

Best sofa bed for Scandi-style

Specifications
Seats: two
Sleeps: two
Filling: foam
Type of bed: click clack
Colours available: 2
Size: H86cm x W224cm x D95cm
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design +Easy to use 
Reasons to avoid
-Very firm -Needs two people to assemble 

Our pick of the best sofa bed comes in the form of the House by John Lewis Show Wood sofa bed; here's why we love it...

What size is it?

At 224cm wide, this is a good-sized living room sofa, and with a simple click-clack design mechanism, it opens out easily into a double bed. You just fold down the back, pop out the legs and there you go, an emergency bed in a matter of minutes. One reviewer mentionned that this sofa is quite heavy, so you may need two people to put it together. 

Which rooms will it suit?

This comfy sofa will sit back nicely in most living room schemes, or if you're looking to get the most out of your spare room, you could transform it into a cosy snug that you can turn into a bedroom in a matter of minutes. As with all John Lewis sofa beds, this one comes with a 15-year guarantee, meaning that if anything should break or go wrong with your sofa John Lewis will repair or replace it for you. This means that if you tire of it in the living room, you could simple move it to a spare room and get more for your money.

Colour and finish options?

This is available in Topaz Light Grey and Topaz Navy

Assembly required?

Yes, you'll have to attach the legs yourself at home.

Cairn Bedside Table

8. Cairn Bedside Table

Best Scandi-style bedside table

Specifications
Best for: Modular design
Dimensions: H75cm x W41cm x D41cm
Material: Engineered wood
Number of drawers: Three
Reasons to buy
+ Modular design makes it height-adjustable + Two trendy colour ways 
Reasons to avoid
-Must remove each tray to get to the one underneath, which may be impractical if you've got drinks or ornaments on top

Bedside tables aren't just for placing a single glass of water, they can be a storage cabinet in their own right, and this scandi style design ticks all our boxes... 

What size is it?

At 75cm high and 45cm wide, its long legs make it stand up tall and become a really noticeable piece of furniture in your space. The Cairn bedside table is made of layered, stackable, modular storage trays, so you can make your piece lower or higher as desired. Each tray is great for storage, making it just as practical as it is stylish.

Which rooms will it suit?

As this can house a tonne of storage, and is made up of modules which you could move around your room,  it's perfect for smaller, contemporary bedrooms. They'll help to maximisie the space you have and help to keep clutter as bay, too.  Choose the lowest height and place the other modules around the space and this will be perfect for a kids' bedroom, too. 

Colour and finish options?

This is available in this gorgeous ombre-effect pink, or cool ombre-effect grey.

Assembly required?

Yes, you'll have to fully assemble this yourself at home.

More on Scandinavian style...