5 ways to create a Scandinavian kitchen

Love Scandinavian kitchens? Here are some tips on how to add a touch of the ever-trending Scandi style to your space

Scandinavian kitchen
(Image credit: Schiffini)

Who doesn't love a Scandinavian kitchen? You should see our personal Pinterest boards, literally filled with Scandi-style spaces that we thought we could only dream of creating. Turns out that adding some Scandi vibes to your kitchen needn't mean ripping out your old one, as you can DIY the look or just switch up a few things to get a bit closer to the kitchen of your Pinterest dreams. 

We've put together five kitchen ideas to get you inspired. So get scrolling, and make sure you check out our Scandinavian design feature for more ideas for every room in your home. 

1. Go for a clean all white kitchen 

You think we have it bad here in the UK? The poor Scandis have almost 24 hours of darkness in the winter, so it's no wonder they like their indoor spaces to be as light and bright as possible. So an easy way to create a Scandinavian kitchen is to go for white everything. You can warm up the space and add interest with plants, accessories and lighting, but stick to neutral colours and you really can't go wrong. 

2. Or pick a dark and moody theme

Scandinavian kitchen by Kitchen makers

(Image credit: Kitchen makers)

If you want to create a cosier space, then be brave and go for dark, moody colours that will create an enveloping feel that is big in Scandi Hygge culture. Dark kitchen cabinets are everywhere at the moment and painting your cabinets is a great way to DIY the look to see if you like the dark side. 

We love a deep navy – something like Farrow & Ball's classic Hague Blue– but other Scandi approved colours have been popping up recently like deep sage greens (check out Sap Green) and dark greys, of course. If painting kitchen cabinets is something you want to try, then have a read through our step by step guide. 

3. Create a rustic, traditional Scandi vibe 

kitchen with blue walls and black aga and brown cabinets with stairs and christmas decorations

(Image credit: Joyce Vloet/Coco Features)

What we love about Scandinavian design, is that there are so many ways to pull it off, and that the different styles all tend to contrast each other. You've got a very modern, minimal Scandi style for example, alongside that more traditional, super cosy, folksy look. Both very different, both equally cute. 

Recreate the more rustic style of Scandi design by adding some freestanding elements to your kitchen – on old butcher's block, a traditional oak table – and fill your open shelving with interesting knick-knacks like copper pans and glass jars which always work well.

Scandinavian kitchen by Nest

(Image credit: Nest)

4. Choose functional storage

Scandinavian kitchen by Nest

(Image credit: Nest)

Because it wouldn't be a Scandinavian kitchen if it wasn't 100 per cent practical. Functionality is key, – and that means good storage – especially if you are going for the minimalist look where everything needs to have a space. Make sure you have plenty of closed storage and really make the most of your cupboard space so that all your open storage can be reserved for more aesthetically pleasing things, like your pristine cream crockery.  

For loads more kitchen storage ideas head to our dedicated feature. 

5. Swap kitchen doors for curtains 

White Scandinavian kitchen

(Image credit: China Cooper)

The Scandinavians are really clever at counter-balancing the hard surfaces in their homes (think wood flooring) by adding layers of fabrics to their schemes. In a Scandi kitchen, it's typical – and rather lovely – to have cushions on dining chairs and curtains instead of base cabinet doors. 

It's a easy update too and you can make curtains for your kitchen doors yourself. Simply pick out a fabric, measure it to fit your cabinet, allowing for a bit extra so it pleats and hangs nicely and then sew a fold at the top of the piece. Thread through a curtain wire and there you go. 

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.