6 Scandinavian Christmas decor ideas – create that cozy hygge feeling this holiday season

Embrace a serene holiday scheme with Scandinavian Christmas decor ideas, a style that celebrates a more rustic and simple approach to festive decorating

Scandinavian Christmas decor ideas. Minimalist living room with christmas tree, close up of christmas tree and cozy lounge chair, minimalist table setting.
(Image credit: Layered Lounge | Ferm Living | Layered Lounge)

If you're wanting to create a more calming, simple and natural look with your seasonal decor this Christmas, then our collection of beautiful Scandinavian Christmas decor ideas will be sure to inspire.

Championing the beauty of natural materials, cozy, tactile textures and subdued, neutral color palettes, Scandinavian decor is synonymous with simplicity, and embracing this Nordic style for your Christmas decor ideas can help your home feel wonderfully elegant, rustic and relaxed over the festive period. 

From beautiful natural decorations that use foliage and flowers, to handmade decorations and using plenty of candles, Scandinavian Christmas decor is all about evoking that peaceful hygge feeling of coziness and comfort.

Create a more simple seasonal aesthetic with Scandinavian Christmas decor 

Whether you're looking for more minimalist Christmas decorating ideas, or inspiration on how you can complement your existing Scandi-inspired scheme, the clean, pared-back look of Scandinavian Christmas decor can create a wonderfully refreshing feel. 

1. Decorate with neutral, calming color palettes

Scandi-inspired festive dining room

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

When it comes to choosing the right color palette for your Scandinavian Christmas decor, cozy, warming neutrals and earthy colors of nature will always triumph.

Dan Mazzarini, principal and creative director at ARCHIVE by Dan Mazzarini says, 'Think natural and neutral for Scandinavian Christmas decor. Pick out colors you’d see in pine trees, for instance – hints of deep forest green and earthy wood tones, avoid anything too intense and bright. 

Hints of red can still have their place in a more natural palette, however, such as styling a space with seasonal red berries. Warm jewel tones – think merlots and plum – also make for great accent colors to use with a cozy neutral palette. I also love a copper, it's still neutral, but feels festive and sophisticated – perfect for using for your Christmas ornaments.'

Dan Mazzarini

Dan Mazzarini is an award-winning interior designer, principle director at BHDM Design and founder of Archive by Dan Mazzarini. With an extensive portfolio of residential projects across the US, Dan has also worked with a number of renowned brands such as the Harvard Club of New York, Google, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, and Calvin Klein.

2. Embrace the rustic beauty of natural materials

Scand-inspired dining room with christmas wreaths in window

(Image credit: Madeline Harper for The Identitè Collective)

From Christmas trees to Christmas wreaths and Christmas garlands, many of the most traditional Christmas decor ideas are centered around beautiful Christmas foliage and seasonal flowers, helping to create that inviting, indoor-outdoor feel.

Interior Designer, Jill Kalman says, 'Integrate natural materials like wood, pinecones, and greenery for an authentic Scandinavian touch. I have seen a lot of natural wood in the marketplace for Christmas decor, such as blonde wood nutcrackers, beautiful clean-lined wood trees from West Elm, and wood bead garlands. Using pine cone decorations and twigs also brings in an organic element that also adds texture.'

Rustic Christmas decorating ideas and Scandinavian Christmas decor will always go hand in hand. If you don't fancy styling your space with real foliage but want to achieve a similar natural look, then there are so many beautiful faux designs to choose from, we love Afloral for stylish artificial flowers and stems, or shop some of our other favorite picks below.

Jill Kalman
Jill Kalman

Jill Kalman is an interior designer based in Westport, Connecticut, and is renowned for her cozy and 'down-to-earth' approach to interior design.

3. Layer your space with plenty of tactile texture

Cozy white living room with sofa

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Interior designer Artem Kropovinsky says, 'textures are key for Scandinavian Christmas decor, accessories such as pillows and soft blankets don't just act as decorations, they are vital for creating that hygge atmosphere that feels restful, relaxed, warm and inviting.'

Jill Kalman also supports this, 'ensure you have plenty of cozy corners in your home over the holiday season. Drape sofas and chairs with plush blankets and chunky knit pillows, and add warmth and texture underfoot with furry rugs, all will work together to evoke the warming feeling of hygge. You can also bring a Scandinavian touch to your stockings too by using natural materials such as sheepskin and Sherpa, guaranteed to create a cozy feel.'

Enhancing your home with a collection of new throws and pillows is an incredibly easy and subtle way to make your space feel refreshed for the festive season. From cozy seat cushions at your Christmas table, to blankets on sofas and armchairs in your Christmas living room, pay attention to areas where you will sit and spend the most time over the holidays and ensure these spots feel wonderfully warm and comforting.

Artem Kropovinsky headshot
Artem Kropovinsky

Founder of NYC-based interior design firm, Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky has a decade of extensive global design experience, connecting a cohesive, collaborative team of passionate professionals, who work on interior projects in the U.S. and worldwide. 

4. Use plenty of cozy candles and lamps

Sideboard with candle and portable table lamp

(Image credit: &Tradition)

Interior designer, Kristina Phillips says, 'Scandinavian Christmas decor is often centered around nature, along with plenty of cozy candlelight. Place candles and lamps in windows to create a beautiful glow that can be seen from the outside, warmly welcoming you into the home; ideal for Christmas window decor.'

Nothing quite evokes that warming, hygge feeling than candlelight, and we think the more candles you have in your home over the festive season – the better.

'Create a cozy atmosphere with an abundance of the best candles, lanterns, and fairy lights to capture the warmth of the season. I particularly like the twinkle LED fairy lights. String lights can also add such a warm glow to natural elements such as garlands, wreaths, and even houseplants. Battery-operated candles go a long way, too, and many are now are made to look indistinguishably like real ones,' adds Jill Kalman. 

Kristina Phillips
Kristina Phillips

Kristina Phillips is an interior designer and owner of Kristina Philips Interior Design in Ridgewood, New Jersey. To fulfill her dream of practicing interior design, she completed the Interior Design Program at the New York School of Interior Design. Prior to starting her own eponymous firm in 2020, she had been the principal designer and co-founder of K+K Interior Design for over 6 years.

5. Keep your decor simple and minimal

Christmas tree with cozy lounge chair and floor lamp in background

(Image credit: Ferm Living)

If there were ever two design styles that work together in complete harmony, it has to be Scandinavian decor and minimalist decor.

A functionalist, 'less is more' attitude is definitely at the heart of Scandinavian Christmas decor, and embracing a more minimalist approach to your festive decorating can help you to channel your focus into more meaningful and special curated displays.

From holding back on the ornaments that fill your Christmas tree, to zoning your decoration to a few key areas in your home, you don't always need to have an abundance of festive decorations to create a beautiful Christmas display.

6. Craft hand made decorations

Rustic, natural christmas tree with simple decorations

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

Scandinavian Christmas decor is the perfect time to embrace DIY Christmas decor ideas, adding a unique, homemade touch to your festive decor.

Interior Stylist Signe Kok Nielsen, from Copenhahen-based brand, BoConcept says, 'In Denmark, people really like to express their personal style at Christmas time, myself included, I like to source curly branches and decorate them with vintage Christmas ornaments with a mix of some more modern. The Danes are obsessed with making their own decorations, there is a long tradition for making paper decorations, such as pleated hearts out of paper for the Christmas tree.'

Jill Kalman supports this and says, 'Paper decorations can beautifully complement wood and other organic elements nicely. It also makes for a fun festive craft project to DIY your own paper ornaments.'

If you're looking for a Christmas craft to try, we explore how to make paper snowflakes in our dedicated feature.

Signe Kok Nielsen
Signe Kok Nielsen

Signe Kok Nielsen is a Danish interior architect and artist, and currently works at luxury furniture brand BoConcept, a Danish retail furniture chain with 337 stores in 65 countries around the world. 


How do you decorate a Scandi Christmas tree?

When decorating a Scandi Christmas tree, simplicity is key. Thoughtfully scatter decorations across your tree, instead of overloading, and ensure the foliage (real or faux) can still be seen, helping to create that more natural and relaxed look. 

For your decorations, opt for wooden designs, such as this wooden garland from Pottery barn, and paper ornaments (homemade or shop-bought) for an understated, rustic style, and use ornaments that embrace more neutral and natural color palettes, such as green, beige, brown, red and white.

Ground your tree with a woven wicker basket or cozy tree skirt, we love this faux fur design from Balsam Hill.

If you've been inspired by our collection of Scandinavian decor ideas, we explore a similar decorating style in our feature, quiet luxury Christmas decor - perfect for those wanting to channel a more natural, minimalist style but with a luxe feel.

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.