5 Scandinavian dining room ideas for a simplistic yet refined scheme

Create a minimalist scheme with a Scandinavian dining room design

Scandinavian dining room ideas
(Image credit: YAM Studios/Farrow & Ball)

A Scandinavian dining room scheme should capture the design elements of this simplistic interior style. For most people, every room in the home seems to need more than one function, so making these spaces feel open and organized has never been more important. That's where this enduring design style comes into play.

Light, bright spaces are key to Scandinavian decor, so whether you're working with a spacious room or a zone attached to your kitchen, there are plenty of dining room ideas for a Nordic-inspired refresh. 

From the minimalist color palette to the sleek lines and clutter-free spaces, there are plenty of easy ways to add an err Scandinavian style to your dining room. Below are some interior designer-approved schemes to help you achieve this paired-back aesthetic.

 Scandinavian dining room ideas 

Minimalists rejoice – Scandinavian style is still in for 2024. From the neutral color palette to the wood finishes and clean lines, these Scandinavian dining room ideas are the perfect inspiration if you're planning a re-do.

1. Decorate with warm white hues

Scandinavian dining room painted in a neutral white paint color

(Image credit: Yam Studios)

Decorating with neutrals leans perfectly into the Scandinavian style, and what better color to choose than a refreshing shade of white? Not only will it make your dining room feel bright and open, but it will also give you the option to add more saturated hues through the decor.

'White still seems the dominant white for Scandinavian interiors, but rather than using a brilliant, clinical white, select a more nuanced off-white shade such as Shaded White or School House White,' says Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball. 

Warmer hues will create a space that feels inviting and homely, and pairs seamlessly with an abundance of other paint colors and furniture finishes. 

2. Introduce natural wood tones

Scandinavian dining room with a dark table and wooden wishbone chairs

(Image credit: Yam Studios)

Scandinavian design features a lot of natural wood tones, so introduce wooden furniture to add a sense of Scandi style. 'The key to creating a Scandinavian dining room is to infuse it with warmth and a sense of ease, so it feels truly homely and comfortable,' explains Kashi Shikunova, director at Yam Studios.

'One of the foundational elements I always incorporate is wood, whether it's in the form of the table, chairs, or even integrated into the surrounding walls and ceiling, wood brings a natural warmth that instantly elevates the ambiance,' she adds.

A beautiful contrast of finishes has been introduced to this Scandinavian dining room scheme. Light wood paneling has been added on the far wall, while a black table has been paired with medium-tone wood on the chairs. The result is a cohesive design that feels minimal, yet retains a sense of character.

3. Create an open, airy scheme

Scandinavian dining room space in an open plan home

(Image credit: Lindye Galloway/Mike Van Tassell)

Designing a Scandinavian dining room doesn't have to capture every element of the style – introducing a few characteristics can be just as successful. In particular, try adopting the open and airy atmosphere that Scandinavian design is known for. This works particularly well in open-plan spaces, like this home in New York.

'Creating the perfect Scandi-style dining room comes down to keeping everything open and airy! I designed the room in my NY Hudson Retreat project around that very principle, centering the table in the space to allow guests to enjoy each other's company while having an unobstructed view of both the surrounding living area and the beautiful outdoor scenery,' says interior designer Lindye Galloway.

4. Opt for statement pendant lights

Scandinavian dining room with a pendant light above the table

(Image credit: Yam Studios)

Lighting is key to any dining room, but to infuse Scandinavian style, opt for large pendant lights for an eye-catching detail. 'I love to add pendant lighting above the table,' says Kashi. 

'Not only does it provide practical illumination, but it also adds a touch of homely visual interest. When the lights are on, there's a certain magic that fills the room, creating a cozy atmosphere where everyone feels drawn together.' she adds.

Choosing the right dining room lighting is key to ensuring your design feels cohesive. Stick to a minimal color scheme and try to introduce tones that have been used elsewhere in the room. In this dining room, white shades have been added to match the dining chairs, while the light brown detailing offers a nod to the wood tones used in the space.

5. Add bolder colors through decor

Scandinavian dining room painted in a warm white color

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Scandinavian design might embrace neutrals for the main color palette, but there's still space for introducing more saturated hues. If you have a more maximalist style, there are a few bolder shades that work perfectly in a Scandinavian dining room to infuse some vibrant personality.

'For a bolder Scandinavian palette, consider our Nordic Edit of colors. Invigorating shades like Arsenic, Babouche, and Mere Green can be combined for an impactful dining scheme that makes an impression, while still retaining a distinctly Scandinavian aesthetic,' says Patrick. 

Try using these hues more creatively rather than applying them to the walls – in this scheme, a dresser has been painted in an eye-catching shade of blue.

Warm white hues paired with saturated shades, clean lines, and open, airy spaces are core to creating a Scandinavian dining room scheme. Keep things simple when it comes to color and decor – keep surfaces uncluttered and embrace natural wood accents. As much as this design style embraces simplicity, don't be afraid to add a playful touch – a pop of color or pattern can add much-needed interest to a scheme.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.