Modern Scandinavian-style house: floor plans, features and design ideas

Man has always tried to make his home a comfort zone. Depending on the habitat and climatic conditions, there was an idea of how to improve your home. Northern Europe, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, is the land of severe winters and short summers. It was under the influence of these realities that the Scandinavian style was formed. The austere beauty of the landscapes with boundless forest spaces, fjords, and stone piles added new chords to the style.

Architectural features of the Scandinavian style houses

By its brevity, the Scandinavian style is referred to as minimalism. Restraint, simplicity of lines and forms are “warmed” by many details that make the house cozy and comfortable. Reasonableness, functionality, and strict beauty of homes made them famous not only in the Nordic countries.

The Scandinavian style house has become a separate stylistic trend in architecture and design.

Typical features of Scandinavian style houses:

  • Laconic forms, strict geometry of home exterior, no-frills, an abundance of elaborate decorations. The architectural ensemble is complemented by elements made of wood and natural stone, built according to the principle of color contrast to the primary color of the walls. We can safely say that the Scandinavian style is the grace of simplicity.
  • In most cases, houses are built on a high foundation; there is no basement. This is an utterly justified choice since summer lasts no more than two months, and in winter, the ground freezes severely. It is not cost-effective to warm non-functional space.
  • Functionality and practicality of the layout. Underutilized space, a hall, and extra non-residential rooms have been minimized. Bedrooms are kept small. But there is a balance between a pragmatic approach and comfortable living conditions.
  • The purpose of building planning is the rational use of thermal energy. The practice of attracting alternative heat sources is widely developed. Scandinavian-style houses are often equipped with fireplaces. It is part of the interior decor and serves to heat the room. The compactness of the layout is subordinated to the same goal – energy saving.
  • Monochrome color scheme, often based on the principle of contrasting tones. The predominant range is white, brown, gray.
  • Big windows. Panoramic glazing of a part of the house is welcome. The room should be saturated with light as much as possible, especially during the cloudy, cold season.
  • The presence of a terrace, a wide porch, which often serves as a hall. Living rooms immediately start from it.
  • Roofs in dark colors with a significant slope to allow snow to melt. For the most part, they build gable roofs. The color of the roof is due to the fact that in spring, it warms up faster.
  • They focus on the environmental friendliness of housing. Mostly the Scandinavians use natural materials: timber, wood, natural stone.

Scandinavian-style home designs blend into the Scandinavian scene’s restrained landscape and look organically in the urban infrastructure.

Typical Scandinavian style house plans

Scandinavian-style home is a compact house of 1 or 2 floors, usually of the attic type. Ample footage, additional non-residential rooms are not typical features of Scandinavian housing. It is unprofitable to heat these premises during the cold season.

Frame construction of houses or half-timbered houses has become widespread. As a basis, wooden beams are used, which are visible on the front part. Wall blocks are inserted between them. The combination of a light façade with alternating wooden beams is one of the Scandinavian style incarnations.


The traditional plan includes a living room, often combined with a kitchen and dining room. Space is zoned with furniture, interior details, for example, a fireplace. Traditionally, the house has 2 or 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. Panoramic windows and a spacious terrace are typical elements of Scandinavian architectural design. Most Northern European families have more than one car, so the garage can fit two cars. For the elegant home exterior decoration, the Scandinavians use natural stone, wood with textured plaster.

A good option for the plan of a one-story Scandinavian style house: small bedrooms, an interesting layout of the kitchen, and living room. The living room’s panoramic windows face the terrace, which resembles an extended porch.


A two-story Scandinavian house can be a functional rationally planned house with the second floor as an attic. Panoramic windows face south, southeast. On the ground floor, there is a spacious living room with a dining room, kitchen, and a small bathroom. The second floor is intended for recreation and includes several small bedrooms, a spacious bathroom, a dressing room. 

Frame house

The classic plan of a frame house does not imply the use of some kind of decor, bright colors, or a large number of unnatural materials. The advantages of frame houses are that they are quick and easy to build. A small but roomy house can be made in just 3-5 months. These houses are quite reliable and warm because they use particular energy-efficient technologies and materials. The construction of a frame house can be carried out at any time of the year, it will not require too much financial investment, and the walls in such a house do not need to be leveled and ready for finishing. Also, frame houses are designed for a reasonably long service life – up to 50-100 years.

Scandinavian style homes with a terrace

As one-story or two-story houses prevail in Scandinavian countries, they add valuable space at the terrace’s expense. It is built using wood. There is a table with chairs or soft frameless chairs. If the terrace is built under a roof, then a hammock can be hung here, and a small room for storing some things can be organized, but in modern Scandinavian houses, the terrace is built in the open air so that you can sunbathe.

Scandinavian wood house

Until recently, Scandinavian cottages were made mainly of solid wood like an old, environmentally friendly, and proven building material that perfectly fits the Scandinavian style.

Usual Scandinavian style house plan

What exactly should be in the house:

  • Kitchen. This should be a reasonably spacious room where compact and multifunctional furniture can be placed.
  • The living room is the place where the family gathers. Here you can put a table or place a spacious sofa.
  • The dining room is not always a must, but a very desirable space. There will be a dining table with chairs and, for example, a convenient shelf for storing small items.
  • Bedrooms. Three bedrooms of varying sizes will suffice. If we are to build a house, then so that everything can fit in it.
  • Spacious bathroom. Usually, there are several bathrooms in a house, especially if it is a two-story house. For example, on the ground floor, there may be a small bathroom with a shower and a separate toilet. And on the second floor, there is already a spacious bathroom with a bathtub.
  • Dressing rooms. Scandinavians prefer strict organization in everything, even in the storage of things.
  • Sauna room. This is not entirely necessary, but very Scandinavian.

An essential element in Scandinavian cottages’ external plan is the presence of terraces at the second exit and a wide porch with an adjoining patio or veranda at the main entrance.

Typically, a Scandinavian cottage has 150 – 200 square meters. The number of bedrooms can vary greatly, but 3 or 4 room options prevail.

Scandinavian style interior

All Scandinavian themes are dominated by light colors to compensate for the lack of light. It can be white and light gray, beige, pale green or blue, as a sign of unity with the sea.

The Scandinavian interior is concise and straightforward. It is very light due to the combination of light walls and a large number of windows.

The presence in the interior of decorative elements that create coziness is mandatory. These are ceramics, knitted items, carpets, and pillows. Natural wood will look great in a Scandinavian interior.

The furniture is used as simple as possible, but reliable, and made of wood. And of course, the upholstery is made of textiles, suede, or leather.

It is quite possible to build a house in the Scandinavian style, considering all the nuances of construction:

  • Clear geometric shapes.
  • An environmentally friendly approach to building.
  • Rational selection of footage for premises.
  • A terrace is desirable.
  • Use of only high-quality natural materials.
  • The presence of a high foundation made of stone.
  • Large panoramic windows.
  • Lack of pretentious decor.
  • Minimalist design.

It is enough to visit the Scandinavian home once to fall in love forever with this original simplicity and practicality, this sincere and warm atmosphere.

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