How To Achieve Scandinavian Style Wood Flooring

Scandinavian interior design is all about bringing nature indoors. Harsh climates in the area have long meant that Scandinavian design has focused on functionality and simplicity over decoration.

Wood flooring is a huge part of this aesthetic, as it forms the foundation of the whole space. Wood flooring could even be thought of as the largest piece of furniture in the room, and so is something that is very well considered in this style of interior design.

Scandinavian wood flooring is all about adding texture and depth to a room, keeping the space feeling warm and cosy for the long dark winters while keeping the colour palette muted and neutral.

Traditionally, wide planks were the design of choice. This still stands today, but herringbone is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in Sweden.

Open plan living is a key element of Scandinavian living, and hardwood floors are the perfect way to tie the open spaces together. Planks running down the length of a room will elongate the space, while herringbone flooring is perfect for L-shaped or odd shaped rooms.

Featured floor: Ecru

Characteristics Of Scandinavian Style Flooring

The main characteristics of Nordic style and Scandinavian style are that the timber is very natural and minimalistic while remaining extremely functional. It is also important to make sure that the wood flooring is sustainably sourced, as this is good for the planet and good for your wellbeing.

This style has been popular for many years now, with its prevalence in British homes increasing as we began to yearn for a sense of comfort and security while looking for the all-important work/life balance.

With the rise of Hygge in the UK around 5 years ago, we began to see our homes as our sanctuaries, and so we saw an increase in neutral, muted colour palettes, layers of texture and depth in our homes, and the use of natural materials.

Flooring is a brilliant way to bring this feeling into your home, as it grounds and underpins your entire interior scheme. Natural wood matches any interior and so is particularly good for Scandi styles.

Don’t be afraid to pair different shades of wood furniture with a lighter floor, as it only adds to the depth of texture.

Featured floor: Swinley herringbone

Best Types Of Wood For Scandinavian Flooring

The best types of wood to use to achieve this style would be Oak, Pine or Douglas Fir.

White Oak Flooring

Oak that has been whitewashed is a great choice as it has the natural, pared back look that you want to achieve. It looks effortlessly stylish, and creates the perfect neutral backdrop. It can help with reflecting light and making a room seem bigger, which is so important as Scandinavian design centres around creating light, bright spaces during their long, dark winters.

Pine Wood Flooring

Bleached pine is a modern twist on a classic. Pine didn’t always have the best reputation, as it was most well known for the orange-hued cladding that was so common in the 1970s, but it has had a revival and is now often bleached for a cool, understated look.

Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir has a prominent grain pattern, is beautifully pale in tone, and is often found amongst the pages of interior design magazines. It has extraordinary dimensions, with super long and wide planks. It has a wonderfully prominent grain pattern which makes a subtle statement, while its neutral colour allows it to seamlessly blend into the scheme.

Featured floor: Egret

The Importance Of Colour

Colour is very important in Nordic and Scandinavian design. A light, neutral colour palette is at the core of this style, with white or very pale walls being a must.

The importance of colour also extends to the floor, as we have outlined above. Having all of your surfaces a pale, neutral tone gives the feeling of a larger, brighter space, which is so important for happiness and wellbeing. Scandi winters are long and dark, making this a key principle of this design.

One way to add colour to the scheme is through the use of accessories.

Adding Scandinavian Flooring Accessories

You can bring other textures to the space with accessories, and these can help warm up the room if it is feeling a little cold.

Greenery in the form of plants add another dimension and are a second way to bring nature indoors.

Softer textiles such as blankets, cushions and throws add warmth, which can be a necessary comfort in the winter. Even in the summer, when bright white light streams through your home, these soft textiles can be used to add splashes of colour to break up the neutral palette.

Lamps and lighting are another thing to think about: make use of both ambient lighting and task lighting to make the space feel light yet cosy.

When it comes to furniture, opt for mid century modern pieces if you’re looking for something in keeping with Scandi design. The clean, sleek lines and natural tones of this style furniture are ideal for those who want the minimalistic Scandi aesthetic.

Storage as décor is a really popular way to add interest. Open shelving and clothes rails instead of wardrobes is functionality at its best, and helps add texture to the room.

Featured floor: Otis herringbone

Scandi-Flooring Inspiration

Here are some of our favourite Scandi style homes.

Featured floor: Abbot. Image courtesy of Linnea Interiors
Featured floor: Holton. Image courtesy of The Modern Lake House
Featured floor: Furrow chevron. Image courtesy of Em and Hart


In summary, if you’re looking to make your home into a Scandi sanctuary, a neutral colour palette and light wood floor is the way to go. Keep it light, bright and airy, think of functionality over design, and you can’t go wrong!