How To Nail a
Scandinavian Christmas

How to...
Kelly Weimert
December 10, 2017


With the cosy-making Scandinavian hygge trend becoming widely popular in homes across the globe, it’s no surprise that a Scandinavian approach to Christmas is similarly coveted.

Scandinavians are all about keeping things light and simple without sacrificing warmth, comfort, and feel-good vibes. And Scandi-inspired Christmas decor follows suit by featuring pared-back designs and beautiful silhouettes that are striking in their simplicity while also including an abundance of cosy textures and soft light to infuse a space with warmth and merriment.

If you’ve grown tired of the same old traditional decor comprised of endless tinsel and bright, kitschy decorations, then consider inviting a taste of Scandinavia into your home this season. But be forewarned, once you subscribe to this comforting sensibility, it’s mighty tough to live any other way again.


1. Less is Always, Always More

When it comes to Scandinavian design, less is always more, and a Scandi Christmas is no exception. This means that in addition to making your home feel more spacious and airy this season, there will also be fewer things for you to buy and subsequently store when it’s all over.


The MerryThought


Rather than put up a giant Christmas tree overflowing with ornaments, tinsel, and beads, consider a more modest option. A Scandinavian Christmas tree looks a lot like Charlie Brown’s—the branches are sparse, the ornaments are humble, and, most importantly, the clean-up is minimal.


That Scandinavian Feeling


2. Keep Things Natural

Big, plastic glowing Christmas decorations are counter to a Scandinavian sensibility. Instead, natural decor and organic materials reign supreme. And as far as we’re concerned, the natural approach is most definitely the chicest.


Planete Deco


Start with a neutral colour palette that features whites, creams, and grays as your dominant hues, then build it out by incorporating little hints of sparkle and natural wood accents. Tree bunches in simple bud vases, minimal white candles, and simple wreaths sans decor are all very Scandi (and very chic) options.



Francois et Moi


3. Don’t Skimp on the Candles

Candles are the essence of a Scandinavian Christmas. They introduce that warm, inviting glow that’s so characteristic of the season while filling a room with nostalgic scents and subtle decor that’s perfect for a hygge sensibility.


My Scandinavian Home


The combination of form and function candles bring also make them a great way to enhance your festive decor without overwhelming it. Look for simple candles and basic candle holders — even better if those holders feature clean lines and just a little bit of sparkle — and place them in any corner that would benefit from a touch of illumination.


My Scandinavian Home


4. Bring Out the Textural Goodness

Jeanne Oliver Designs


Chunky knit, oversized wool blankets are incredibly on trend at the moment and they’ll immediately punch up the cosy in any space they live in. You can also take advantage of faux-fur throw pillows, shaggy area rugs, and other inviting textures to elevate your seasonal style.


NORD no. 27


5. Feature the Homemade and Artisanal

A Scandinavian sensibility is one that finds great value in the homemade and artisanal. Instead of excessive store-bought decor, Scandinavians are more inclined to set their sights on festive flair that has more feeling and homespun warmth behind it.


Pinja Colada


That being said, things like DIY ornaments, homemade garland, and artist-made accents are all stellar options. And anything comprised of raw materials that you’d find in nature, like DIY wreaths and candle holders, will work well. Just be sure to exercise restraint when showcasing them—remember that less is always more when having a Scandinavian Christmas.


My Scandinavian Home


6. Wrap Your Gifts in Simplicity

The Beauty Dojo


The bright colours and bold patterns of traditional wrapping paper are replaced with much simpler alternatives under a Scandinavian Christmas tree. Instead of making an impact with bright and busy gift wrap, Scandi gifts make an impression with their subtle designs and enchanting details.


These Four Walls


One of the best parts of this approach to gift-wrapping (other than how impossibly chic it looks) is that you likely already have most of the supplies to execute it. Things like plain brown paper bags, small strings of twine, and branches you can find in your backyard are really all you need to make this style sing.


7. Forgo a Traditional Tree in Favour of Making Your Own

My Scandinavian Home


As we mentioned in our first tip, a pared-back tree is characteristic of a Scandinavian Christmas, but so is no tree at all. Instead of a traditional tree, a lot of people will use a simple branch instead, or make their own using a little creativity and ingenuity.


Not On The Highstreet


A full branch in a vase with a bow, a homemade wooden “tree,” or a wall of branches in the shape of a Christmas tree are all very Scandinavian ideas. Or, you can get rid of the tree concept altogether and stick to twinkle lights, candles, and a festive colour palette. Either way, you’ll be having a very Scandi Christmas.


Kelly Weimert

Kelly Weimert

Kelly is a happy hybrid of geek and hippie with a penchant for all things DIY. A full-time freelance writer, when she's not nestled into her couch crankin' out crafty prose with her miscreant Chihuahua, you can find her frolicking outside to keep her sanity in check.