Scandinavian kitchen colours and how to get it right

Ask almost anyone about what an average Scandinavian kitchen looks like, and you’ll probably get the same reaction: simple and all-white. Certainly, the Nordic countries have perfected the all-white kitchen look, however, the reason their kitchens are so impressive isn’t the absence of colour. It’s their combined use of shades and materials – the Nordic colour palette if you will.

Organic materials like natural timber and rich leathers are scattered across many Scandinavian homes. Shades many would never consider, like amber, moss green, and rust, are incorporated flawlessly in many Nordic spaces, nearly as though they were neutrals. These shades are usually drawn from nature, an old Scandinavian companion. Step into most Scandinavian homes and you’re likely to find a palette that includes at least some combination of these six colours: dusty pink, gold, dark blue, forest green, moss green, and pale ice blue. By applying these colours on a white or cream base, you’ll be well on your way to creating an authentic Nordic-coloured kitchen.

To set you on your way, we’ve compiled a few top tips to incorporate Nordic colouring into your project:

Find inspiration in nature

When it comes to Nordic design, never feel intimidated about decorating with colour. But instead of selecting bright, statement tones, Scandinavians prefer delicate shades inspired by nature. By sticking to this palette, elements will never appear unnatural or out of place. Moss green, for example, matches effortlessly with other woodland shades like mottled cedar or charcoal. If you’re apprehensive about using more “out there” Nordic shades like dusty pink or rust in your home, start small. Semi-transparent accessories like a coloured glass are striking ways experiment with new tones.

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Wood adds warmth

Just as Scandinavians look to nature to inspire their selection of colours, they do the same with materials. You’ll discover worn wood flooring in most stylish Nordic homes, adding a feel of natural warmth to a normally white and cream space. Quality is the key. Nordic folks tend to invest in well-made furniture and materials that wear well over time. So select your materials wisely, and opt for a wood that looks better with age.

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Experiment with greenery

Scandinavian people are undoubtedly plant-lovers. Besides adding a dash of life and texture to your kitchen, plants also infuse pops of colour in an understated way. And that doesn’t mean you need to stick to green plants either. A Nordic space regularly features plants with colours that stand out in the room, like dried crimson leaves or violet rubber plants.

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Try dusty hues

Amber is a colour that features surprisingly many times in many Nordic kitchens. While it might not seem like the average homeowners’ first choice, amber works well in Scandinavian homes. It’s dusty and soft, similar to alternate hues in the Nordic palette, yet it adds a sense of warmth to rooms that feature white, blue, or charcoal. Sometimes, amber accessories can be so subtle that they actually appear to be neutral.

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Mix-and-match accessories create character

There’s a lot of freedom when it comes to designing a Nordic space. Imperfect is considered perfect, so it’s not unusual to see a dinner table styled with a mismatched collection of chairs in different shapes and colours. This mix and match way of decorating makes it easier to include dashes of random colour in your space.

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Layer your colours

Mixing and coordinating colours can be a frustrating experience. Luckily, the Scandinavians have discovered an answer. Basically select one colour, like blue, and layer shades of that colour to add variety. As you become comfortable with that shading, you can intensify it or combine with complementary shades, like the greenish blue used by Sola Kitchens or fjord green, for example.