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How to Style a Scandinavian HDB Flat, From an Expert

Castlery   |   Nov 22, 2023

In Singapore, the Scandinavian style has garnered widespread popularity for its timeless elegance, functional minimalism, and cosy aesthetics.

As this aesthetic embraces the principles of simplicity, functionality, and a connection with nature, it can effortlessly transform your HDB or condo into a haven of comfort and style.

In this comprehensive guide, our interior stylist, Adrika, will explore the nuances of styling a Scandinavian HDB flat, encompassing everything from furniture choices to design elements for achieving the your dream Nordic-inspired HDB flat.

For Adrika, no two homes are ever the same. With clients’ narratives always at the forefront, it’s her passion to help bring spaces to life! With a wealth of design knowledge built up over the last 8 years in the Interior Design industry, Adrika has styled thousands of homes - between Australia and Singapore!

Moving into a new home? Explore savings to help you elevate your space. Eligible for upcoming HDBs and condos only.

6 expert tips to style a Scandi HDB flat

Opt for light-coloured woods

“One of the key elements that contribute to the charm of a Scandinavian home is the use of light-coloured wood,” Adrika shares. “From wooden furniture to flooring, the natural aesthetics of light-coloured wood align perfectly with the Scandinavian emphasis on the natural beauty of the outdoors.”

A living and dining area with wooden flooring, a cane sofa, and a wooden dining table set. @ourwhitespace maintains a clean and uncluttered aesthetic in their Scandi-themed home. Pictured: The Lucia Cane Sofa in White Wash.

Adrika shares that oak, birch, or pine are some examples of light woods that can instantly bring an organic and earthy feel to your living space.

Choosing light wood over dark wood also helps to make your space feel brighter and more airy - which ties in with the Scandinavian principles of an open home. Additionally, light wood can create the illusion of a brighter space, which is great for small HDBs.

A rectangular box coffee table with vases and a magazine on the surface. The Casa Rectangular Box Coffee Table is made from solid acacia wood - which fits perfectly with the Scandinavian aesthetic.

Go for minimalist furniture

“In Scandinavian design, the mantra less is more is not just a saying but a guiding principle that shapes the very essence of this aesthetic,” says Adrika. “That’s why you should choose minimalist furniture to align with this foundational principle.”

An oak dining table set with a white table runner, candle, and plant atop. @lonefoxhome opts for the Vincent Dining Set in Oak as it has a slim silhouette and clean lines.

Minimalist furniture is characterised by clean lines, sleek silhouettes, and a lack of unnecessary ornamentation. The unobtrusive nature of such pieces also creates an illusion of more space.

Two matching sherpa armchairs in a bedroom. The Ingrid Sherpa Chairs feature wooden slab legs and a tilted backrest for comfortable lounging. Picture credits: @sarahwisted

This contributes to the airy and open feel that is characteristic of Scandinavian interiors, making your home feel more welcoming and less confined.

Allow ample natural light

Scandinavian design thrives on the idea of creating open, airy spaces. Allowing natural light to flood your home contributes to an expansive and uncluttered atmosphere.

The bright and luminous quality of natural light makes rooms appear larger and more inviting, creating a sense of spaciousness.

A white chaise sectional sofa and an arched built-in shelf. @pithinterior creates a bright space by allowing ample natural light into the living room. Pictured: The Owen Chaise Sectional Sofa.

Adrika recommends using sheer curtains in the living room so that you can maintain your privacy while still allowing the sun to shine through. This choice not only maximises natural light but also adds a touch of elegance to your windows.

Go for a neutral colour palette

A neutral colour palette, featuring whites, muted greys, soft beiges, and light tones, forms the backbone of Scandinavian design. These hues create a serene and calm atmosphere, fostering a sense of simplicity that is at the core of Scandinavian aesthetics.

A matching performance fabric armchair and side table. The Mori Performance Fabric Armchair and C-Side Table Set.

“By embracing a neutral palette, you cultivate a space where every element coexists harmoniously, free from unnecessary distractions,” says Adrika.

Create an airy and functional layout

Scandinavian design celebrates the beauty of open, uncluttered spaces. By adopting an airy layout, you maximize the sense of space in your home. This open feel contributes to a light and refreshing atmosphere, echoing the Scandinavian preference for simplicity and a connection with nature.

A living room with a cane sofa, wooden armchair, and rattan coffee table. @ourlittlesarang creates an open and airy layout in their home. Pictured: The Lucia Cane Sofa in White Wash.

Adrika mentions that you should arrange your furniture in a way that ensures a seamless flow between different areas of your flat. As most HDB layouts have a dining area that flows into the living room, keep the space open and use rugs to delineate the spaces. This interconnectedness reinforces the idea of unity and purpose in design.

“Another key concept of creating an airy layout is to declutter! Spend some time organising your items and keep them in concealed storage bins.”

Incorporate organic textures

Incorporating organic textures brings the outdoors in, fostering a sense of tranquility and harmonious coexistence with the natural world. By surrounding yourself with elements inspired by nature, you infuse your home with the essence of Scandinavian living.

“Organic textures like wool, linen, jute, and leather are great options to consider. Place rugs made from natural fibres on your floors, or adorn your sofas and armchairs with textured throws and cushions.”

A person arranging a vase of flowers at the dining table. @hausofcruze delineates the dining area with the Lilou Jute Area Rug. Also pictured: The Austen Chair in White Wash.

Transforming your HDB flat into a Scandinavian-inspired home involves a thoughtful blend of simplicity, functionality, and natural elements. By following Adrika’s expert tips outlined above, you can cultivate an atmosphere that not only reflects the timeless elegance of Scandinavian design but also suits the practicalities of modern living.

If you need more help creating a Scandi home, book a styling consultation and enjoy personalised space planning and styling advice from our Interior Stylists!

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