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How to Achieve Scandinavian Style with Designer Lighting

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In recent years, Australians have embraced Scandinavian style as a major interior design trend. Or maybe that should be re-embraced. It was also a look that was huge in the 1970s, with modern split-level homes sporting Danish modern style furniture by Parker and other Australian manufacturers, lots of timber panelling and bold Marimekko fabrics featuring over-scale prints in primary colours. This time around, the Scandinavian look is lighter and more neutral, adapting perfectly to our milder climate and indoor/outdoor lifestyle, and the emphasis on Scandinavian designer lighting is even stronger.  Nordic but most definitely nice, contemporary Scandinavian style is the perfect interior look for those who lean towards more restrained style but favour relaxed warmth over sleek minimalism. Think simplicity, functionality and the pure pared-back beauty of clean lines, natural materials, varied textures and superb craftsmanship – modernism with a slightly rustic edge.

Key elements to incorporate: white, soft grey and muted blues, blonde timbers, soft and tactile sheepskin throws, handcrafted ceramics, large-scale pendant lighting, freshly laundered rumpled linens, scrubbed timber floors, wicker elements and candles – lots of glowing, flickering candles. There’s a secret ingredient, however, to Scandi style the Danes refer to as hyggeligt, a term that is often translated into English as ‘cosy’ but really encapsulates an indefinable sense of warmth, welcome and well-being that adds an essential sense of comfort and conviviality to even the coolest and most minimal of interiors. Naturally, those long, cold northern winters with short daylight hours have led to a strong emphasis on lighting as an interior design element and classic Scandinavian designer lighting is essential to recreating an authentic look and feel to any Nordic-inspired interior.  The three essential lighting types to include are pendant lights, floor lamps and table lamps as both design elements and to create functional, layered ambient and task lighting.

Scandinavian pendant lights
Statement pendant lighting is an essential element of Scandinavian style – most commonly placed above kitchen islands, dining tables and staircases either singly or in pairs or groups. Pendant lights are also effectively used instead of bedside lamps to save space on bedside tables and hanging over the tub in a bathroom. Some classic Scandinavian pendant lighting designs to consider include:

The ‘Artichoke’ pendant light and ‘Snowball’ pendant light designed by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen.

The Arteck ‘A330 Bell’ pendant lights designed by Alvar Aalto.


The ‘Bright Sprout Filament Light’ designed by Jonas Hoejgaard for Nordic Tales.

The ‘Flowerpot VP1’ pendant light designed by Verner Panton.

The Tuukka Halonen wooden pendant lights

The Seppo Koho wooden pendant lights

Replica Space Copenhagen pendant lights

Scandinavian floor lamps
Floor lamps can create a strong design statement in an interior, as well as providing flexible and functional lighting.
Scandinavian design classics to choose from include:

The ‘AJ Floor Lamp’ originally designed by Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen.

Scandinavian table lamps
Add further layers to a Scandinavian style lighting scheme with classic table lamp designs such as:

The "Diesel Fork Table Lamp" by Successful Living for Foscarini

Candles and candleholders
The final layer of lighting in any authentic Scandi style interior is candlelight. Choose branched modern candleholders in timber or metal, place tealights in glass containers or group pillar candles on a tray on the coffee table. Your welcoming Scandinavian style interior is complete.


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