Chic Scandinavian Kitchen: 8 Easy & Affordable Ideas

Chic Scandinavian Kitchen: 8 Easy & Affordable Ideas

The Scandinavian kitchen: elegant, minimalist, and suave. Scandinavian design is derived from Nordic tradition, where efficiency and functionality are prioritized in home design. Characterized by white-washed finishes and clean lines, this kitchen design style has soared in popularity in recent years.

Why is Scandinavian kitchen design so popular?

For starters, homeowners are ridding their kitchens of excess in order to maximize functionality. In the traditional Scandinavian kitchen, clutter is traded for functional items like appliances and cooking tools. In many cases, kitchen tools like wooden cutting boards, ceramic dishware, and utensils double as decor displayed on counters and open shelving.

Scandinavian-style kitchen designs have also gained popularity because it’s easy to create an elegant modern kitchen for less. Popular Scandinavian kitchen finishes like shaker cabinets, reclaimed wood, and minimalist furniture are less costly than average modern kitchen materials.

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1. Celebrate Shaker Cabinets Doors

neutral Scandinavian kitchen design with grey shaker cabinets, brass cabinet hardware, light wood floors, grey walls and minimalist light fixtures

As previously mentioned, the shaker cabinet style is a staple in Scandinavian kitchen design. With five piece flat panel doors, their lack of ornamentation fits perfectly with the minimalist nature of Scandi interiors.

In this kitchen, clean lines and muted neutral tones lend to a relaxed and subdued space that is as calming as it is beautiful. Understated finishes like brass knobs, minimalist pendant lights and vintage black appliances polish off the look.

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2. Maximize Natural Light 

Another important element common to all Scandinavian kitchens is natural light. The more light there is, the bigger the space feels. This is due to light reflecting off the neutral colors, typically whites and greys. This design features light wood floors, white shaker cabinets, and a white subway tile backsplash spanning the back wall. A large window allows light to flood into the room, accentuating the white finishes. Potted plants add a natural and inviting feel to the space, preventing it from appearing too sterile.

3. Refresh With Scandi Details

rustic white scandinavian kitchen with distressed brick wall, white wood floors, modern white cabinets, exposed ceilling and whitewashed brick walls

Scandinavian interior design emphasizes the beauty in aging and decay. Instead of viewing peeling paint or a deteriorating brick wall as an unsightly issue to fix, the Scandinavian way promotes using it as a focal point. After all, there is an inherent beauty in the history of an old building. The trick to making it appear intentional is to add a thoughtful mix of modern and traditional finishes to balance out the look.

For example, this bright white kitchen shows off a portion of the original home’s brick wall, balancing it with modern white cabinets and stainless steel appliances. The result is a gorgeous mix of old and new.

4. Embrace Rustic Elements

scandinavian farmhouse kitchen with shiplap ceiling, exposed wood beams, grey shaker cabinets, wood countertops and wood floors

The large wood beams and white shiplap ceiling in this kitchen are reminiscent of a cozy cottage nestled in the Nordic countryside. A large white farmhouse sink adds to the rustic feel. A huge plus to Scandinavian inspired kitchens is that they can be made rustic or modern, with just a few small swaps.

Simple changes in finishes like cabinet hardware, sinks and appliances can be made to create a more modern or farmhouse look. For example, if this homeowner wished to modernize this kitchen, they could substitute in a sleek matte black sink with updated hardware. Just this one simple swap would give the kitchen design a fresh, contemporary style.

5. Mix Match Theme 

large modern scandinavian kitchen design with grey center island, white shaker cabinets, custom wood floating shelves, wood floors and modern glass pendant lights

White shaker base cabinets provide ample storage in this minimalist Scandinavian kitchen, while long wood floating shelves store a selection of Nordic bowls and ceramic dishware. Our favorite part of this modern kitchen design is the large center island, complete with minimalist custom wood bar stool seating. This kitchen demonstrates the playfulness of Scandinavian design—you don’t have to stick to one material or color, you can experiment with a mix of finishes and still make it work.

6. Enhance Space 

small white scandinavian kitchen with reclaimed wood table, white kitchen cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, white painted wood floors and stainless steel appliances

Small kitchens can go Scandinavian, too! In fact, tiny kitchens are the best candidates for Scandinavian design because there is no room for clutter. This mini apartment kitchen has just the right amount of rustic design flair. The reclaimed wood center table offers a beautiful contrast against stark white kitchen cabinets and a bright white backsplash. Would you implement Scandinavian elements in your small kitchen?

7. Add Warm Wood Touches

scandinavian kitchen with original brick backsplash, butcher block countertops, a center island for food prep and glass front kitchen cabinets

This unique Scandinavian galley kitchen stands out with a reclaimed brick wall. A mix of open shelving and cabinets offers plenty of storage space for cooking utensils and dishware. Wooden butcher block counter tops are both practical and alluring, creating the ideal space for food prep. Although small, this kitchen feels cozy and well-designed. Again, the natural light pouring in from the adjacent window makes the space appear larger and more inviting.

8. Incorporate Minimilistic Cabinets

rustic scandinavian kitchen with open shelving, white shaker cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, minimalist hardware, potted plants and decorative dishware

When searching for the perfect Scandinavian kitchen cabinets, we offer two recommendations. First, choose a neutral color that will compliment the rest of the design. Second, opt for a simple style that isn’t too distracting, like shaker cabinets or flat panels. Pair them with wooden floors and simple cabinet hardware, and you’re on your way to a magazine-worthy Scandinavian kitchen!

Create Your Dream Scandinavian Kitchen For Less

At Lily Ann Cabinets, our #1 goal is to help you create the kitchen of your dreams without breaking the bank. If you’re ready to get started, browse our extensive selection of ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets for up to 50% off box store prices! When you’ve found the style you like, order a free sample and apply for a FREE 3D kitchen design. Have questions? Let us know at We can’t wait to work with you!

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