A beginner’s guide to Scandinavian interior design for small HDB flats

In recent years, the Scandinavian interior design style has caught on with fervour in the small HDB flats and condominium apartments of Singapore. Identified by its minimalist design and clean, white spaces, this style makes a small interior look bigger and modern.

Generally speaking, Scandinavian interior design is inspired by:

  • Light coloured or wooden flooring
  • White or neutral-coloured walls
  • Wood-textured or rustic-style furnishings
  • Letting in lots of natural light through large windows
  • Clean lines and airy interiors with minimal clutter

Light coloured or wooden flooring

The flooring occupies a large part of the house, and sets the tone of the interior design. Scandinavian interior design is defined by a warm, rustic feel, and parquet wood is a good option if you are replacing the floor tiles. Covering with a faux wood-print covering is a cheaper option, although it might get slippery when wet.

Of course, you’ll want to avoid placing large area carpets or rugs across the floor, hiding the nice wood texture from sight. Moreover in Singapore’s tropical climate, a carpet is usually unnecessary and just makes a room feel warmer.

Modern Home Interior For Scandinavian Interior Design

White or neutral-coloured walls

Another important aspect of keeping to the Scandinavian interior design is by painting the walls white, or with a neutral or pastel colour tone. This creates a calm and soothing atmosphere, although some homeowners prefer to add a dash of contrasty colour to keep things interesting.

As white walls get dirty or yellow easily, use a waterproof paint that is easy to clean, or use a matte white wallpaper as an alternative. Also, try to avoid using custom paint colours, as you’ll probably need to repaint parts of the wall over time.

Modern Home Interior With Paintings For Scandinavian Interior Design

Wood-textured or rustic-style furnishings

Along with the floor, wooden or rustic-style furnishings make up the Scandinavian look. Think wooden cupboards and tables from Ikea, green potted plants, exposed brick-textured walls and the occasional stylish lamp or earthen pot as a decorative showpiece.

Of course, don’t overdo it and turn your interior into a medieval cottage or an outback ranch. If the floor is already wood-textured, you can ease off the rustic feel and introduce some modern designer lamps, or have a colourful bookshelf to vary the pattern a bit.

Modern Interior Design Living Room For Scandinavian Interior Design

Letting in lots of natural light through large windows

In the tight spaces of newer HDB flats and condominium apartments, every homeowner wants to make the interior look bigger than it really is. Instead of knocking down walls and converting your bedroom into an extension of the living room, fit in large windows that introduce more natural light into the room. You can also use light curtains that give the living room an airy feel, and keep those heavy ones for the bedroom.

If your living room faces an apartment block or trees that block much of the light from coming in, you can try to diffuse warm light around the room for a different kind of feel. In Singapore, you’ll need to find creative ways to get around living in crowded spaces!

Minimalist Home Interior Living Room For Scandinavian Interior Design


Clean lines and airy interiors with minimal clutter

This is one of the hardest design goal to achieve, because it runs contrary to living comfortably and having everything within easy reach. Displaying a few framed photographs add life to an otherwise staid home, but too many photos might create an unsightly mess. Likewise with books, magazines, shoes, remote controls, snacks… the list goes on.

Keep things neat and tidy, and make an effort to hide unused objects in cupboards or storage spaces. At the end of the day, a big part of the Scandinavian philosophy is to keep our lives simple and be contented with just enough. It’s an attractive proposition that flies in the face of today’s materialistic lifestyle.

Home Design Living Room No Clutter For Scandinavian Interior Design


The Scandinavian design culture is present not only in interior design, but in product design as well. It’s a style driven by simplicity and creativity, and uses commonly available material and objects to great effect.

Check out more designs here, and we’d like to see your interpretation of the Scandinavian philosophy. Send us your home interior photos at hello[at]krib.co!

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