Scandinavian carpets: sophistication and lightness!

The Scandinavian interiors are practical, functional, and aesthetic. Northern peoples were one of the first to abandon pretentiousness and pomposity for the sake of convenience, simplicity, and daily comfort.

If we compare different directions, then the Scandinavian style is very close to minimalism: in the house, there are only essential things; the atmosphere is pleasing to the eye; minimum decor; an abundance of light and warm coatings.

Carpets have always been present in Scandinavian homes located in harsh climatic zones. It is not surprising that the Scandinavian peoples have their own traditional soft rugs, which since ancient times, were made manually at home.

History of Scandinavian carpets

Carpets in the fade, yellow, gray, beige tones hung on the walls, they covered the beds, and later they went down to the floor. Over time, various patterns and ornaments began to appear: geometric shapes, floral motifs, images of animals, snowflakes, flowers.

The Scandinavians have always respected nature and were inspired by its views. So, the famous striped black and white carpet, characteristic of the northern interiors, is nothing but spring snow, which has melted and exposes moist black ground. 

Already in the XV-XVI centuries, two types of traditional Scandinavian carpets appeared: Rya or Ruya and Rollakan or Rollacan, which will be described below in the article. 

How Scandinavian design conquered the world

The Scandinavian style should be understood as a mixture of design trends of at least five countries of Nordic Europe:

  • mysterious Finland
  • fabulous Denmark
  • meticulous Sweden
  • beautiful Iceland
  • harsh Norway

In all these countries, there is an element uniting the styles of home decoration – nature itself, which belongs to the origin of the Scandinavian school of design.

Residents of these kingdoms and states are simply bound between practicality and luxury to choose the first. The harsh climate is not favorable to sophistication, but it requires convenience for quick decision-making. Therefore, the lines are simple; objects are functional, aesthetics are naturalistic.

Scandinavian design principles

Today, those who live in cold Scandinavia not only value comfort, coziness, warmth, and unity with nature, but even create an interior style that promotes the totality of these values. And not the last place belongs to carpets in it.

Since there are many unique features in the Scandinavian style that distinguish it from all existing interior styles, the carpet decorated in a Scandinavian style should also be exceptional.

What prefers this style:

  • Monotony
  • Light shades
  • Natural colors
  • Eco-friendly minimal decor
  • Simple furniture
  • Natural materials
  • Bright colors – only in accessories

Features and characteristic of Scandinavian carpets

The less, the better – another of the principles used by the Scandinavians. Everything comes from nature – since winters are cold, the floor covering should be warm and occupy the largest possible area. 

  • The color scheme, which involves light shades, crisp tones, close-to-nature color combinations, an abundance of snow and ice, may not be used in carpeting. Of course, juicy oriental ornaments of sophisticated design will not work here, but much more “color liberties” are allowed for Scandinavian carpets than in furniture and interior design.
  • Simplicity and functionality are the fundamental principles of Scandinavian design, as a result of which the rooms decorated in this style are filled with light and air, give a feeling of joining with nature, serenity, harmony, and naturalness. 
  • In the design of textiles and carpets, preference should be given to natural materials. Suitable wool, linen, or cotton. A bright rug, blanket, pillows, a beautiful tablecloth on a wooden countertop – all this will help to place accents and give completeness to the style.

Scandinavian style carpet

Why is carpet given such great importance in the interior design of almost any style? This is one of the details that a person pays attention to as soon as he enters the room. That is why there are several criteria for choosing a carpet.

  • According to personal preference
  • Based on the general style of the interior
  • In combination with the design
  • For practical use – comfort, warmth, coziness, convenience

There is a “set of rules” defined by designers specifically for rugs in the Scandinavian interior. And although it is not worth scrupulous in following all of them, something can be taken into account when choosing a Scandinavian carpet.

  • The entire floor from wall to wall in the Scandinavian interior is not covered with a rug. There is always a place that shows the natural floor material (stone, wood).
  • More often, especially in living rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, carpets are round in shape than square. They help smooth straight lines and sharp corners of furniture, and if a table with a round tabletop is selected, they can emphasize the decor favorably. The round carpet also serves as an excellent background for decorating a corner with an armchair and a lamp in a large room.
  • In contrast with light furniture, the use of a dark carpet is acceptable. Also, to get rid of monotony, rugs with patterns and prints of various colors are used, but preference is still given to natural rather than sharp tones.
  • If you need to get away from monotony, just select the unusual texture of the carpet product – a long pile, rustic fabric, or leather. For example, it is admissible to use an imitation of grass. In the bathroom, the rug may be made of natural stones.

Types, patterns, and colors


The difficulty in creating the interior of the Scandinavian style is that it is effortless to cross the feature line. But functionality is one of the main principles of the Scandinavian interior.

It is as if various textured carpets made of natural materials were created for interiors in the Scandinavian style. 







Since winter is long and hopeless, and most of life has to be spent in small-sized rooms, it remains only to make them as bright, spacious, cozy, and warm as possible. 





As we mentioned above, the pattern inspired by nature but also the minimalistic one, characterize the Scandinavian style. Triangles, squares, circles are some of the shapes that an authentic Scandinavian rug can have. Depending on your preferences, the carpet can be adapted to any style of decorating. Abstract figures are not pretentious and can fit perfectly with classic, hi-tech, or art deco furniture or wallpaper.

Scandinavian carpet industry 

Of course, among the citizens of the Scandinavian countries, carpet production is very highly developed. They have a rich and long history and, in their current performance, are a unique combination of ancient traditions and modernity.

Animal leather is, of course, excellent and warm, but too expensive, and in size, it is more often suitable only for a bedside rug. 

Rya carpet

Ruya is a long-haired fluffy product that resembles modern Furry carpets. They were made from the longwool sheep. The carpets made of it are elastic and very durable.

By manually weaving the carpet, the craftsmen use a special knot – Gjordes. The pile could be cut or may remain looped. In any case, such a rug remains soft and pleasant to the touch for years. It is not surprising that at first, they were used as bed blankets.

Rollakan carpet

Rollakan carpet is already a woven product. To make it is more comfortable, and therefore it is considered more affordable. In addition, the fabric of such a rug is much easier to care for and keep clean.

Traditional patterns and ornaments, glorifying the beauty of the harsh northern nature, enhanced the homes of both ordinary people and nobles.

In the XIX century, global industrialization captured the territory of Europe, relegating to the background and even destroying the traditions of crafts and weaving. While other countries admired the new styles and trends, the Scandinavians maximally supported their own authenticity and nationality. The government-sponsored the security of its folklore and created workshops where women studied and wove traditional carpets.

One of them, Märta Måås-Fjetterström, refused to blindly copy old ornaments, trying to bring her own ideas and new life into settled patterns. She set up her own company, and soon all residents of Sweden wanted to have carpets with the MMF label. Today, MMF products are saved in famous museums and private collections, and you can fully see the development of carpet weaving in Sweden in the XX-XXI centuries.

Tufting carpet

The technology for making tufted carpets has been known since the 17th century. No knots or weaving is used here. But the fabric stitches are stuffed. Today, a machine can do this, but four centuries ago, the Scandinavians made such carpets by hand. However, they were not cheap and were used mainly by wealthy people.

Traditional scandinavian rugs

So, you decided to follow this style and design the house freely with unfinished furniture made of wood and stone, decorate with natural textiles and ceramics, and build eco-decor. Everything was successful, but the last touch is missing – a Scandinavian-style carpet. What should it be, and how to correctly select it without violating the design chosen principles? Following the pictures, you can create an image of the style. 

Modern Scandinavian rugs

Today, carpets in Scandinavian interiors still have a subdued color and calm shades. Black and white, beige, yellow, blue, and gray colors dominate. However, at present, it is quite possible to meet an atypical bright pattern, which is a colorful accent and dilutes the cold range of the northern interior.

Northern carpets are very diverse, while they are very versatile, able to get along in any style, for which professional designers so appreciate them.

The carpet weaving of the Scandinavian countries could not but be influenced by oriental works of carpet art. Their juicy bright ornaments left a mark in the design of Scandinavian carpets, but they changed.

  • Instead of lush roses, traditional Scandinavian flowers began to be used – tulips, hyacinths.
  • Prints instead of ornamental ones started to be executed with images of animals and birds.
  • Trees, plants, wild berries – all formed the basis of the Scandinavian carpet pattern.

Today, the Scandinavian-style carpet is a unique, diverse, colorful interior item that combines classic details with modern design finds, allowing you to make a final note in the interior and make any room cozy and beautiful.

Scandinavian carpet in different rooms

Thanks to the Scandinavian carpet, style unity is created, the most austere and ascetic room comes to life, emphasized minimalism ceases to catch the eye, any room turns into a space for living.

In this case, you can choose a variety of colors, including bright ones. 

Nowadays, long-pile carpets are famous in Scandinavia. But the whole world is gradually abandoning them because of impracticality, preferring woolen carpets with a short pile.

Animal leather or their imitation remains attractive, and only on the floor – adornment with animal leather or heads as hunting trophies of the apartment walls – this is the last century and a completely different design style.

Scandinavian carpets in the bedroom

Scandinavian carpets in the living room

Scandinavian carpets in the kitchen

Scandinavian carpets in the children’s room

Scandinavian carpets in the hallway/corridor

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