Global Design Spotlight Series: Scandinavian Design

World travel may be on hold for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring a sense of global sense into our homes. As a designer, I’m always looking for ways to infuse a more collected, layered sensibility into my work, and that includes drawing inspiration from design movements across the globe.

With that idea in mind, I’m so excited to introduce a new blog post series that I’m deeming the “Global Design Spotlight.” In this series, we’ll highlight some of my favorite design movements from a wide variety of regions, along with ideas and tips to translate that style into your everyday spaces.

We’re kicking things off with a look at the Scandinavian design, which is a huge influence behind the signature style at J Miller Interiors.

jmiller interiors

Embracing ‘Nordic Cool’

At its core, Scandinavian design prioritizes functionality and simplicity. It’s all about those clean lines, muted tones, natural elements, and a sense of less-is-more minimalism. I’ve found that the principles of Scandi design are so critical when reimagining small spaces or family homes, which is why it has become foundational to my own work.

In a world that often feels overwhelming, coming home to a space that is calming and restorative is key, and Scandinavian design embodies that very notion. Minneapolis Home and Design called my style ‘Nordic Cool’, and I think it perfectly sums up our aesthetic leanings.

Here at the J Miller studio, we’re currently working on some really fun projects and taking a million and one cues from Scandinavian design. In particular, we’re pulling inspiration like thoughtful small space solutions, the integration of texture, and muted color palettes all the way. Plus, we love that Scandi design emphasizes quality over quantity, which is the guidance we always give our clients as they make investment purchases for their home.

Lately, we’ve also had the opportunity to source more fixtures and furnishings from Europe, and it’s been so fun to watch all the items roll into our warehouse. Thanks to Etsy and a broader global marketplace, it’s easier than ever to bring those authentic Scandinavian design pieces into our work, and there’s a sense of timelessness and heirloom quality can’t be beat.

Curating Scandi Inspiration

What I really love about Scandinavian design is that it’s so approachable and down-to-earth. You don’t need to overfill a space just for the sake of more. Instead, a few careful purchases can make all the difference.

As Laura and I worked through our design process, we’ve realized that we have a tendency to overcomplicate things with the unnecessary details. We recently set aside a few hours to comb through inspiration for our upcoming projects and realized that we are gravitating towards a more streamlined Scandinavian approach. We noticed a common thread of both thoughtful and well-edited spaces, and we’re letting that mindset guide our decisions big and small. Even in our own spaces, I’m dreaming of our office as my personal Copenhagen apartment!

via Studioisle

If you’re on the lookout for some fresh Scandinavian design inspiration, here are a few Instagram accounts we know and love:

For general design inspiration:

Fantastic Frank | @fantasticfrank

Marie Graunbol | @mariegraunboel

Scandi interior inspiration can always be found on the ‘gram, and these three accounts are definitely ones to watch.

via Lawson Fenning

For all things kitchen design:

Nordiska Kök | @nordiskakok

via Scott & Scott

For Scandi-style artwork:

Kristina Krogh | @kristinakroghstudio

We’re big fans of Kristina’s work, and goodness her pieces are gorgeous. We’d happily take one of everything, but the ‘Relief’ collection is currently on the top of our list for textural art.

via Jennifer Bunsa

For Scandi lifestyle inspiration:

Caroline Bahrenscheer | @septemberedit

Caroline is a Copenhagen-based stylist, and to say we love following her curated feed is putting it lightly.

Are you a fan of Scandinavian interior design? I’d love to hear your favorites accounts to follow, and the places + spaces you’d love to give a Scandi-style refresh. Shop my favorites below:


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