Scandinavian Curtains for a Hygge-Inspired Home
Scandinavian design is a popular aesthetic style that emphasizes simplicity, functionality and creating a sense of warmth. While curtains aren’t always the first window treatments to be associated with Scandinavian design, they definitely have a place in this aesthetic style. Scandinavian curtains can bring in the sense of warmth so prized by this style as well as the clean, simple lines and organic textures. And if curtains don’t quite hit the mark for you, there are lots of other Scandinavian window treatments to choose from including Shades and Blinds.
Before diving into your options for Scandinavian curtains and other window treatments, first make sure you have a firm sense of what the Scandinavian design style is. Then, get tips on how to choose the right curtains for your space and learn about other window treatments to choose from. Finally, get ideas for your own design by exploring inspirational curated spaces with Scandinavian curtains and other window treatments.
What Is Scandinavian Design?
Originating in Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Scandinavian design is rooted in cold-weather cultures where sunlight and warmth are at a premium. This design style pulls in elements of hygge, a Danish concept that describes a feeling of comfort, coziness and conviviality to ward off the winter chill.
Characteristics of Scandinavian Design
- Neutral colors, usually on the warmer spectrum, like cream, beige and tan.
- Natural materials, especially wood and woven fibers.
- Sunlight for its ability to brighten and warm the home.
- Minimalism, so spaces remain open and uncluttered.
- Organic, natural textures like wool and knitted accessories that add both visual interest and literal warmth to the space.
- Clean lines and simple forms without additional ornamentation.
- Functionality and intentionality so every element in the home has a purpose, whether it be to provide light and warmth or to simply add beauty.
Do Scandinavian Homes Have Curtains?
True homes in Scandinavian countries typically don’t have curtains. This is for a couple functional reasons. First, having no curtains allows maximum sunlight to enter the room, and when you’re as far north as Scandinavian countries, sunlight is at a premium. Second, Scandinavian homes are often on the smaller side when compared with larger American homes, so they tend to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor more to make their homes feel more spacious and airier.
How to Choose Scandinavian Curtains
To select curtains that adhere to the characteristics of Scandinavian design, keep these considerations in mind:
- Choose streamlined pleat styles like Ripple Fold, Tailored Pleat and Cubicle Drapery. These styles of drapery create clean, simple lines when hung for a minimalist look that suits Scandinavian design styles.
- Capture the right level of light and privacy control – Scandinavian design emphasizes natural light during the day, but depending on your privacy needs, you may not feel comfortable leaving your windows completely exposed. For a touch of privacy while still allowing natural light through, choose sheer curtains to allow sunlight to filter through while still giving you a bit of privacy. If you prefer Scandinavian curtains that deliver more privacy, such as a thicker fabric or privacy-lined drapes, make sure the curtain rod or track system extends past the window at least 12 inches on each side so you can fully pull the panels off the window to reveal natural light when privacy isn’t a concern.
- Opt for natural fabrics like cotton, linen and wool. The natural textures of these fabrics will give your Scandinavian curtains subtle visual interest while also adding a sense of warmth to your space.
- Choose warm neutral tones for your drapes to align with Scandinavian design. A simple option is to choose a color that’s just a shade or two lighter or darker than your walls. This will ensure the drapery complements your room without blending in too much to look uninteresting.
- Choose easy-to-use pleat styles and hardware. The same pleat styles that align with the Scandinavian aesthetic style are also some of the easiest to use. This is because Ripple Fold and Cubicle Drapery can only be installed on a track system, which features carriers that allow the fabric panels to glide effortlessly on the track. Tailored Pleat Drapery is compatible with track systems as well, but you can also choose a rod and ring system for a different style. Rod and ring hardware may be a bit less easy to use but can still give you a simple experience.
Other Types of Scandinavian Window Treatments
If options for Scandinavian curtains don’t quite suit your preferences or needs, you have several other Scandinavian window treatments to choose from. Shades and Blinds both feature design elements that suit the Scandinavian style, so you can pick the right fit for your space.
Roller Shades feature a simple, sleek design with a single panel of material that rolls around a tube at the top of your window. They’re super easy to use and come in both light-filtering and blackout materials to suit your needs. Materials also vary in terms of texture and come in many neutral colors as well as subtle patterns, so you can find the right fit for your Scandinavian-inspired space.
Solar Shades are a type of Roller Shade made from unique material that blocks UV rays while allowing natural light through. Solar Shades come in different transparency levels, some of which allow you a nearly clear view of the outdoors, while providing some privacy. Between the beautiful textures, warm, neutral colors and light-filtering ability, these shades are ideal as Scandinavian window treatments.
Roman Shades offer a soft, inviting look with fabric that folds into itself when raised and cascades beautifully when lowered. Roman Shades come in several styles, some of which are functional, and others are more decorative. Fabric options are ample and include many natural fibers like cotton, linen and wool in beautiful neutral tones.
Cellular Shades feature honeycomb fabric cells that expand and contract like an accordion when raised and lowered. They offer a simple, minimalist design and come in light-filtering and blackout materials, all of which feature versatile neutral tones. Plus, they’re also very insulating, thanks to the cells that capture both hot and cold air to keep your interior more temperate.
Wood Blinds are a simple, traditional window treatment that offers easy light and privacy control with its tiltable slats. These blinds come in a range of wood finishes from light, honey-colored wood to richly hued exotic wood so you can find the right fit to match or contrast other wood elements in your Scandinavian designed space.
Also known as panel track blinds, Vertical Blinds feature panels of material that run on a track system. The flat panels create a chic, simple look and are best for sliding glass doors or wall-to-wall windows. Materials available are all light filtering and similar to those available for Roller and Solar Shades. They include many neutral tones with different textures as well as subtle patterns.
Inspiration for Scandinavian Window Treatments
With an understanding of the characteristics of Scandinavian design and how to apply them to your selection of Scandinavian window treatments, you’re ready to start thinking about your own design. Explore ideas featuring Scandinavian curtains as well as other window treatments to get inspired for your project.
Warm White Bedroom
Create an inviting, cozy bedroom with warm white as the main color, accented by dark wood tones to balance the brightness of the white. Keep the color scheme simple but work in visual interest with textures such as woven blankets and pillows on the bed, décor on the walls and of course, your Scandinavian curtains in a textural fabric like Claude Stripe in Alabaster.
Get the Look: Ripple Fold Drapery in Claude Stripe
Open Concept Dining & Living Room with Drapery & Solar Shades
For an open concept space with wall-to-wall windows, Scandinavian curtains can balance the openness of the space, which can sometimes feel stark and cold, with needed texture and warmth. Choose sheer curtains, like Sheer Wool Blend in Grey Owl for softened light and a touch of privacy without completely blocking your view to the outdoors. For an additional level of light and privacy control, layer your Scandinavian curtains with Solar Shades in a similar grey hue. With a transparency of 5% or 10%, your Solar Shades will block 95% or 90% of UV rays while giving you a clear view of the outdoors.
Get the Look: Ripple Fold Drapery & Solar Shades in Cool Greys
The S-curves of Ripple Fold Drapery create highlights and lowlights for a waterfall-like effect with sheers.
Sheer Wool Blend, Grey Owl
This linen and wool blend is delicate and soft with transparency that welcomes in the outdoors.
This leafy green is a light, fresh accent color for your space. Available for Roman Shades and Drapery.
A two-tone weave with a soft sheen, this material offers an enchanting look while blocking up to 95% of UV rays.
Office Space with Woven Wood Shades
Create a tranquil office space conducive to creativity with lots of natural elements to bring the outdoors, indoors. Start with Woven Wood Shades for your windows and other organic elements like natural wood for your shelving and furniture. Add potted plants for a touch of greenery and choose nature-inspired accent colors like a deep ocean blue for cabinets or other accent pieces.
Get the Look: Woven Wood Shade in Grassweave
Inviting Family Room with Roman Shades & Solar Shades
In a family room with lots of layers of wood and woven tones, choose subtle Scandinavian window treatments to let the wood be the star of the show. Flat Roman Shades made of a subtle patterned fabric with a white background like Sahara Stripe in Desert adds just the right amount of visual interest to your windows without pulling away from the wood elements. Protect your wood floors and furnishings from the sun’s harsh rays with Solar Shades layered under your Roman Shades. The Solar Shades will prevent fading from the sun while softening the light in the room for a pleasant atmosphere.
Get the Look: Striped Flat Roman Shades with Textured Solar Shades
With their clean, crisp folds, Flat Roman Shades offer a modern, minimalist look with easy functionality.
A linen blend, designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, with subtle horizontal stripes offers subtle visual interest.
Solar Shades protect your furnishings from fading while keeping the space bright and inviting with sunlight.
Mini Basketweave, Sandstone
A tighter weave of a traditional basketweave , this Chilewich design offers a more intricate texture.
Find Your SCandinavian Window Treatments Material
Now that you have inspiration for your Scandinavian curtains or other window treatments, you’re probably ready to start designing your own window treatments. Start with choosing your favorite materials across product lines to discover the right neutral shade for your Scandinavian window treatments. If you’re not sure where to start, order our Most Popular Swatch Collection, which features a variety of warm neutrals with different textures across all our product lines. The warm whites, tans and greys of this collection will beautifully complement your Scandinavian-inspired space.