Channel Nordic Interior Design in Your Dining Room

nordic dining room styling

Nordic interiors are characterised by natural timbers, light tones, clean lines and simple shapes. They’re clean, classic, uncluttered and uncomplicated. They’re also extremely versatile and can be styled in so many ways.

For our recent Nordic dining-themed photoshoot, we decided to capture the minimalist and monochromatic side of Nordic interior styling.

Love this look as much as we do? Read on to learn more about why we chose the pieces we did, and how you can create your own stunning Nordic dining space at home!

The Dining Furniture

We worked with two different dining tables to create two different Nordic dining looks.

Look #1: The Timber Table

nordic dining room style

Here we used a dining table with a warm blonde finish. A natural tone like this helps to brighten up the dining room and create a warm and inviting ambiance.

This table’s legs taper outward slightly in that classic Scandinavian style.

To contrast the pale timber, we used four all-black faux leather chairs with sliding legs. The armless shape creates a sense of openness, a feeling that there’s always plenty of room at the table.

nordic interior design wishbone chairs

Wishbone chairs are an iconic feature of Nordic interior design.

To create a point of difference, we also placed two black-and-natural wishbone chairs at either end of the table.

Wishbone chairs are an iconic feature of Nordic interiors, and just happen to be super on-trend at the moment! You could use bentwood or spindle-back chairs to similar effect.

Using different kinds of chairs (or even a chair and bench combination) helps to create a more casual atmosphere and adds personality to the room.

You don’t always have to have the same exact dining chair all around the table. So much sameness can sometimes feel a bit stiff or formal. Experiment and see what works for you!

Look #2: The Black Table

nordic interior styling

The second look featured a simple round, all-black dining table. Again, the slightly tapered legs bring home that classic Scandinavian interior design element.

The natural rope seats of the wishbone chairs beautifully contrast the black table and chair frames. This adds a much-needed hint of warmth to a space that might otherwise feel cold.

As you can see, the two tables create two completely different, yet no less Nordic, dining room looks. This shows the incredible versatility of this interior style!

The colour palette

nordic dining room

Scandinavian homes are designed to take advantage of natural light. On those dark winter days, when natural light is unavailable, colour choice plays a huge part in maintaining this light, bright feeling.

That’s why you tend to see an emphasis on light, natural tones and lots of white. Pale blues, greys and pinks are also common in Nordic interiors.

Though in Australia we don’t have any days of full darkness (thankfully), the same principle of making the space feel light and bright through colour can still be applied.

nordic interior design

If neutrals and pastels aren’t your thing, you can instead choose to contrast these lighter tones with striking dark hues, just as we did.

Black, inky blue and smoky grey are perfect accent colours for a Nordic interior, and will make the space feel chicer and more dynamic.

In both our dining looks, we rotated between light and dark rugs, sheepskins and vases to create various contrasts.

The black chairs and black table against the pale timber floorboards and white curtain also helped to add a bit of dynamism to the space.

nordic dining room ideas

Don’t be afraid to experiment with a darker rug.

You tend to see a lot of neutral and pale-toned rugs in Nordic interiors, but don’t be afraid to experiment with something darker.

This navy blue jute rug was darker than we expected, so dark it was almost black, but it created an incredibly striking, moody look.

The rug stood out brilliantly against the pale floors and balanced the light and dark tones in the furniture. It worked perfectly for the monochrome Nordic interior style we were hoping to capture.

The materials

nordic interior design

Nordic interiors feature natural materials, like cotton and linen.

Nordic interiors use a lot of natural materials. There’s often wool, jute, linen and cotton, in addition to wood and leather.

To create our monochromatic Nordic look, we used jute and wool rugs.

We accented the space with plush sheepskins; one plain white, the other a beautiful mix of grey tones.

nordic interior design

Nordic interiors and sheepskins go hand in hand.

Sheepskins add lots of texture and warmth to a space and are another iconic feature of Scandinavian and Nordic interiors.

Drape a sheepskin over the back, arm or seat of your dining chair to create an effortlessly casual and welcoming vibe.

nordic interior design

These vases are made of metal, not ceramic.

On the tabletop we used pure linen tablecloths and speckled ceramic dinnerware. Both added a raw, natural element to the tablescape.

For decoration, we switched between a trio of white and black metal vases—which had a rough, ceramic-like finish—and smoky glass vases.

We filled the vases with simple dried flowers and cotton branches from the florist. However, you could easily use sticks and branches foraged from your own backyard. These will last a lot longer than fresh flowers (but cotton stems will also last ages).


It’s incredibly easy to work with the Nordic interior style because it’s so incredibly versatile. You can bring this classic style home with our handy Nordic style guide.

Elizabeth is a digital content writer and copy editor from Sydney, Australia, with a degree in Media & Communications from the University of New South Wales. When she isn't writing for Zanui, she's usually attempting further study, burying her head in a novel (or writing her own), pestering her cat, or desperately trying to keep her small potted succulent alive.