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Creating a Scandinavian bathroom: Your complete guide by a Montreal interior designer

Renovating a bathroom is an ambitious project. It can be hard to know where to start, what style to choose, how to match colors and materials, and where to find the right suppliers. As an interior designer specializing in bathrooms and based on Montreal’s South Shore, I understand these challenges. To help you navigate this process, I’ve put together a guide to creating a Scandinavian-style bathroom, a design that combines elegance, minimalism and functionality. The Nordic bathroom style appeals enormously to my customers because of the atmosphere of well-being it creates in the home, and there’s nothing more dreamlike than a beautiful spa-inspired bathroom for planning relaxing moments at home. 

Here are eight ideas to inspire your renovation project.

1st idea for a Scandinavian bathroom: Use light, neutral colors

Light, neutral colors are the basis of Scandinavian design. They create a soothing, luminous space, ideal for relaxing after a long day. For a bathroom, consider shades of beige, cream, gray and natural wood. Warm colors bring softness, while gray adds a touch of modernity. As an interior designer in Brossard, I advise you to choose a main color and to use shades of this color for the other elements. It can be surprising to mix warm shades of beige with gray, but rest assured it’s quite a beautiful effect. You can see this in the Scandinavian bathroom images below.

2nd idea for a Scandinavian bathroom: Choose light-coloured wooden furniture

Wood is a key element of Scandinavian style, evoking the natural landscapes of the Nordic countries. For a bathroom, opt for a suspended vanity unit in light wood, which combines aesthetics and functionality. Wood brings warmth to the room and contrasts beautifully with neutral colors. As a bathroom designer in Saint-Bruno, I recommend opting for treated wood that resists bathroom humidity. High-end melamine and polyester furniture are also excellent choices for a wood-effect vanity. If you opt for a wooden vanity, consider adding a reminder of the same species somewhere in the bathroom. These can be beams or wood panelling on the ceiling, or simply wooden accessories such as mirrors or wall shelves.

Idea #3 for a Scandinavian bathroom: Keep it simple and minimalist

Scandinavian design is famous for its simplicity and minimalism. It focuses on the essentials, avoiding excessive decoration.

As an interior designer, I prefer the elegance of clean lines for my Scandinavian bathroom designs. A suspended toilet, a discreetly designed vanity and an organically shaped freestanding bathtub are just some of the elements that instill that typically Nordic minimalist calm. The use of organic shapes helps soften angles and create visual harmony.

In my Scandinavian bathroom designs, I like to incorporate elongated rectangular windows into my plans to maximize natural light. Their simplicity reinforces the minimalist style while creating a harmonious link with the exterior.

There are two types of tile to match the Scandinavian aesthetic. Large porcelain tiles add a sleek, contemporary touch, while small mosaics, laid in straight lines, add a refined texture.

4th idea for a Scandinavian bathroom: Maximize natural light

Scandinavian design values natural light, which is particularly important in a bathroom, where brightness is essential. If possible, try to incorporate large windows or even a skylight. Alternatively, well-placed mirrors can help reflect light and brighten the space. As an interior designer in Boucherville, I can assure you that natural light can transform your bathroom into a serene, welcoming space.

If the position of your bathroom in your home allows it, it may be worthwhile to position your bathroom windows so that they look out onto a vegetation-filled courtyard. You’ll feel like you’re taking a bath or shower in the middle of nature.

5th idea for a Scandinavian bathroom: Use natural textiles

Natural textiles add texture and warmth to your bathroom. Opt for cotton or linen towels, a cozy bath mat, or even a shower curtain in natural fabric. These details can really enhance the look of your bathroom and make it more inviting.

6th idea for a Scandinavian bathroom: Choose simple, elegant mirrors

In Scandinavian design, even the smallest details count. Mirrors are essential elements in any bathroom, not only for their functionality, but also for their aesthetic impact. A simple, elegant mirror with rounded or rectangular shapes can add a touch of elegance to your bathroom. Consider using wooden mirrors as a reminder of your vanity. A mirror with a thin black or white metal frame is also very elegant in this sleek bathroom style. In fact, matt white metal is becoming increasingly popular in minimalist bathroom designs, since it’s discreet, blends into the décor and is very easy to clean! Dare to use matt white metal faucets, fixtures and mirrors!

Tip #7 for a Scandinavian bathroom: Choose natural materials for walls and floors

Scandinavian bathroom design relies heavily on the use of natural materials for walls and floors.

Natural-effect plaster walls are particularly popular for creating a soothing, minimalist ambience. Available in a range of natural colors, they provide an organic texture that evokes the softness and tranquility of Nordic landscapes.

On the floor, naturally inspired porcelain tiles are a smart choice. Whether you opt for a stone, terrazzo or sand effect, they are the perfect complement to the Scandinavian bathroom aesthetic. Large porcelain tiles have the advantage of giving an impression of space and brightness, ideal for a small bathroom.

As an interior designer on the South Shore, I often recommend incorporating additional textural elements to bring character to the bathroom. A natural stone wall, for example, can be a striking addition directly reminiscent of the rugged, wild landscapes of the North.

8th idea for a Scandinavian bathroom: Incorporate elements of nature into the interior

Finally, Scandinavian design is deeply rooted in respect for nature. Bring a touch of nature to your bathroom interior with elements such as Scandinavian-style wooden sticks or rough stones. These details can give your bathroom a unique touch and bring a sense of peace and tranquility.

A big trend in spa-inspired bathrooms is the use of architectural wood as an accent wall. Interior designers can have fun with this type of material, since it can be used on walls, custom-made furniture and ceilings. There are several suppliers of this type of product, so ask your local interior designer or decorating store.

Rough stone is also increasingly present in interior design. In bathroom design, it is used to make stone-cut washbasins. It can also be seen in luminaires and wall sconces by Quebec company Luminaire Authentik. Stone shower bases are available in all colors, and they’re a great way to create a seamless shower base that’s easy to maintain! Designers love it, and so do customers!

You might also consider incorporating natural elements into your selection of decorating accessories. For example, I like to use raw wood ladders as towel racks. Of course, adding plants, ideally tropical ones, is recommended. I prefer large plants for a more significant impact, as opposed to several small ones that could overload the design. If you’re a fan of dried floral arrangements, I suggest you place a beautiful stoneware vase on your vanity, embellished with a few shrub branches to enhance the natural effect in this space.

In conclusion, creating a Scandinavian-style bathroom is a great way to combine functionality, aesthetics and tranquillity.

Think color harmony, the use of light-colored wood, simplicity of design, maximizing natural light, incorporating natural textiles and using natural materials throughout the bathroom. With these elements in mind, you’re well armed to begin your renovation project. Don’t hesitate to call on an interior designer to help you with your Scandinavian-style bathroom project. With the right bathroom plan and a healthy dose of creativity, you can transform your bathroom into a dreamy, Nordic-style space.

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