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Mixing Design Styles: How to Combine Scandinavian and California Casual Design Styles

As an interior designer, I always suggest mixing different design styles in a space to create a curated look that reflects your personal style and evokes a desired feeling for your space. My goal as a designer is to steer away from overly coordinated designs and help you create a unique look. In this blog post, I am going to talk about how to create a cohesive look with combining two popular design styles - Scandinavian Design and California Casual Design Styles. Each style has its own unique characteristics that define it, but when brought together, they can create a cohesive and effortless vibe in your home.

Flatlay reflecting Scandinavian Design elements & California Casual Design elements

Key Features of Scandinavian Design Style

Scandinavian interiors are characterized by minimalism, simplicity, and functionality. This design style originates from the Nordic countries, with an emphasis on natural materials, light colors, and clean lines.

Key Features of California Casual Design Style

California Casual design is all about relaxed and inviting spaces, often inspired by the beach lifestyle, blending organic textures, comfortable furnishings, and earthy tones to create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.

How to Combine Scandinavian Design Style & California Casual Design Style

The Color Palette

When combining Scandinavian and California Casual design styles, choose a neutral color palette. Scandinavian design style typically favors a color palette with white, cream, light grays, and black. California casual designs also favor a neutral color palette with white and cream while also adding some earthy tones to warm up a space. You can easily merge these two styles by selecting a palette of creams, whites, and grays that have warm undertones to create a cohesive and elegant look that also brings a sense of warmth.

Natural Materials

Both Scandinavian and California Casual design emphasize natural materials in furnishings and decor. Scandinavian style favors the use of light-colored wood, such as ash or birch, while California Casual style embraces light and weathered woods and natural fibers, like jute and sisal. Combining these two styles, use light-colored woods and add in some natural fibers by using jute rugs, linen curtains, and textured pillows and blankets to give your home a relaxed and natural feel.


Scandinavian furniture is typically characterized by clean lines and simple forms that emphasize function over form. California Casual design, on the other hand, leans towards comfortable and inviting furnishings with soft lines that emphasize relaxation. Mix and match these styles throughout your home but for each space, let one be the more prominent style when choosing larger pieces of furniture and then using the other style for accent pieces. An example of this would like choosing a dining table and chairs that have clean lines and simple forms and then adding in a California casual sideboard combined with a natural fiber rug and organic light fixture.

Incorporating Elements of Nature

Both design styles draw inspiration from nature. In Scandinavian design, the interface between the outdoors and indoors is critical, with elements such as natural light and houseplants creating a calm, serene ambiance. California Casual design incorporates an abundance of greenery, rattan, and woven details to playfully bring the outdoors into your home. To achieve this style, add potted plants in textured vases through and add in some woven accessories or light fixtures.

Example of Mixing Design Styles

The photos in the images below from a home designed by Lindye Galloway serve as great inspiration for mixing elements of Scandinavian design and Californian Casual design. Take note of the clean lines, light wood, neutral color palette, and natural elements.

Interior Design Project by Lindye Galloway Showcasing a Mix of Scandinavian Design Elements & California Casual Design Elements

We have also curated a collection of furniture that feature Scandinavian and California Casual design elements. Shop the collection here.

Product Roundup of Scandinavian & California Casual Furniture & Home Decor

A Final Tip for Mixing Design Styles

There’s something incredibly special about creating a certain feeling in your home that embraces your personal design style – whether it be a blend of Scandinavian, California Casual or other styles.

When combining Scandinavian and California casual design styles, focus on using a neutral, warm color palette, choose a primary style for larger furniture pieces and then add in some accent pieces characteristic of the other style, and add in some natural materials and greenery throughout.

We hope this post inspired you to experiment with different looks in your own home. If you’re still unsure of which style or styles suit you best, take our design style quiz to help narrow down your options!


DITD in real spaces

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