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Find Your Style: Scandinavian (and a video)

I’m so happy to say that due to the ‘Find Your Style’ online quiz all of you have now accurately found your own personal style. Congratulations! The response was just overwhelmingly positive. JK. Actually we haven’t had such a negative response to something we’ve created in years. Not negative as in mean and hurtful, just so many people saying ‘dead wrong’ over and over. Whoops. Listen, we aren’t buzzfeed and I admitted that it needed more trouble shooting. We were right!!

We learned a lot (stay tuned to an all new quiz … in 3 1/2 years). But that doesn’t stop us from posting these pretty vignettes of the styles that we shot last summer in our house (pre-demo) for the previously mentioned wildly successful quiz. Brian and I did a short, fun, video about each that lives on and now it’s time to show it to you.

Up first is ‘Scandinavian’. This style landed in the US, all friendly, tall and chic, and it has quickly become one of THE most popular, trendy (and most pinned) styles ever. When we moved into our mid-century house (the one we are selling) I wanted everything to feel Scandinavian. Now, living in an english tudor I want more warmth but I do still love this style so much.


In case you are wondering what the American interpretation of the ‘Scandinavian’ style means, it’s this:

It’s all about being warm and inviting but in a simple, more minimalist way. Warmth and minimalism don’t usually go glove in glove, but due to their insanely dark winters, they figured out how to do it.

Here’s what to do:
Choose furniture that is really minimal in shape, but with warm fabric and refined woods. Stay away from silks, satins, or anything too fussy and instead choose linens, velvets, fur or cable-knit. It’s all about texture and less about pattern.

However graphic geometric patterns, like triangles seem to be a trend but done in two tones (not like 15 different colors).


For color palette think high contrast black and white, with pops of pastel colors to keep it feeling happy and young.
Add some organic material like wicker or rattan for warmth, with a mid-century vibe (I don’t know if that basket is still available but man it is so good).
Keep some furniture more classic, with some european detailing like the knobs on the nightstand – which is no longer available, but one that I loved so much (which I still have).

Plants are a must to balance out the high contrast color palette and add a lot of life. And a little bit of fur is very important for those long dark winters.

And that’s how you do it. Check out the video Scandinavian Target Vignette Video


IF you are into what  you see or what you have read today then MAYBE you like Scandinavian and are into these things rounded up below. They are sourced from all over with a decent amount from Target (as they sponsored the video series). We can’t embed the video on my blog, but go HERE to see these pieces in action.

Emily Henderson_Find Your Style_Style Quiz_Vignettes_Minimal_Sleek_White_Modern_Roundup_Scandinavian

1. Gray Pillow | 2. Wood Planter | 3. Pink Blanket | 4. Accent Chair | 5. Live Edge Side Table | 6. Black Bud Vase | 7. Bone Inlay Frame | 8. Black Tray | 9. Coffee Table | 10. Pastel Pillow | 11. Black and White Lumbar Pillow | 12. Textured Vase | 13. Black Bud Vase | 14. Black Side Table | 15. Coffee Table | 16. Braided Wool Rug | 17. Lounge Chair | 18. Rattan Basket | 19. Woven Black and White Basket | 20. Black Bowls | 21. White Plates | 22. Salad Bowl | 23. Black Flatware | 24. Black Wishbone Chair | 25. Whale Coaster Set | 26. Jane Denton Embroidered Art | 27. Stool | 28. Blue Side Table | 29. Black and White Rug | 30. Paper Art | 31. Black and White Fringe Pillow

Happy Friday, folks. Speaking of ‘happy’ and ‘warm and inviting’ I’m leaving town today, to meet up with my best friends from Oregon (25 years of insanely strong friendship) at Ojai Valley Inn for a spa weekend. SPA WEEKEND + BEST FRIENDS =  SO MUCH HAPPINESS, TALKING. DRINKING, WALKING, TALKING, DRINKING, WALKING, SLEEPING, SHIT, DID I FORGET TO MENTION SLEEPING???? Watch it on insta-story. I’m going to put so much mud all over this mom body.


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

51 thoughts on “Find Your Style: Scandinavian (and a video)

  1. Pleeease do Zen next, and thank you!

    Also, hilarious commentary on the quiz. Even when a quiz is wrong, it’s still to take!

    1. *fun

      Sorry for the typo
      / missing word.

      “A quiz is still fun to take” is what it was supposed to say.

  2. I thought I was Zen (according to the quiz) but this Scandinavian is really appealing to. Don’t listen to the haters– the quiz in your book totally opened my eyes and I have avoided more mistakes since taking it than I can count!

  3. I read your book and took the quiz which told me my style was Scandinavian and then the online quiz said I was minimal. And I have to say, I think the most accurate is right in the middle of both of those. So I didn’t think the quiz was dead wrong for me. Actually, it helped me realize that yes, it’s okay to love black and white decor and not want to style out my shelves with a ton of stuff. Minimal yet warm, like the Scandi’s is exactly what I want my home to reflect.

    1. Could not agree more! I also fall somewhere between minimalism and Scandinavian. I just can’t do so much fur, because I’m in California, by the beach, and fur and sand are an odd combo! Is there such a thing as coastal Scandinavian?

  4. I was surprised to get Zen instead of Scandinavian but I guess this post explains it. The way I see Scandinavian style is a bit more …Scandinavian (lol) and you are showing a more American version of it.

    I like that you’re going to how all the styles more thoroughly in blog posts so we can see what’s behind the words. 🙂

  5. My style was Zen + I was definitely surprised by it. ? I like the Scandinavian style buuuutt I love color too. ? Happy Friday + Safe travels! Xo.

  6. It’s disappointing to hear that so many people felt like the quiz was “dead wrong”. I think if they read the book they’ll see that the language regarding the style is more indicative of their actual taste than the title you necessarily assigned it.
    I could’ve answered the questions differently depending on the day/mood and so I took it a few times. My main categories were Contemporary and Zen, then if I answered the 2 first questions differently (which is possible) I ended up in Modern Glam and 80’s. While I wouldn’t necessarily say that my style is “Zen like-contemporary-80’s-modern glam” I do feel like the language you provided about the styles make complete sense for my style.
    To wit, I definitely like lighting candles, folding my throws to line up with the lines of my sofa, tonal-masculine color palettes, oversize artwork, color blocking, smart storage, bling from brass, luxe fabrics, colorful pop art, and geometric patterns with an art deco bent!
    While I wouldn’t have exactly labeled my style the way you did, I do now know that the mix works (opposites on the style wheel) and will have a MUCH easier time going forward picking out design details for my home that I know will have longevity.
    THANK YOU for your quiz, for these very cool video series, and for all the hard work you and the rest of the EHD team do.

    1. Hey Emily,
      I’m self empolyed and sometimes I really struggle to get back up and keep trying when things get tough. I’m tend to crawl away and nurse my wounds for a while before I get the courage to emerge again. I find the way you deal with critisim really helpful and inspiring. Whether it’s people having a go at you for mentioning politics (the world has gone mad?) or harshly critising your decisions you seem to stay positive and keep coming back with more and more. I’m working towards this kind of strength and count you as a role model. Thank you. x

      1. Ha, my message above was meant to be a comment of it’s own not a reply – but you get the picture!

  7. I got Scandinavian in the quiz and I have to say that I want to buy EVERYTHING here. I’m probably more of a mix of styles (as most of us are), but this is definitely a part of me.

  8. The lounge chair in no. 17! I had no idea that Dwell Magazine was designing for Target. My heart sings!

  9. I LOVED the quiz!! I took it a few times and found a pattern. Thank you for taking the time and effort into help us lost sheep in this beautiful world! From the quiz, I got scandanavian, zen, and another minimal one. It helped me to realize I value cherished, important items, clean space, and natural elements. Keep on keepin on!!!

  10. According to my Swedish neighbors, Scandinavian style is not allowing anything that isn’t white/blond wood in your home. 🙂 At least that’s their style, and they refer to it as, “all white like us crazy Scandinavians.”

  11. I took the quiz for fun, knowing that I like most styles as long as they are done right. I laughed out loud when my result was “minimalist”. If only. I suppose I aspire to be.

  12. Eh, NBD on the quiz. I got Zen and that’s fairly accurate. I will love to see the videos for each style. This Target stuff is pretty great for the price, Target is really upping their game on decor.

  13. Although I thought the quiz results didn’t peg me well, there is definitely value in knowing what you DON’T like as well as what you do. And in thinking about why a label and it’s definitions fit or don’t fit. And, it kept me amused at work, which is part of the value of your lovely blog for me. New content every week day? That’s not easy to do!

  14. Emily, thanks so much for the online quiz! I think it was spot-on. When I answered the questions based on how I would like others to see me and my decor, I got Minimalist, but when I answer them honestly, I got Modern Glam– which is spot-on. Hopefully I can blend the two somehow! Love the blog…

  15. Target is awesome with this home decor thing! I love seeing how you styled everything in this shoot, and how even though this is Scandinavian it is still so classically “Emily Henderson”. Nice job sticking to a brand!

  16. Ha, my comment to the quiz got swallowed by the internet but I’m glad I wasn’t alone in thinking it was completely wrong for me! My style is pretty boho/maximalist and I got basically the opposite – Zen. 🙂 Personally, part of the issue was that for several of the choices I needed an (e) none of the above- I’m thinking of the color one in particular. All of the choices were kind of similar, and none were my actual style. Were all of the results only styles favored by EHD? Maybe that explains it? Because I love your style in general, and adore the way that’s developing and is unique for each space, but it’s definitely different from my own! Anyways I think the quiz also proves we’re all a bit of a mishmash (technical term) of different styles, so to boil it down to just one maybe will inevitably make us feel like something is missing.

    But yeah, quizzes are always fun so I was still entertained!

    And further to what I was saying about EHD style, I’m far from Scandi and yet I still adore and covet many of the pieces you’ve included. That wood side table especially!

  17. I was on the cusp of industrial (and contemporary, I think???) when I took the book quiz a year ago and was stunned to get zen online this time around. Was sure it was wrong… retook the quiz and everything… until I realized that within the last year, I’ve both consciously and unconsciously gone to all neutrals (black, white, ivory, gray, camel, with pops of color only from plants, floral, books) in all my home decor (and my wardrobe.)

    Once again, Emily, you know me better than I know myself! Thank you for all that you do to bring beauty and style onto our screens and into our homes and lives!

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed the quiz. I took it multiple times and I think I’m a bit of both. I got Zen and Minimalist. Lol I don’t know what other people were thinking, that it would change their life, answer burning questions!? Geez, lighten up, everything doesn’t have to be a negative.

  19. I never could figure out the scoring for the quiz in your book. I’m an engineer, and decent at math, but the scoring was a total mystery to me.

    I wish the online quiz always returned the top 2 styles, like 75% zen, 25% Scandi. Mine just said “minimalist”. I think my style is more traditional minimalist, traditional in quality, minimalist in quantity.

    1. I totally agree with this! Knowing percentages of things is such a big deal for me! I always love taking quizzes even if they are totally wrong 🙂

  20. Just an observation- I got Zen and didn’t really agree because I don’t see that in my every day life but I also took the quiz at a time when I am just coming off the holidays and being stuck inside with my 3 kids for 8 days because of snow storms so those emotions might have affected my answers a bit 🙂 Maybe most people are getting Zen and minimal for similar reasons. Every year this time I want to declutter and declare myself a minimalist!

  21. My results were actually spot on, but I wouldn’t have thought so until I read the description! It was actually pretty insightful. You got at least mine right! Thanks!

  22. LOVE this style. But please, where can one get a healthy fiddle-leaf fig these days? My local specialty nursery says the ones they’re getting aren’t high quality. And I MUST have one!

    1. IKEA often carries them. Not sure about the comparative quality but I replanted mine once I got her home and now that I leave her in the same spot (I lost one after moving it all around the house and then read online that fiddle leaf figs can be particular), she has flourished for years now. : ) Good luck!

  23. I’m wondering if there was something actually labeled wrong (like coded wrong) in the quiz results…? I answered every question with the Scandinavian/traditional answers and it told me I was Modern Glam. I didn’t choose any of the modern glam answers for any of the questions (I actually hate bling, or anything shiny, or bright colors), so I think that might be why people are saying the quiz was so wrong?

  24. Sorry the response was so negative, but I’m looking forward to taking the quiz. I think they’re fun no matter what. And anyway, it’s a fun online quiz people!–not meant to be a true, deep reflection of your inner soul.

  25. pop up ads? really? sponsored posts and links in the sidebar are one thing. pop up ads are another. i’m out.

  26. Wow, after all that criticism, I decided NOT to reply, knowing you probably were busy looking for the largest BOWL of wine to escape to! I actually miss the fun stories you used to write about the hypothetical person who lived in a particular space. They were entertaining, if not particularly helpful. The American interpretation of Scan style is more appropriate to what’s available here anyway (reindeer, anyone?). Good to see the meaning behind the quiz style, I mean, you can put boho on a spectrum from full on macrame and handmade woven anything, with paneling on one end, to Moroccan wedding blanket on the wall and fig trees in artisanal pots. I think people put so much stock in labels, and if they don’t meet our pre-conceived ideas, well, there just has to be a box of red to escape to.

    Party on, Emily, Ojai is probably pretty soggy, but again, if there is alcohol involved, and a SPA, who cares?

  27. hahahahaha!!- thank you for your humorous, humble, and wonderful ability to take corrective criticism. Your “realness” keep me coming back to this blog

  28. Hey Emily,

    Loved this article. Where i work is a place of new creations and opportunities for exterior designs (we do landscaping and hardscaping). In a country where it’s actually not a huge trend for exterior design (UAE, Dubai) your articles give us and myself great ideas on colors and combinations of beautiful furniture’s to work with amazing!!

    thanks alot keep going !

  29. I just want you to know that your quiz told me I have Scandinavian style and I own three of the items featured in the first pic of this post (black/white basket, round mirror, nightstands) so clearly it wasn’t a TOTAL failure 🙂 Thanks for always being willing to try new things!!

  30. Hi! Question about that great rug. Is it the one pictured the Ivory option or the Gray. Link opens to the ivory, but the picture looks closer to the gray to me.

  31. My quiz results were perfectly right! Worked right for me and I totally agreed with the style result. Thank you!

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