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Stylish Scandinavian Folk Art

Scandinavian Folk Art via Eva Lundgreen Akerkulla Design | Paint + Pattern

Welcome to another Paint + Pattern journey as we travel to Sweden! Each month, Paint + Pattern virtually features gorgeous global locations and their style as it relates to pattern and décor. We give you all the best details on the country’s contemporary and historic design. We also share tutorials on how you can bring their traditions home with great finishes and perfect patterns from Royal Design Studio. Kicking it all off is a primer on traditional Scandinavian and Nordic Folk Patterns and how they’ve been translated and used for modern design. Let’s take off!  Image above: Eva Lundgreen

Scandinavian Folk Patterns on Tableware | Paint + PatternClockwise from left: House of Rym, Mazuli Vintage and Sagaform

Scandinavian Folk Art Poster at myloview.com | Paint + PatternFolk Art Poster by myloveview

Clean, fresh and timeless, folk patterns provide a sense of casual warmth and reflect the region’s interpreted natural beauty. Scandinavian folk art tends toward florals, plaids, stripes, checks, foliate borders and nature with singular colors in a limited natural palette.


Scandinavian Dala Horses | Paint + PatternClockwise from left: Home Decorista and Emmelines Blogg

The Dala Horses are a traditional and popular Swedish craft. They hail from the Dalarna region in Central Sweden and can be both embellished with patterns or left alone in beautiful minimalism. The pattern itself can be translated to embroidery, textiles, toys and carved wooden décor elements. It’s an unofficial symbol of Sweden.

Scandinavian Textile via Brita Sweden | Paint + Pattern

The gorgeous textiles of Brita Sweden feature a fun, colorful and contemporary twist on folk patterns that will bring an unmistakable Swedish touch to your space. This pattern reminds me a bit of the Small Step Up Triangles Stencil.

Scandinavian Oslo Wallpaper by Quercus & Co. | Paint + Patttern

This sweet wall features a wallcovering called Oslo by Quercus & Co. – wouldn’t the plaid-inspired design look great in a nursery? If you’d like a contemporary variation, see the Nova Trellis Stencil. Imagine all the wonderful color variations you could use as well!

Stylized Scandinavian Folk Flower Pattern | Paint + Pattern

Here’s a highly stylized variation of the traditional Scandinavian folk flower in a girls’ room. Isn’t the bed precious as well? Featured in Milk Magazine.

Painted and Stenciled Animal Silhouettes | Paint + Pattern

So stylish and unique! These painted and stenciled animal silhouettes bring a touch of Sweden to your home and you can stencil them with any Royal Design Studio patterns you love. Great wall art idea by 508!

Swedish folk art patterns have a simple yet casually elegant feel – it’s no wonder they continue to be interpreted for contemporary spaces. Their style is anchored by colors found in nature in a background of varying whites. If you’re interested in more modern patterns from Sweden, be sure to check out the Swedish Stencils Collection by Royal Design Studio. We hope you’ve enjoyed our inaugural post on Sweden’s historic patterns. We look forward to seeing you the rest of the month as we share more.


  1. These are such happy patterns and colors, I love this post! Like the animal cut-outs with just snippets of patterns on them.

  2. Margaret A. Patterson

    I’m a bit late got a comment, but I must thank you for this post. My husband and I have retired in the foothills of the Rockies, in a tiny town, surrounded by miles and miles of forests. We can get from 6′ to 10′ of snow a year. I also “collect” legends, folklore, creation stories, you name it. I suppose you can say that we are modern hobbits. I truly enjoyed your post, as I don’t think that Scandinavian folk art gets enough attention in American backwoods decor. Your post illustrates how to bring nature in with bright motifs and traditional patterns, a fresh dose of happy whimsy. I mean I love moose, bears and trout, even in my decor, but the sort of “man cave rustic” aesthetic just isn’t us. So thank you. So glad I found your post!

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