The bathroom in Nordic countries

A way of living and experiencing the house characterized by pure and natural materials, comfort and warmth, geometric but not inflexible lines and light: it is the unmistakable Nordic design.

For the peoples of northern Europe, conviviality is very important, so the larger and more equipped spaces of the house are dedicated to living and cooking. Body care – especially in Finland and Sweden – is a deeply felt need and often an activity to do with a companion: the ancient and ever-living tradition of the sauna is proof, which can be a space in and of itself or integrated into the bathroom.

The Scandinavian style respects contemporary design canons, playing with net volumes, clean lines and great simplicity, factors that can transmit feelings of well-being. Practical and comfortable, the Nordic bath is a particularly well-designed space, characterized by essentiality and softness of the shapes and the almost maniacal attention to every small detail.

Style, materials and colours

Functionality and aesthetics go hand in hand and follow the philosophy of “less is more“: everything superfluous is eliminated resulting in a essential and clean, welcoming and relaxing space thanks to the preference for natural materials, with light and opaque colors.

Wood, the star of open spaces, becomes a predominant element with transparent glass and white ceramic.

To increase brightness, given the scarce hours of light in the winter, the windows are large and the most used covering is the polished white subway tile, often paired with black for the few decorative details. Those who prefer to give a touch of colour, on the other hand, rely on understated colours such as green, blue and gray. Not to be missing is a large mirror to emphasize the brightness.

The decor

The shower is usually very spacious, characterized by a thin tray or often by a direct drain in the floor; in the most sought-after bathrooms it is situated in a niche or delimited by an elegant minimalist glass side panel.

Koral Shower, Oriano Favaretto design for Mastella Design

In order to contain the nécessaire, it is preferable to use shelves, niches in the walls or mirror containers. If present, the bathroom vanity is characterized by a minimal, linear design and light and opaque colours.

Summit Collection, Mastella
Summit Collection, Mastella


In Nordic bathrooms, the only fixtures that you can not do without are the sink and toilet, strictly in white and ceramic. As in most parts of the world, the bidet does not exist.

The sink is reduced to the essential favoring a simple wood counter top as a base.

Counter top sink Marte Uno, Mastella Design
Counter top sink Marte Uno, Mastella Design

The bathtub, if planned for, is characterized by a retro or contemporary design, usually free standing and without superfluous decorations.

One noteworthy feature is the use of exposed chromed metal pipes, which run along the walls to connect drains and faucets: this habit, which at our latitudes may seem bizarre, provides great versatility in the positioning of fixtures, a considerable cost savings and introduces a decorative element particularly appreciated by lovers of industrial-style.

Ultimately, while not giving space to luxury and excess, bathrooms in the Nordic countries are essential and elegant, thought out in a perfect balance between work and aesthetics.

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