Scandinavian design started in the 1950s in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The style has now become trendy worldwide, especially with the rise of several well-recognized Scandinavian furniture companies like Ikea and Marimekko. Scandinavian designs are known for three main characteristics: simple, affordable and functional. Minimalism is a key component of the style — furniture takes center stage and accessories are rare and carefully selected. Scandinavian decor is all about light colors, white walls, clean lines and natural materials, such as wood, granite, leather and concrete. Nordic countries experience dark and cold winters, so fireplaces, cozy textures and well-placed lighting remains top priority.