It was the word the world fell in love with last year, after images of cosy Scandinavian design ideas flooded our Instagram feeds and helped us to define what made a space truly feel charming, and like ‘home.’
And whether it’s a simple candle, a cosy armchair or a festive banquet around the fireplace with friends…hygge – the Danish word for a special feeling or moment – still holds a place in our hearts.
But this year, there’s a new Nordic design language on the scene – Sweden’s lagom.
Like hygge, lagom is hard to translate to English, as we don’t really have a word for the concept. One way of explaining Lagom, according to Scandinavian restaurant owner Bronte Aurell, is ‘not too much, not too little.’
In other words, remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Lagom is the porridge that was just right!
Lagom means moderation, and it can apply to almost everything in life: from the way a coffee is brewed to how many hours one works in a week.
As a fast-paced and relatively overworked modern nation, Australia can surely take inspiration from the Northern countries and their virtue of balance…but where do we start?
And lifestyle choices aside, how do those chic modern Swedes apply lagom to designing their homes?
Well, luckily, thanks to the ever-generous Swedes, there are some amazing lagom home design ideas circulating around the Internet that we can borrow and customise as our own.
Don’t know where to start? Check out the following ideas for inspiration…
1. Mute the walls
Bold colours are so passé, right now! The new trend is muted beiges, greys and whites. Why? The Swedes believe that the effect is one of blissful tranquillity when you step into your home after a busy day out in the big smoke. Lighter, softer colours inspire a meditative mind and help you to unwind into a more relaxed and balanced state of mind. The light also balances off them more naturally, creating a clearer, calmer, more spacious feeling room.
2. Let in the light!
Another way to maximise the feeling of space in your home is to ensure there’s plenty of sunlight leaking in. Sweden has bitter winter nights, so their lagom décor has always been focused on bringing in a sense of cheer and sunshine. Try swapping out the heavy curtains for a sheerer, lighter fabric. That way, you can keep your home’s privacy intact and enjoy the warmth of the Aussie sun through your window.
3. Open the door to nature.
Who said the garden couldn’t come inside? Plants, flowers and organic materials like wood or stone are perfect lagom home design ideas. Even just one plant indoors has been proven to help reduce stress levels! Natural accessories also help to brighten up and add character to your home without adding garish colour or clutter
4. Space, space, space.
If you can’t spread-eagle on the floor of your living room and take deep breaths, you’re not doing Swedish lagom right. A balanced space is all about leaving lots of room for airflow and movement between objects. Give your furniture plenty of room to breathe and you’ll experience an exhilarating new sense of floaty freedom.
Extra lifestyle tips
To extend the principles of lagom far beyond the layout of your home, be sure to take stock of the following handy tips on living a balanced lifestyle:
- Consume consciously: know where the stuff you buy comes from and how it was made and avoid buying ridiculous amounts of fast fashion or poor quality disposable consumer products. It’s better for yourself, the environment and your society to think about the impact of your buying decisions.
- Live simply: Try to minimise the clutter in your life, both literally and metaphorically. This includes cutting out unhealthy relationships, unhelpful foods or substances or commitments that don’t bring your life a sense of joy and freedom. Focus on what matters.
- Remember to play: Part of what the rest of the world loves about the Swedes is their seemingly effortless creativity and sense of childlike fun! Incorporate this playtime in your own life by working less and spending more time on passion projects that make your soul sing, or with children and your family. Life shouldn’t always be about the daily grind.
- Switch off: Cutting-edge science reveals that our relationships, wellbeing and sense of creativity will flourish if we allow ourselves to switch off and be idle from time to time. So don’t feel like you always need to be doing something to be living an important or successful life. Take time out to smell the roses. This practice of relaxed, balanced living is the essence of lagom – it could change your life forever.