You’ve likely heard all about Hygge, the trendy Danish term for coziness that has dominated lifestyle content in recent years. Here’s another Scandinavian principle that’s gaining appeal stateside: Lagom. The Swedish philosophy, which translates into “not too little, not too much,” is all about how to slow down and live a more balanced life — and who can argue with that?
You can adhere to Lagom throughout all aspects of your life, whether it’s taking regular coffee breaks at work — called “fika,” in Swedish — or allowing yourself a full, restful vacation. And it can also influence how you organize your home. Niki Brantmark, creator of the interior design blog “My Scandinavian Home” and author of “Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life,” gives us tips on how to embrace Lagom where we live.
Keep it minimalist-cozy
“Our home environment affects our stress levels — after all, it's where we start and end our day,” says Brantmark. Following the philosophy of Lagom, the home will strike the right balance of being “neither too spartan, nor overdone.”
In a typical Swedish home, the walls will be white or light gray to allow for natural light to “create a tremendous sense of calm,” she explains.
But you want to make sure where you live still feels comfy and inviting. “Be sure to use plenty of natural materials and textures, such as wood, glass, clay as well as cozy blankets and flickering candles to create a sense of equilibrium,” Brantmark advises.
Lagom shares the philosophy behind Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”: Get rid of anything you don’t use or love.
When it comes to furniture, Brantmark suggests picking out items that combine form with function, and the old and the new — think, IKEA meets a secondhand steal.
But don’t overcrowd your furniture: “By setting single items apart, it gives them breathing space and you are more easily able to see the beauty in them.”
Don’t deny yourself
Striking a balance is the key here, so you don’t have to go to extremes exercising restraint, says Brantmark. Feel free to indulge your whimsy every now and then with a dramatic wallpaper or a loud statement piece.