A few years back was about reaching the highest level of cosiness and comfort carried by the Danish term 'hygge'. Now, there's an even better, more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle to get on board with.
Skip back a few years, you could barely log onto any social media platform without being besieged by the Danish word hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), which roughly translates to 'cosiness' in English – inspiring Instagram-loving consumers to buy into a lifestyle of chunky-knit cushions, faux-fur throws, fluffy sheepskin rugs, scented candles, hot chocolate topped with lashings of whipped cream and roaring fires. Now lagom, the Swedish concept of 'not too much, not too little,' is set to influence.
What is lagom?
Translated as 'just the right amount', lagom is thought to relate to being frugal, fair and creating balance in life. Unlike hygge, which aims to capture a feeling, lagom is an ethos of self-discipline and moderation.
How popular is it?
The BBC has reported that search engine Google has seen a steady increase in the number of UK searches for the term 'lagom.' At present, there are more than 239,000 on Instagram with the hashtag 'lagom'.
Where can I find it?
Several consumer companies have been quick to jump on the bandwagon by launching products that are simple, inexpensive, made from recycled materials and set to make life easier and more enjoyable.
Swedish furniture store Ikea has even created its own project 'Live Lagom' to teach people how to make life more sustainable.
Having partnered with the University of Surrey's centre for environment and sustainability, who are analysing the success of the project, and Hubbub, a charity focused on teaching the world about sustainability, Ikea is now handing out gift vouchers to customers so they can purchase Ikea products to help them save water and energy, reduce waste, and live a healthier lifestyle – all in keeping with the concept of 'lagom'.
How can you get more lagom in your life?
As much as we'd all love to curl up in our pyjamas on these dark, chilly days, lagom encourages us to take control of our lives by choosing to live a frugal yet fruitful existence.
1. Keep it minimal and understated
Celebrate the beauty of unfinished surfaces, this look is about making natural materials the star of the show. Add depth to interiors with refined pieces that show off the skill of the artisan. This scheme is all about taking a pragmatic approach to work and life.
2. Plant fresh herbs and greenery
With the rising inflation and shortage of resources, many people are looking for cheap and easy ways to be more self-sufficient at home. Growing your own delicious food can take the pleasures of a garden to a whole new level. A few carefully chosen plants will produce many, many meals for the whole family. Herbs are surprisingly easy to grow and they can completely transform the taste of your food. Most herbs can be grown from seeds in their own bed, pots or window boxes. Draw on a palette of fresh greens to evoke the feel of a fresh garden. Make a feature of a window sill with delicate foliage, potted herbs and green glass, which will ensure the display lasts through summer and beyond.
3. Reduce, re-use, recycle
A compost bin is the easiest and cheapest way of disposing of garden waste; it will also produce the best possible soil conditioner. As well as plant material, you can also compost paper, cardboard, trimmings, raw vegetables and natural fibres, such as cotton and wool fabrics.
4. Replace light bulbs
Reduce your environmental footprint by moving to energy-efficient LED bulbs, which last longer and can save you about £45 over the lifetime of the bulb. Always switch the light off when you leave a room, or if the light is not really needed.
5. Restore harmony
Scaling back clutter often falls to the bottom of the to-do list, but no one can deny the satisfaction of a top-to-bottom clear-out. Look for straightforward ways to reinstate order, from overhauling chaotic areas to establishing new storage systems. It's time to restore harmony...
A permanent, sustainable and healthy work/life balance? Now, this is definitely something we can get on board with. Will you be adopting a lagom philosophy this year?
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Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.
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