Ever since Vogue touted lagom as ‘the new hygge’ last year, (the Danish concept of ‘cosiness’), the word has been popping up everywhere, from lifestyle blogs to new season interiors collections. But has ‘lagom’ really overtaken hygge as the biggest lifestyle trend for this time of year? (And what is it, exactly?) As January makeover season kicks in, we ask, is lagom where it’s at?
What is lagom?
‘Not too much, not too little. Lagom’
The translation of the Swedish concept of lagom is “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right.” While hygge is all about staying in with family (and potentially never changing out of your cashmere pyjamas), getting cosy and chatting with friends in a coffee shop, basically taking the time to enjoy a moment of contentment (whatever the weather), lagom is all about moderation. Rather than seizing the moment (of hygge, if you will), it’s about living a frugal life with just enough possessions; everything functional and a life in balance.
‘Lagom is a Swedish term, roughly translated means “not too little, not too much – just right”; if everyone takes a lagom amount from life, they will be content,’ the experts at Swedish cider brand Rekorderlig tell us. ‘Lagom encourages us to create a happy life by choosing to live a balanced and fruitful existence.’
Is it a trend?
According to Pinterest, searches for ‘lagom’ went up by 53% in the first three months of last year, and searches for ‘lagom design’ had risen by 68% in the six months previous. Ikea also launched its ‘Live Lagom’ project last year, to help its customers live a ‘more sustainable, healthy and cost-concision life’.
But Scandinavian lagom converts insist this isn’t a trend. (And it isn’t the new hygge, either.)
‘Scandinavian trends have dominated the headlines in the last year, and after the popularity of Hygge in 2016 it is easy to view Lagom as the latest trend, but it is far more than just that. Often dubbed “the secret of Swedish contentment”, unlike Hygge, Lagom is a philosophy and overarching approach to living your life. Crucially the foundation of Lagom is contentment and creating a perfect balance, believing if you take just enough from life for yourself, you leave enough for others to be happy.’ – experts at Rekorderlig
How does lagom translate to the home?
Catharina Bjorkman, Marketing and Style Director at Contura (a Swedish wood burning stove manufacturer), says: ‘As well as being applicable to work-life balance and frugality, lagom defines a sustainable way of living, which translates aptly into the context of homes and interiors.
‘Upcycling, recycling and using sustainable materials where possible is the way to enjoy the home comforts you love, without taking too much from the planet.’
‘Wood burning stoves are central to those looking to style their home around the lagom ethic, since wood is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels. It is a sustainable, renewable energy source, virtually carbon neutral and is also very cost efficient.’
Taking eco-factors into consideration for your home and interiors decisions is a big part of the Swedish lifestyle concept. ‘Thanks to Contura’s clean burn eco-design they minimise smoke and carbon emissions by 90% and are up to 60% more efficient at generating heat than open fires,’ says Catharina. ‘So for anyone looking to follow this next Scandi lifestyle trend, a wood burning stove is THE lagom choice when it comes to heating the home or finding a feature for your living space.’
De-Clutter Your Home to be More Lagom
New book ‘Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark’, £9.99, is published by Harper Thorsons this week, and gives easy-to-follow advice on bringing the Swedish Lagom philosophy into your life and home. The following extract is taken from the book…
Ten simple ways to de-clutter your home
- Create a de-clutter to-do list, crossing off each task as you complete it.
- Dedicate ten minutes each day to one task (baby steps, my friend).
- Go one room at a time and organize items into three boxes: keep, donate and throw away (never a ‘maybe’ box – speaking from experience!).
- Follow the ‘one in, one out’ rule – for everything you buy, one thing goes.
- Fill a bin bag a day with items you no longer need.
- Reduce the area where clutter can accumulate – dedicate a container for toiletries or a folder for paperwork. If new items don’t t, then it’s time to re-think what’s in the area and get rid of something.
- Take out all the items in your wardrobe. Remove ve hangers and then put everything back in order of preference. Anything that doesn’t have a hanger goes.
- Create a memory box or use an accordion organizer for your kids’ drawings and other treasured items.
- Keep a basket or bag by the stairs or in a spot that accumulates clutter and slowly ll it with items. Once it’s full, sort through and put everything back where it belongs.
- Stick to the ‘one-touch rule’ for paperwork: sort it as soon as it arrives by recycling, ling or taking action.
So before you consider buying that super hygge sheepskin beanbag for your living room, consider whether it’s too much, or too little, or maybe, just maybe it’s lagom.