Lagom: Not too little, not too much
It used to be all about Hygge living (a Danish trend about cosy living and being warm and comfortable which meant we all brought lots of jumpers, blankets and hot chocolate) but there’s a new Scandinavian trend for 2017 – Lagom. The Swedish word means “just the right amount” and is about moderation, simplicity and balance. It is hard to sum up these words in English, as there is a great deal of feeling and unsaid ‘romance’ surrounding them.
There is a Swedish proverb, “Lagom är bäst” which means “enough is as good as a feast”, or “the right amount is best”. This encapsulates the idea of Lagom, with it’s not too little, not too much mantra. The idea of Lagom is more of a lifestyle, whilst the previous Hygge was more of a moment in time – and much harder to achieve.
Lagom as a Lifestyle
achieving balance in terms of Lagom living is linked closely with awareness around sustainability and the environment. A bit of recycling, re-using plastic bags, collecting rainwater… the usual suspects for giving back to the world are the ideals of Lagom lifestyles. No fuss or extravagance, just what you need.
In your actions, Lagom still means finding balance. Don’t strive to be the loudest, the craziest or the most popular – but also don’t become a shy or over-cautious wallflower. Don’t try to make fast changes, but do them gradually over time. A great example is in weight loss; the popular 5:2 diet personifies extremes, whilst Lagom promotes smaller portions and regular exercise over a longer period of time as a lifestyle change.
Saving money is also closely linked with Lagom (with spending being an extravagance). Saving money on bills is included in this (which can’t be bad!), so turning down the heating and drying your laundry in the garden are a great start. Lagom really encourages us to do all the things we know we should do, but probably don’t all the time.
Lagom and Your Home
Just like past trends, the idea of Lagom is closely linked with interior design. Clean lines, simple furniture and minimal decoration encapsulate the idea of Lagom – but don’t get it confused with minimalism. Lagom is about balance, and finding the perfect place with enough colour, patterns and stuff is as important as making sure there isn’t too much. Be comfortable without being extravagant – try one pillow instead of 5, and simple colours and styles. Using wood is an easy way to feel more natural, and recycling furniture (think shabby chic or upcycling) is very in tune with Lagom values. You could create a hanging basket system using recycled bottles.
Ikea launched a range in 2014 that promoted more sustainable and simple living – they define Lagom as “making small changes to everyday life to minimise environmental impact, being thrifty with resources and enjoying a happy and balanced life”.
Top 10 ways to be more of a ‘Lagomer’
- Make a finance spreadsheet (and keep it up to date!)
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Use your heating less and jumpers more
- Shower, don’t bathe
- Dry laundry on a rack, not a tumble dryer
- Have a spring clean of your clothes and possessions
- Use energy efficient light bulbs
- Buy bamboo products
- Organise your fridge and plan healthier meals to prevent wasted food
- Walk or cycle when possible instead of using the car
In todays frantic society, we could all use a bit of Lagom balance, simplicity and moderation. Try adding some simple but practical tech to your home with our Modern Living Lift – the perfect balance of style and functionality.