It's not just an interiors trend, it's a lifestyle. Lagom is here to help you be happier, spend smarter and have a beautiful home while you do. Want in? Read on.
How does a life of happiness with no money problems sound? One where you splash out on beautiful things that excite you, but you’re also doing your props for the environment? Too idyllic to be true? Not quite, according to the Scandinavians.
Welcome lagom – something which the press (us included) is baptising as hygge 2.0. Both are words that have no direct English equivalent and, just like the Danish term hygge, lagom was not created just for the purposes of Instagram – it’s translated from Swedish as ‘not too little, not too much, just right’. And, while hygge is described as a sensorial state of bliss that embodies that treat-yo-self feeling it is fleeting compared to lagom, which is more of an overarching way of living.
LAGOM’S: IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE
Thanks to the widespread use of mindfulness techniques – which tell us that searching for a satisfying happy medium is far more rewarding than constantly searching for a high; and that looking outside ourselves for acceptance and happiness is a recipe for disaster – it champions the very notion that we should accept what we have right now, including ourselves, as ‘being enough’. As a personal mantra, lagom is about being fair, frugal and achieving balance. And who doesn’t want work/life balance, a healthy lifestyle and a good dollop of happiness as life themes? No wonder the Swedes look so happy/well-adjusted/ stylish.
The term may have come under fire in its home country for being too prescriptive and shaming any kind of splurge as excessive, but we’re more than happy to capitalise on the term’s positives as a healthy way of being that is, quite simply, about being good to yourself. We say, everything in moderation – including moderation – is lagom enough for us. In the meantime, we have an entirely stylish new term to describe our pre-payday spending habits.
GET THE LAGOM LOOK
What does lagom mean in design terms? Unsurprisingly, this is where Scandi tastemakers excel. Lagom itself is almost a byword for smartly designed pieces, eschewing excess for something beautiful that is also efficient and not too much of a hit on your pocket, or the earth (practically the entire IKEA ethos, really). IKEA nailed it early on, creating a Live Lagom initiative, that teaches customers about being environmentally conscious; other stalwarts include Hay, Skandium and lifestyle brand Skagerak which retails in Maven, Belfast.
Style wise, it’s unfussy and unadorned. Look for wood finishes, muted tones with the odd pop of colour and earthy, terracotta finishes; encourage lots of succulents in your environment and cut down on the clutter.