Leave it to the Scandinavians to find words for things that we never thought could be expressed in words. Today we are going to look closely at three such words to see how they are able to embody design concepts and ways of living.
Lagom (law-gum), Swedish
It refers to balance, something that is done in moderation, or just the right amount of anything. Loosely translated, it means “not too much and not too little; just enough”. It’s all about finding the balance that is right for you.
Lagom can be seen in minimalist home design, keeping and owning only the essentials. It could also mean spending less time on social media to connect with loved ones at home, or to spend time doing a hobby.
Hygge (hew-gah), Danish
This word has to do with creating a cozy and comfortable space or situation that allows one to feel content. The idea is apt for the current situation where stress and uncertainty prevail. People can turn to hygge to find contentment and peace.
This could mean rearranging and designing the house with throws and fluffy pillows, rugs and candles. You could set up a tea corner or a cozy breakfast nook where the early morning sun can shine.
Friluftsliv (free-loofts-liv), Norwegian
This word can be translated as “free-air life”, it refers to a philosophy that embraces or emphasizes a life that is mostly lived outdoors. Returning to nature, the Norwegians believe, is like coming home.
While the movement is still limited for most people at this time, we can “come home to nature” by bringing plants inside the house, spending time in the garden, planting our own food, or walking barefoot on the ground.
Put a little bit of lagom, hygge, and friluftsliv into your life and your living space. Here’s proof that words can, indeed, inspire a new way of living and becoming.