What is lagom? How to embrace the new hygge in your home_Lifestyle_Asia Pacific Daily

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What is lagom? How to embrace the new hygge in your home

Lifestyle2017-10-13

Swedish for "just the right amount", lagom is all about stripping back to the basics to create a minimalist, frugal home without losing the cosy, homely vibes. London living can sometimes be tough thanks to compact apartments, grey weather and busy lifestyles. But by introducing a few changes to your interior style and home life, it's easy to banish the blues and create a Scandi-style paradise. From stripping carpets to introduce wooden flooring to foraging in the local park for greenery, here are Niki Brantmark's, writer of the award-winning interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, top tips for introducing lagom into city life. Blogger Niki reveals how to transform your London home into a Lagom paradise (Karin Björklund) Lagom in a London home 1. Have a clear-out Swedes have a natural ability to maintain a minimalist, clean home, which is even more important when living in small spaces, as many Londoners do. If you're looking to achieve a simple, balanced way of life, have a good declutter. Work through your belongings and sell anything you don't use or love. By having fewer pieces, you'll not only see their beauty more easily, you'll create more breathing space, feel more organised and even make a little money in the process! 2. Let the light in Living in a country as famous for its midnight sun as it is for its long, dark winters, it's little wonder the Swedes are obsessed with natural light. Even though London is further south, it can get a little dreary in the winter and homes tend to be fairly narrow and rooms small. To add a fresh, uplifting feel, think about painting your walls white or a pale grey and replacing heavy lined curtains with light linens or blinds for an airy feel. 3. Treat your feet Wall-to-wall carpets are still common in the capital. To achieve a truly Swedish, lagom feel, I'm afraid these will need to go. If you're concerned about draughts, disturbing those living under you or losing that toasty feel, you can always layer rugs for good coverage (look out for rag rugs for a truly lagom touch). Do as the Swedes and protect your floors and keep your home clean from dirt by leaving shoes at the door — a basket of slippers will help everyone feel at home. 4. Invest in the best When it comes to furnishing the home, Swedes have an innate ability to strike a perfect balance between decor that is practical, easy on the eye and affordable. The London home is often understated and void of garish details, which is a great start. To up the lagom ante, think about sourcing meaningful items made of high-quality materials that will stand the test of time. It's amazing what you can pick up at charity shops, flea markets, as well as Gumtree and Ebay to truly enforce the maxim that "One man's loss is another man's treasure!" 5. Get crafty The Swedes are a dab hand at upcycling and making things from scratch. Rather than throwing out a "tired" looking table, give it a lick of paint. If you're feeling crafty, knit your own blanket or sew a cushion cover (there are plenty of patterns online). You might even like to enrol in one of the many upholstery courses across London. 6. Get flexible Swedes have a natural flair for combining form and function, and lately this has been taken to a whole other level. Keep an eye out for multi-purpose furniture such as sofas that are modular and convert into a bed, and coffee tables with built-in storage - you'll purchase fewer pieces, create more space and save money. 7. Get cosy Ever wondered how the Swedes keep the minimalist aesthetic from looking stark and uninviting? The secret to balancing the "cleaner" look is to add a variety of natural textures such as wood, glass, clay and wool. Many London abodes can feel a tad chilly in winter, for an extra cosy feel, drape sheepskin over the backs of chairs and keep chunky knit blankets and throws at hand. Forgo lavish bouquets and opt for simple displays made with foliage from your back garden or local park (Niki Brantmark) 8. Go green With acres of unspoiled forests, coastline and mountains on their doorstep, it's common for Swedes to draw nature indoors. Whilst it might feel London exists in an urban sprawl, there are so many green spaces to be enjoyed. Houseplants are known to ease stress, absorb harmful toxins and purify the air. Even if you're not green-fingered, there are plenty of plants that will survive just about anything. 9. Up the nature stakes It's incredible how a simple arrangement of flowers can add an instant autumnal touch to a space. As with all things lagom, less is more. Forgo lavish bouquets and opt for simple displays made with foliage from your back garden or your local park. Think branches, pine cones and acorn cups. 10. Create an atmosphere Visit a Swedish home after sunset and you'll notice it's lit with a lovely warm glow, which is as inviting as it is flattering to the eye and soothing to the soul. To amp up the atmosphere in your home, think about using ambient or mood lighting, dimmer switches and plenty of flickering candles to create a little oasis of calm right there in the city. (HOMES & PROERTY)

Swedish for "just the right amount", lagom is all about stripping back to the basics to create a minimalist, frugal home without losing the cosy, homely vibes.

London living can sometimes be tough thanks to compact apartments, grey weather and busy lifestyles.

But by introducing a few changes to your interior style and home life, it's easy to banish the blues and create a Scandi-style paradise.

From stripping carpets to introduce wooden flooring to foraging in the local park for greenery, here are Niki Brantmark's, writer of the award-winning interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, top tips for introducing lagom into city life.

Blogger Niki reveals how to transform your London home into a Lagom paradise (Karin Björklund)

Blogger Niki reveals how to transform your London home into a Lagom paradise (Karin Björklund)

Lagom in a London home

1. Have a clear-out

Swedes have a natural ability to maintain a minimalist, clean home, which is even more important when living in small spaces, as many Londoners do. If you're looking to achieve a simple, balanced way of life, have a good declutter. Work through your belongings and sell anything you don't use or love. By having fewer pieces, you'll not only see their beauty more easily, you'll create more breathing space, feel more organised and even make a little money in the process!

2. Let the light in

Living in a country as famous for its midnight sun as it is for its long, dark winters, it's little wonder the Swedes are obsessed with natural light. Even though London is further south, it can get a little dreary in the winter and homes tend to be fairly narrow and rooms small. To add a fresh, uplifting feel, think about painting your walls white or a pale grey and replacing heavy lined curtains with light linens or blinds for an airy feel.

3. Treat your feet

Wall-to-wall carpets are still common in the capital. To achieve a truly Swedish, lagom feel, I'm afraid these will need to go. If you're concerned about draughts, disturbing those living under you or losing that toasty feel, you can always layer rugs for good coverage (look out for rag rugs for a truly lagom touch). Do as the Swedes and protect your floors and keep your home clean from dirt by leaving shoes at the door — a basket of slippers will help everyone feel at home.

4. Invest in the best

When it comes to furnishing the home, Swedes have an innate ability to strike a perfect balance between decor that is practical, easy on the eye and affordable. The London home is often understated and void of garish details, which is a great start. To up the lagom ante, think about sourcing meaningful items made of high-quality materials that will stand the test of time. It's amazing what you can pick up at charity shops, flea markets, as well as Gumtree and Ebay to truly enforce the maxim that "One man's loss is another man's treasure!"

5. Get crafty

The Swedes are a dab hand at upcycling and making things from scratch. Rather than throwing out a "tired" looking table, give it a lick of paint. If you're feeling crafty, knit your own blanket or sew a cushion cover (there are plenty of patterns online). You might even like to enrol in one of the many upholstery courses across London.

6. Get flexible

Swedes have a natural flair for combining form and function, and lately this has been taken to a whole other level. Keep an eye out for multi-purpose furniture such as sofas that are modular and convert into a bed, and coffee tables with built-in storage - you'll purchase fewer pieces, create more space and save money.

7. Get cosy

Ever wondered how the Swedes keep the minimalist aesthetic from looking stark and uninviting? The secret to balancing the "cleaner" look is to add a variety of natural textures such as wood, glass, clay and wool. Many London abodes can feel a tad chilly in winter, for an extra cosy feel, drape sheepskin over the backs of chairs and keep chunky knit blankets and throws at hand.

Forgo lavish bouquets and opt for simple displays made with foliage from your back garden or local park (Niki Brantmark)

Forgo lavish bouquets and opt for simple displays made with foliage from your back garden or local park (Niki Brantmark)

8. Go green

With acres of unspoiled forests, coastline and mountains on their doorstep, it's common for Swedes to draw nature indoors. Whilst it might feel London exists in an urban sprawl, there are so many green spaces to be enjoyed. Houseplants are known to ease stress, absorb harmful toxins and purify the air. Even if you're not green-fingered, there are plenty of plants that will survive just about anything.

9. Up the nature stakes

It's incredible how a simple arrangement of flowers can add an instant autumnal touch to a space. As with all things lagom, less is more. Forgo lavish bouquets and opt for simple displays made with foliage from your back garden or your local park. Think branches, pine cones and acorn cups.

10. Create an atmosphere

Visit a Swedish home after sunset and you'll notice it's lit with a lovely warm glow, which is as inviting as it is flattering to the eye and soothing to the soul. To amp up the atmosphere in your home, think about using ambient or mood lighting, dimmer switches and plenty of flickering candles to create a little oasis of calm right there in the city.

(HOMES & PROERTY)

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