As a society we love trends, so you’ve probably heard the buzz words hygge and lagom floating around, but what do these words mean? Lagom was toted as the new hygge this year, however both words have very different meanings.
Hygge, a Danish concept, (pronounced hoo-guh) was first on the Pinterest scene and loosely translated, it means coziness. Picture fleece throws or knit blankets tossed about, candle light, a stack of your favorite novels by an open fireplace, wooden trays with mugs of hot cocoa, etc. Winter is a perfect time to introduce a little bit of hygge to your apartment, because as the weather gets cooler, we naturally want to cozy up at home. Neutral colors and natural textures play a big role in creating hygge because they are calming and create a sense of peace to be around. Think of soft linen, different types of wood, stone or ceramic accents, and a neutral color pallet of whites, greys and earthy colors.
Hygge is also a feeling that we have all felt before but didn’t really have a name for. Its that feeling of complete comfort and contentment when you’re relaxing with loved ones. Its being unplugged, like sitting around a campfire, or board game and feeling completely happy and together. When I think of hygge, I instantly think of my grandparent’s old log cabin in the woods, and the many nights we spend eating and laughing around the table, or cozied up on the couch with the wood stove going. You can create hygge in your own space by surrounding yourself with items that make you feel calm, cozy and content.
Lagom is a Swedish twist on minimalism that means “just enough; not too little or too much.” Lagom is quality over quantity, which is a concept I’ve been trying to introduce into my own home for the past couple of years. Think of sustainable, high quality products that will last you a long time and also reduce your carbon footprint. Instead of purchasing cheap plastic items that will break over time, someone practicing lagom might prefer to buy something handmade by a local artisan. We’ve had several items in our home handmade in the last few years, including our kitchen table, a train table for our son, a toy box, etc. I love buying high quality items made locally because I know exactly where the materials are coming from and who my purchase is benefiting. A “lagom home” may have a lot of white or neutral colors, no clutter, no excess unused items, and simple yet stylish and functional furniture.
Someone practicing lagom wouldn’t have a shower full of 8 different shampoos and conditioners, or kitchen cupboards full of dozens of mismatched plastic dishes, because they only keep in their homes what they use and need. Lagom as a lifestyle would include getting enough sleep, not spending too much time on your smart phone every day, eating healthy and getting regular exercise, because its all about balance and giving yourself what you need.
Lagom is more of a lifestyle choice, and hygge is a feeling you create. Both concepts can be captured in your own lives by making some small changes. You can create the feeling of hygge by adding more blankets and throw pillows to your couch and bed, setting out a basket full of your favorite books, hosting regular game nights, lighting candles often, indulging in your favorite comfort food, pulling on some new cozy socks, etc. Lagom may be achieved by decluttering and donating items you don’t absolutely want or need, buying sustainable eco-friendly products, deleting old emails and apps from your phone that you don’t need, buying quality over quantity, and adapting a cleaner more minimalistic aesthetic with your decor.
Comment below and tell me if you follow either of these concepts in your own life!