Dubbed as the ‘new hygge‘ (the Danish concept of coziness), lagom has quickly become a favorite concept that more and more people are diving into.
Lagom (pronounced “lah-gum“) is a Swedish word that can be loosely be translated as “not too much and not too little”. This concept is about finding balance that works for you. That contented and satisfying feeling you get when you see or feel something that is ‘just right’. Lagom can be applied in every aspect of your life – career, home interiors, and even relationships. Done in moderation and without pressure to have and be everything, all at once.
Don’t mistake this for minimalism though. Lagom’s concept of ‘perfect balance’ is about living a simple life with just enough to achieve everyday bliss and contentment.
Now, how to bring Lagom into your home?
When it comes to designing your home, don’t think in the extremes. Rather, find the middle ground and appreciate the items you value without letting them restrict or complicate your life. A lagom home is one that has just enough of what you love to spark joy and invite calm.
Photo source: Apartments & Developments
This new trending lifestyle seeks to find equilibrium in a space. Each piece is meant to emphasize minimalism, functionality, and the use of sustainable materials. Furniture and decor are carefully curated and given their own space to shine and tell a story. Ultimately, lagom can help turn your home into your personal sanctuary where you feel at ease.
Throughout, think of these two overarching lagom themes when designing your home.
1. Lagom and sustainability are soulmates. The concept goes for pieces that can stand the test of time. Instead of buying disposable furniture, look for those with high quality materials that blend well with your space to avoid changing up your decor every time a new trend comes up.
2. Learn to live with less things. In the spirit of contentment and prioritizing a sense of balance, reflect those values in your space by taking pleasure in small things like fresh cut flowers, scented candles, and old photographs. Doing so can make your space more personal and homey.
Photo source: Whitney Parkinson Design
Now, here are 10 really doable ways to transform your space (and life) with the concept of Lagom:
1. Cut back to relax
The first step to achieve a lagom home and lifestyle is to keep things simple by decluttering. Let go of what you do not need to make space for what you truly love. Not purging, but simply choosing to be intentional with what takes up your mental and physical space.
Whenever this approach is mentioned, it can be quite stressful for many. Instead, begin by having a picture in your mind of a relaxing, comfortable home that allows you to breathe. Once you have that, paring down your possessions and letting go of those that complicate your space becomes easier.
Another way is to try Niki Brandmark‘s “one in, one out” rule wherein, for every item you buy, you also need to get rid of something else. Sounds doable, doesn’t it? Take this as a sign to finally donate your old clothes in that corner of your closet, or set aside knicknacks from the top drawer. This practical task can help you to declutter on the daily basis and have a more manageable home.
Photo source: Tylko Journal
You can also check out our room-by-room decluttering guide to achieve a clean space. You’ll find that getting rid of things that don’t serve a purpose can make a real difference to the enjoyment of your space.
2. Create a capsule wardrobe
In line with keeping things simple and manageable, consider shifting to a capsule wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few versatile pieces that can be put together in multiple ways. While you don’t have to be strict with how many you keep, it would be good to narrow down your clothes and choose what is essential to you. Doing this can also help you determine what items you don’t need, don’t look great in, and most importantly, don’t feel good in.
Having a curated set of clothes cultivates contentment with what you have. At the same time, it makes you appreciate your clothes and feel more grateful for them. As these are your chosen pieces, you’ll slowly feel the value they provide.
Photo source: Unsplash | James Hollingworth
With only select pieces, you will also get to flex your creativity as you mix-and-match your clothes to create new different looks. Plus, it can reduce negative feelings and guilt attached to spending too much on clothes or buying things you aren’t happy with or rarely wear.
So, make this your very own dream wardrobe, filled with everything you feel comfortable wearing. With this set up, you won’t be scrambling in the morning, trying to find the perfect outfit. From now on, it’ll be hassle-free finding what you need, when you need it. Try this and you might surprise yourself by saving time, energy, and money.
3. Lagom minimalism adopts a neutral palette
To create balance and harmony at home, establish a neutral foundation with cream or gray colors. These two shades do not only create a bigger perception of space but they also brighten any room so that other items can stand out.
Photo source: Unsplash | Deconovo
If you are building off a cream color palette then you’ll want to create texture with some throws, rugs, and other textiles. Mixing the same color with different textures is a sure way to create visual and tactile interest without adding chaos. If you are going for gray, then try incorporating a gray slate tile or gray stone into your design. This way, you create complementing hues and textures that do not try to overpower each other.
If you’d prefer more color for your backdrop, you can also opt for complimentary colors like beiges, light blues or faded pastels for a look that’s simple, yet elegant.
4. A well-balanced room in feel and color
Decorative elements like earthenware, wool, and even your light fixtures, are beautiful ways to add texture, warmth, and contrast to your space. You can do this by sticking to a light-toned background to help bring more attention to the beauty of warmer, individual pieces in a well-balanced room.
Big or small, remember to choose decor that keeps to this color palette.
When designing any space, make sure that you have a focal point to help balance the different elements in your room. Take this living room for example, the focal point is the coffee table and the symmetrical seating is positioned around it.
Photo source: So Cosy
While you’re at this, introduce a medley of earth tones to cozy up your space so it doesn’t feel too boring or clinical. Make use of natural timbers, leather, textured throws, and weaved rugs for its subtle color and homey vibe. This will make your home feel more harmonious and comfortable.
5. Focus on practicality and functionality
On top of sustainability, Lagom is all about curating pieces that are practical and functional. It’s about doing more with less. Go for multi-purpose pieces like ottomans or benches that provide a secret storage space beneath the lid and a comfortable place to sit. In line with this, make use of your vertical space through floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to optimize storage in small homes.
Check out the home in the image below – the built-in seating area consists of a large storage space. The windows are also optimized to welcome nature in, while the transparent sliding doors expand the perception of space.
Photo source: Yanko Design
At the same time, choose furniture that works with your lifestyle and will help you embrace your own way of living. Instead of impulse buying every time a sale drops, consider the long term by investing in quality pieces that can help simplify your space.
6. Lagom furniture style encourages your room to flow
Don’t have too many pieces of furniture in a single room. Instead, make sure that each piece of your furniture has enough space to breathe. By setting them apart from one another, you can better appreciate each piece’s unique charm and purpose.
When decorating your living room, arrange your sofas and tables in a way that won’t cut the flow of traffic, making it tricky for people to navigate around the room. Likewise, don’t block the pathway from your kitchen to your dining room with awkwardly placed chairs so you won’t have to skirt around while bringing food in.
Photo source: Lindye Galloway
At the same time, be intentional with where to place various furniture pieces, such as putting a desk near a window to make the most of the natural light for your breakfast nook or reading corner.
Flow comes down to functionality as well. Furniture and decor that work to carry out the intention of the room is one way to go about it. For instance, when designing your bedroom, you’d want to maintain a cozy atmosphere by adding soft blankets and ambient lighting. If you can, keep your home gym equipment and electronics out to shield your space from their active energy as you rest.
7. Tap into your inner carpenter
New isn’t always considered better. Rather, lagom belongs to the camp of getting it done yourself. In her book, Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much, author Niki Brantmark says, “DIY is part of the lagom way of life”. With this, grab your toolbox and turn your design ideas into reality.
Instead of buying that plant stand you’ve always wanted. How about trying your hand at building it yourself? These creative tasks are great for beautifying your home on a budget. Studies have also shown that giving yourself a creative outlet to be crafty can be therapeutic and incredibly satisfying. So, extend this by turning your old things into something new.
Photo source: Unsplash | Nirzar Pangarkar
Try your hand in upcycling to turn your existing possessions into something elegant and useful. Find inventive ways to make the most of what you have. Use old coffee cans as herb planters or old corks and fashion them in any shape that you want to create your very own wall art. To maintain a minimalist interior, repaint old furniture with neutral colors to keep to that clean and refined look.
Lagom also emphasizes mixing comfortable contemporary pieces with ergonomic vintage ones. This means slowing down the search for the new and shiny thing that would perfectly fit your space. Look for vintage furniture, antiques, and thrifted finds instead.
Take this bench made from reclaimed wood. This unique and imperfect piece feels right at home in a modern space. It gives it that lived-in quality and wonderful simplicity you are looking for.
Photo source: Kave Home
8. Be creative with how you bring nature in
Though lagom leans more into minimalism, it doesn’t mean that it’s cold and uninviting. Instead, it’s about creating a space that you’d be comfortable in.
Hang paintings of the forest or beach to get good vibes at home. Do the same with your travel photos that bring a lot of happy memories to light.
For a creative project, you can also make your own pressed flower or plant frame. Try this out by pressing these with two transparent glasses and frame them for display. Use the same technique to personalize your favorite photos. Just remember to decorate your space with moderation so as not to invite clutter into your home.
Photo source: Pinterest | MyBotanicaStore (Left) and Hunker (Right)
Add more touches of nature by having pretty houseplants to line your windowsill or brighten up dark corners to uplift your space. If your home doesn’t get enough sun then opt for indoor plants that require less upkeep such as the ZZ plants and Chinese evergreen.
Additionally, incorporate wood, leather, wool, cotton and stone into your home to welcome elements of nature. These natural materials add warmth and coziness within your space.
9. Lagom welcomes sunshine
You might have guessed this based on the previous points. Lagom decor focuses on maximizing natural light within the space.
To achieve this, use window treatments, unobstructed glass, and billowy curtains. Floor-to-ceiling or wide windows allow ample light to pass through. Lightweight and billowy curtains can also welcome more sunshine in a less intrusive way, making it perfect for spaces like bedrooms and living rooms that could benefit from a warm and ambient glow.
Photo source: Pexels | Glauber Sampaio
If you’re looking for an option that can give you more privacy, go for dual sheer shades which blend solid weave fabric with sheer fabric. Natural light enters the room when the sheer strips overlap, and sunlight is blocked out when the solid strips overlap. These shades are also streamlined, structured, and have clean visuals that would fit any home.
10. Soothe your soul with candles
Since this is all about getting that perfect balance of comfortable and relaxing, turn the lights down low and have the warm glow of a candle illuminate your space. They enhance the mood of your room, and add warmth and a feeling of security.
Admittedly, candles have come a long way from being used as just a simple light source. Now, they are a welcome addition to any lagom space for its pleasant scent and simple aesthetic. Since there are also a lot of options when it comes to the shape, color, and scent of candles, you can choose one that would suit your personal taste.
Fill your home with candles in places where you need some light. Place one in the bathroom to allow a calming scent and a spa-like feeling. Placing one on your bedside table can also create a tranquil space for you to wind down at the end of the day. Balance the space and avoid clumping too much together or cluttering up your shelf with too many candles.
Photo source: Unsplash | Georgia de Lotz