Is ‘Lagom’ the new Hygge? According to the magazine Country & Town House, “since Vogue touted lagom as ‘the new hygge’ last year, (the Danish concept of ‘cosiness’), the word has been popping up everywhere, from lifestyle blogs to new season interiors collections. But has ‘lagom’ really overtaken hygge as the biggest lifestyle trend for this time of year? “.
So, the meaning of ‘lagom’ is ‘Not too much, not too little. Lagom’ but the Swedish translation of lagom is “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right.”
Hygge is all about cosiness and being with friends and family whereas lagom is all about moderation so it’s not exactly the same. Pinterest searches for ‘lagom’ went up by 53% in the first three months of last year, and searches for ‘lagom design’ had risen by 68% in the six months previous. Ikea also launched its ‘Live Lagom’ project last year, to help its customers live a ‘more sustainable, healthy and cost-concision life’, with a Lagom Collection.
How does Lagom translate to the home?
Catharina Bjorkman, Marketing and Style Director at Contura (a Swedish wood burning stove manufacturer), says: ‘As well as being applicable to work-life balance and frugality, lagom defines a sustainable way of living, which translates aptly into the context of homes and interiors.
‘Upcycling, recycling and using sustainable materials where possible is the way to enjoy the home comforts you love, without taking too much from the planet.’
‘Wood burning stoves are central to those looking to style their home around the lagom ethic, since wood is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels. It is a sustainable, renewable energy source, virtually carbon neutral and is also very cost efficient.’
But Scandinavian lagom converts insist this isn’t a trend. (And it isn’t the new hygge, either.)
It will be interesting to see which becomes the most popular over the next twelve months.
A brilliant book Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne –
Step aside Hygge. Lagom is the new Scandi lifestyle trend taking the world by storm. This delightfully illustrated book gives you the lowdown on this transformative approach to life and examines how the lagom ethos has helped boost Sweden to the No.10 ranking in 2017’s World Happiness Report.
Lagom (pronounced ‘lah-gom’) has no equivalent in the English language but is loosely translated as ‘not too little, not too much, just right’. It is widely believed that the word comes from the Viking term ‘laget om’, for when a mug of mead was passed around a circle and there was just enough for everyone to get a sip. But while the anecdote may hit the nail on the head, the true etymology of the word points to an old form of the word ‘lag’, which means ‘law’.
Far from restrictive, lagom is a liberating concept, praising the idea that anything more than ‘just enough’ is a waste of time. Crucially it also comes with a selflessness and core belief of responsibility and common good.
By living lagom you can:
- Live a happier and more balanced life
- Reduce your environmental impact
- Improve your work-life balance
- Free your home from clutter
- Enjoy good food the Swedish way
- Grow your own and learn to forage
- Cherish the relationships with those you love