Lagom är bäst, meaning “just the right amount is best” or “enough is as good as a feast”, is the Swedish proverb behind the latest Scandanavian lifestyle trend that many are calling the new hygge. Last year, it seemed everyone was getting a book about hygge in their Christmas stocking, the Danish trend encouraging the simple pleasures in life and savouring a feeling of cosiness and contentment.
Lagom is slightly different and more all-encompassing in that it’s to do with a way of life. Primarily it’s about enjoying a balanced lifestyle, not about spending a lot of money or being extravagant, but being mindful of the small details and watching your environmental impact, which, in time, make a big difference. It’s finding that what’s sustainable and best for the planet is often best for you, as well as being good for the budget too! Here are a few takeaways and tips on how you can bring lagom into your home in 2018.
Make the effort to switch to LED lightbulbs in all light fittings – they last for much longer than traditional bulbs and use up to 85% less energy. Turning off lights and appliances at the plug when not in use is another simple energy saving tip, as is using a smart energy meter to monitor your energy use, helping you become more informed on ways to cut consumption further. Chose energy efficient appliances when it comes to replacing things like kettles, fridges and ovens and taking small steps to replace normal batteries to rechargeable ones can prevent landfill waste and save money too. Use less water by aiming for shorter showers as a household (shower timers are a great idea!), turning off taps when brushing teeth and filling washing machines to full capacity, always washing at 30 degrees. Air dry clothes where possible and give the tumble dryer a miss. Make the energy you do use work the most for you, especially when it comes to heating and making sure your home is as draught proof as possible.
Organisation & functionality
Kitchens can be a room in the house that attract chaos. Take a few lagom tips on-board to help keep these spaces working well, for example organising fridges and food cupboards to prevent food waste and from buying unnecessary items. Stock your kitchen with bulk-buy, unpacked and local produce where possible too – and make good use of your freezer, batch cooking and freezing leftovers for lunches through the week. Though it’s hard to achieve a completely zero waste lifestyle, aim for as little waste as possible, reusing and recycling as standard. There are a variety of recycling organisers on the market now keeping your recycling well organised, sealed and contained before being sorted out. Outwith the kitchen, furniture should help keep homes organised and be stylish but not overly fussy.
Grow your own
Growing your own produce, herbs and plants is also very in keeping with the lagom ethos – being both sustainable, cheap and keeping us connected to nature too. If you have the outdoor space, go to town, growing in pots, planters, raised beds and veg plots. Indoors, windowsills can host a variety of herbs, smaller veg and leaves all year round if well looked after. Hydroponic grow kits are also becoming a popular way to grow your own indoors, requiring no soil but growing produce in water supplied with minerals. Not only growing to eat, but incorporating lots of lovely foliage and plants throughout your home is great for air quality and enhancing a sense of natural wellbeing and balance.
Simple, sustainable decor
Again, keeping décor functional, simple and decluttered, with plenty of natural elements, is the key to striking the lagom balance. Opting for sustainable furniture options, including materials like acacia wood and bamboo, as well as buying secondhand, are good tips if investing in bigger pieces this year. Upcycling and repurposing older bits of furniture and transforming into new pieces with a different function, saves both landfill and money, with just a little time and creativity needed instead. The key is being able to see the beauty in an old or damaged piece of furniture and giving it a bit of time and TLC, resisting the convenience of just chucking it out.
Make good on those New Year resolutions, bringing these lagom lifestyle tips into action for a happier, balanced and sustainable home in 2018!