Few will be surprised by the fact that 2018’s most notable interior design trend has its roots in Scandinavia. The region has a reputation for shaping global aesthetic preferences, introducing the world to clutter-free functionality in the mid-20th century, and unabashed cosiness during last year’s hygge trend. But lagom, Scandinavia’s newest offering, is a concept that extends to realms beyond décor.
The word “lagom” is Swedish for “not too much and not too little”. An age-old quest for harmony and balance encapsulated in just two syllables, lagom resonates with us on a primal level. Simply put, it is the art of living with just the right amount of everything. It exists in balancing work with leisure, in being conscious of the ecosystem that supports us, in recognizing that we rarely need more than enough, while also remembering that there are many facets to a well-rounded life. Lagom living spaces echo the same values, paring excessiveness down to the essentials, but retaining enough to strike a balance between comfort and functionality.
Homes designed in the spirit of lagom support focus and relaxation in equal measure, and express their individuality while leaving room for nature to take its course. Minimalism typically serves as a foundation for these spaces. It gives them a clean sense of purpose that can then be layered with elements that soothe, comfort, and rejuvenate. Though there are no prescriptions for lagom interiors, these spaces tend to express themselves through calming neutral palettes, utilitarian lighting, simple furniture that is true to material and function, and soft overlays of colour, texture, and individual stylistic preferences.
In harmony with nature
Sustainability is a core component of the lagom ethos. For a living space to echo lagom values, it needs to be in harmony with the elements. On a functional level, this is achieved by appreciating the value of nature, making conscious choices, and wasting as little as possible. On a visual level, it encourages the use of indoor greenery in conjunction with natural textiles and finishes. Houseplants serve as a dynamic complement to clean geometry and neutral colours, bringing the interior to a reassuring state of balance.
Room for uniqueness
Lagom embraces the varied hues and flavours of life, as long as they exist in the right quantities. In expressing the value of balance and moderation, it also celebrates individual tastes and free will, leaving itself open to interpretation. As such, a living room that showcases vintage accents with contemporary furniture can be just as lagom as a bedroom that layers a minimal layout with richly woven bedding. A monochrome kitchen peppered with houseplants and copper accents can also be as lagom as one that is a case study in subtle colour variations.
When it comes to decorating our homes, nothing feels better than getting the interiors “just right”. There is an intangible but unmistakable sense of delight in deploying a little bit of everything we love to craft living spaces that reflect our personal take on balance. There is something rather poetic in how lagom serenades our innate attraction to balance and harmony – an attraction that is, after all, the reason why design trends change so often.