What is hygge?
Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, hygge is a Danish term that roughly translates as cosiness. According to Home Beautiful, “it’s the recognition and treasuring of the simple moments in life, enjoying togetherness with the people who matter”.
In interior design, you can achieve the look by surrounding yourself with soft fabrics, natural materials and handcrafted objects.
What is lagom?
Lagom is a Swedish word that’s means just enough. It reflects the moderation that defines the Scandinavian aesthetic: not too much, not too little: just right.
In interior design, it means eschewing clutter for clean lines, functional décor and a neutral colour palette.
“Having a home with as much natural light as possible was imperative,” said Elisabeth Carlsson, author of The Lagom Life.
Love the Scandinavian look? Here’s how to get it
“Start with simple and sturdy furniture pieces, as these will stand the test of time in terms of wear and tear and style,” Danni Tan of Scandi store The Design Edit told Home Beautiful. Typically, you'll find Scandi homes tend to feature a mixture of investment pieces and more budget-friendly options; it's all about timelessness and thoughtful purchasing.
“Sometimes we are tempted to jump straight to a statement piece because it catches our eye, but my advice is to start off with a few large pieces in simple designs to give your styling more versatility.”
Think natural fabrics with loose-weave textures such as linen, jute, rattan and cotton; tactility is incredibly important when it comes to this design style, and it certainly doesn't have to be refined.
“Scandi style can [also] be heavy on furs and chunky woven textures,” stylist Sarah Ellison told Home Beautiful.
Modernist Scandinavian designs favoured timbers in teak, rosewood, birch and ash, but birch, maple, light oak and pine are popular today.
Scandinavian homes are designed so that they allow as much natural light into the space as possible, taking advantage of limited daylight hours. Neutral and calm colours dominate the colour palette in an effort to get back to basics.
According to Dulux colour expert Andrea Lucena-Orr, “think clean hues: soft whites, neutral pinks, soft amber, darker blue (almost charcoal), soft icy blues, dark greens, pale putty and moss colours”.
While it's true that neutrals form the base of this interior style, its many offshoots mean that you do have versatility when it comes to adding colours.
Get the look on a budget
It’s easy to decorate your home in Scandinavian style. Make a beeline for stores like Kmart and Ikea for affordable furnishings with clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. For an authentic look, add some vintage pieces to the mix. Scour sites like eBay and Gumtree for second-hand mid-century modern pieces, like chairs and coffee tables. Look for lamps and pendants that diffuse light for a soft look – or use candles instead.
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