US Paralympians to be paid the same as Olympians for the first time ever
US Paralympians to be paid the same as Olympians for the first time ever

Sarah Finnan

‘Stop treating my child’s Down Syndrome as a tragedy’ – One mother’s story
‘Stop treating my child’s Down Syndrome as a tragedy’ – One mother’s story

Amanda Cassidy

What to eat this week: Kerala vegan cauliflower curry
What to eat this week: Kerala vegan cauliflower curry

Meg Walker

5 things to consider before setting up your own business
5 things to consider before setting up your own business

Grace McGettigan

Tom Daley knit his gold medal an Olympic cosy and it’s the most wholesome thing you’ll see all day
Tom Daley knit his gold medal an Olympic cosy and it’s the most wholesome thing...

Sarah Finnan

Only four women have ever won Olympic medals for Ireland, but four more joined the list last night
Only four women have ever won Olympic medals for Ireland, but four more joined the...

Lauren Heskin

6 brilliant Netflix picks that you NEED to binge-watch in August
6 brilliant Netflix picks that you NEED to binge-watch in August

Jennifer McShane

The best affordable bridal outfits for your big day
The best affordable bridal outfits for your big day

Sarah Finnan

‘I was still doing it for other people’: Simone Biles put her mental health first – and it should be applauded
‘I was still doing it for other people’: Simone Biles put her mental health first...

Jennifer McShane

Will filter free images be a legacy of the pandemic?
Will filter free images be a legacy of the pandemic?

Rose Mary Roche

Image / Editorial

“Lagom”: How to Live Like A Swede


by IMAGE Interiors & Living
25th Nov 2017

So we’ve all heard of the Danish word “hygge”, which has been peppering every article about getting cosy for the last two winters. The Oxford English dictionary defines hygge as “A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”. But there’s a sense that its meaning is difficult to pin down, which has resulted in it being used to describe just about every soft textile or intimate, candle-lit gathering.

 

This winter however, is all about the Swedish version, “lagom”, a word whose meaning is similarly abstract, but more elegant and symmetrical. It can be used as an adverb or an adjective, and its root word means “balance” or “equilibrium”. Pronounced “laaaw-ghom”, Lola A. Åkerström, author of the book Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well, defines the word as “something that is as close to contextual perfection or satisfaction as we can get.” But it’s not about striving for perfection per se, but rather finding perfection in the the balance of ordinary life.

So that sounds dreamy but what does that mean in terms of design and decor? Åkerström narrows the understanding of lagom in the home to two types of objects: the practical and the emotional. Combining these two things, and removing items that don’t fit into either category, will help to create a lagom ambience. “The foundation of neutrality helps put your emotional pieces and keepsakes in the spotlight within your home,” explains Åkerström.

It’s about picking pieces that are either beautifully designed or have some kind of sentimental value, which will ensure your home is a calm, uncluttered and welcoming space. It follows the simple idea that if something is beautifully made with function in mind, form will inevitably follow.

Here are Åkerström’s tips to choosing lagom furniture:

  • There are three tenets that lie behind quintessential Swedish design: function, quality and looks.
  • For a piece of furniture or item to be practical, it has to be simple and very easy to use.
  • For us to constantly use it to meet our needs, it needs to be made of high-quality, durable materials that last a long time.
  • Because it is designed to last a long time, it is something we will look upon it time and time again so it has to be aesthetically pleasing.
  • But remember functionality rules, no matter how aesthetically unusual a piece may be.

Good pillars to follow for a clean-out come January and perhaps wise words as we all feel the pull of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


Lola A. Åkerström’s book Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well is available in all good bookstores including Eason for €14.

SaveSave

Also Read

RELATIONSHIPS
The psychology of nostalgia and why we can’t get enough of it at the moment

There’s a reason we love being reminded of things that happened in our past. Amanda Cassidy explores why our trips...

By Amanda Cassidy

alternative asthma treatments
EDITORIAL
Three alternative asthma treatments to try this hayfever season

Approximately 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hayfever, which can make summer days a nightmare. These three alternative...

By Grace McGettigan

Britta Baranowsky The Flowerfield
EDITORIAL
Happy World Bee Day: These are the best bee-friendly flowers to plant right now

Attracting bees to your outdoor patch is a cinch, with a little forward-planning. We speak to two flower growers in...

By Amanda Kavanagh

AGENDA, EDITORIAL
TV presenter Kate Garraway says husband Derek is still “devastated by Covid”

Kate Garraway’s devastating Covid story is a reminder of why we must keep each other in mind as an invisible...

By Jennifer McShane

Full House, onscreen father Danny Tanner
EDITORIAL
We’re remembering our favourite onscreen dads for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner (this Sunday 20h June, so yes, you do have time to buy yours...

By Grace McGettigan

Sleep cycle during Covid-19
EDITORIAL
How to get your sleep schedule back on track during lockdown, according to a sleep technologist

Many of us are struggling to maintain a healthy sleep cycle during Covid-19, explains sleep technologist Breege Leddy. But there are...

By Katie Byrne

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis