SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 152
LESS IS MORE
ast year, homemaking was all
over the cosy Danish trend of
'hygge' - lots of furry throws
and cuddly knits, comforting
candlelight and mugs of hot
chocolate by an open ﬁre. And while
there's still call for a bit of hygge on a
cold night, 2017 sees the rise of a new
Scandinavian buzzword. It's time for
the Swedish lifestyle concept of 'lagom'.
Lagom (pronounced 'lar-gom')
translates loosely as 'not too little,
not too much - just right', and it's all
about living in balance. It incorporates
ideas of being frugal and consuming in
moderation - but having enough
to live happily and comfortably. It
focuses on work/life balance (and who
doesn't need a bit more of that?) with
more pleasure and less stress. And it
values sustainable living for a better
world for everyone.
This year, lagom is going to be
everywhere. IKEA is blazing a trail
152 | MAY 2017
with its Live Lagom project, in
partnership with the University of
Surrey, to help people create a
more sustainable life by reducing
waste, saving water and energy, and
living more simply and healthily.
Joanna Yarrow, IKEA's head of
sustainability in the UK and Ireland,
explains: 'The art is to ﬁnd a balance
to enable you to live what the Swedish
call "lagom" - not taking too much,
but not denying yourself either.'
Other companies have jumped on
the lagom bandwagon by suggesting
balance-restoring products and travel
destinations, while lifestyle bloggers
such as Anna Lysik are writing about
how to get more lagom in your life.
The co-editor of Lagom magazine
Elliot Stocks says: 'Hygge captures
a moment in time, whether that is
a short break in the day or something
you try to work into your life every
day. Lagom is an overarching concept
behind your life in general. Rather
than ﬁtting a bit of lagom into your
day, it's about your approach to
your life as a whole.'
WHERE DOES IT
Lagom is a philosophy that ﬁts well
with the Swedish belief in equality,
moderation and fairness. It's believed
to date from the Viking era (around
the ninth century) when people
would sit by a campﬁre and pass
around a horn ﬁlled with honey wine.
Each person took only a small sip,
so everyone got their fair share. And
that pragmatic mindset that 'enough
is as good as a feast' still persists in
In contrast to the 'more is better'
driving force of the consumer-led,
WORDS: CATHERINE FRANCIS, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES
STEP ASIDE 'HYGGE' - 2017 IS ALL ABOUT
THE SWEDISH CONCEPT OF 'LAGOM'
FOR A HAPPIER, MORE BALANCED LIFE