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At The Light Yard we strive to help produce amazing home aesthetics, improving both interiors and exteriors with designer and contemporary lighting. We see ourselves, among many other things, as one piece of the puzzle in creating not only a wonderful home but a cosy, healthier way of living. This lifestyle, we believe, starts in the home and one area of the world that seems to share this belief is Scandinavia. Both Scandinavian living and design receive international attention, so we thought we would take a look into what makes this particular area of the world so wonderful and how we can introduce a touch of Scandinavian living into our home and life.
The Scandinavian region in northern Europe is typically characterised by a shared ethnocultural north Germanic heritage among the regions countries. In local usage Scandinavia refers to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden whilst in English usage it sometimes refers to the broader region which also includes Finland, Iceland, (the Faroe Islands and the Aland Islands). This broader region, however, is locally called the Nordic countries.
However regardless of the specific geography or terminology this area of the world is renowned for being world leaders as far as quality of life is concerned. Scandinavian people seem to be much better at achieving a life that is balanced, active, peaceful and it all comes down to their way of living which starts in the home.
Scandinavian design is very much about maximum design from minimum effort and focuses on conscious buying and slow design. No impulses purchases that you have to make work, no quick fixes – just good, well balanced design which comes together over time. That isn’t to say it takes an age to get the perfect room because you don’t need a lot of stuff for things to start taking shape. Though Scandinavian design is about balance meaning there shouldn’t be too little stuff, there also shouldn’t be too much stuff either so no need to spend weeks, months or even years pulling together the right mix of furniture, décor, colours, and textures. (It is also worth pointing out that balance is a relevant term and whilst we might think of it as having the right amount of stuff it almost certainly falls into what many would consider minimalism.)
Nothing is wasted, and everything serves a design purpose, even the storage. Shelves and wardrobes should feel like part of the décor – if they don’t well then what happened to “conscious buying and slow design”? We often buy things for our home putting their practical use and functionality first but Scandinavian design teaches us that being more thoughtful about the aesthetic of these items is crucial – don’t just buy lighting that illuminates the room, buy a pendant light that compliments the rooms colour scheme or a table lamp which works alongside the table it sits on.
Scandinavian design also endorses a monochromatic palette, but grey walls are making a rise in place of the black and white aesthetic you will discover throughout Scandinavian countries. This maintains a monochromatic, neutral tone but in a dialled down variation you may be more comfortable implementing in your home.
One final thing to note about Scandinavian interior design is the love of tech free spaces – rooms where you can switch off in every sense.
The second part of the Scandinavian happiness comes from their lifestyle. The ability to remove themselves from tech to be more present when with people in person, the enjoyment and balance of good food (yes, that includes cake) and healthy eating, and the general sense of togetherness comes from the practice of Hygge. The Danish art of Hygge (which literally translates to the word “fun”) is a concept rooted in the Danish (and Scandinavian) ethos. It is an approach to life that involves enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people and, unsurprisingly, it works. Scandinavian people are not deemed happy and fulfilled by chance. It comes down to the mentality they approach the day with and when everyone around you is approaching life in the same way it is much easier to do so. In fact, straying away from this mentality in Scandinavian countries would likely make you stand out as much as an over joyous person would in a crowd of unhappy, unfulfilled individuals.
Many people, when they first encounter the concept of Hygge will think of it as a spiritual thing or view it as a higher state of mindfulness – that is not the case. In fact, it is not about doing anything we don’t already know. It is living in a way where you appreciate good, calm time with friends and family, or more accurately it is about living in a way that reminds you to appreciate these moments.
How are you going to add a touch of Scandinavian life into your life?