Create more balance in your daily routine with these tips for embracing a Scandinavian lifestyle. From interiors to food, it couldn’t be easier.
Quality over quantity
When it comes to interior design, the emphasis is very much on the quality of products, not the quantity. The Scandinavian concept of lagom isn’t about spending a lot of money on household items, but rather investing in high-quality, sustainable pieces, which promise long-term comfort and reliability. Introduce durable, natural materials into your home such as an acacia wood table or a bamboo rocking chair in place of man-made plastics or fibreboard. You can complement these with minimalist and inexpensive ‘extras’ to give your rooms more flair. This will save time and money in the long run, as you won’t have to make countless trips to replace poor quality items. It’s all about up-cycling too and the Swedish government are now actually paying people to fix their belongings instead of throwing them away. So, don’t splash the cash on fairy lights, candles or luxurious extras, just take pleasure in the simple, everyday things, which make you happy and will see you through the tests of time.
Try the cuisine
Although often described as simple and the ingredients fairly basic, Scandinavian food offers recipes and dishes that are influenced by Viking and Nordic traditions and perfected over thousands of years. Known locally as husmanskost (farmer’s fare), dishes are made with a wide variety of food from land and sea. Beetroot, potatoes, cucumbers and apples are plentiful paired with a wide variety of seafood, pork, poultry and beef. Scandinavian cuisine is becoming fairly prevalent on London’s food scene but nowhere does it like Notting Hill’s Lisa’s Kitchen and Bar. On offer here is home-style Scandinavian cuisine and aquavit cocktails in a chic all-white setting. On the menu you’ll find an absolute classic: toast skagen. Here they share the recipe so that you can embrace a Scandinavian lifestyle at home.
- (4 servings)
- 4 slices of white bread
- 320 g (11 oz) peeled prawns (shrimps)
- 4 tbs mayonnaise
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 150 g (5 oz) whitefish roe
- 50 g (2 oz) fresh dill
- 1 lemon
- Cut the crusts off the bread slices and sauté each slice in a little butter until they are golden brown on both sides. Place on paper towels.
- If the prawns are large, cut them into smaller pieces.
- Save four sprigs of dill for garnishes. Finely chop the rest of the dill and mix with the prawns, mayonnaise and mustard.
- Apportion the mixture on the slices of sautéd bread.
- Shape the whitefish roe like eggs and place on top of each toast. Garnish each with a sprig of dill and serve with a slice of lemon.
Let the outside in
The cosy concept of hygge truly comes alive in winter, born out of the desire to shut ourselves away from the cold winds and dark nights. In contrast, lagom encourages us to let the outside in and celebrate nature all year round. Greenery can be used as both decoration to boost mood and as a practical resource. Lots of herbs, fruits and vegetables – such as kaffir limes, mandarin oranges, pomegranates, dill and avocados – can be grown indoors in pots or window boxes, adding a natural palette of fresh citrusy tones to your interiors and providing organic home-grown produce.
In keeping with lagom’s ‘not too much, not too little’ approach, you can edit your room’s palette to include just a few key colours. Families of neutrals work harmoniously together and are wonderful for creating simple, yet timeless schemes. Draw on the raw beauty of unfinished surfaces like stone and wood – this look is about making natural materials the star of the show. It also promises longevity as its timeless nature means only small changes need to be made over the years to update your interiors to include elements of more fleeting design trends.
Declutter your home and mind
The majority of us struggle with having too many household items. Scandinavian lifestyle trends advocate a balance between owning things you need and not letting the clutter take over. Begin by thinking carefully about what is actually necessary to keep…but, of course, recycle the things you don’t. Invest in clever storage solutions like under-bed boxes, add ceiling-height cabinets with a sliding ladder, or stack vintage suitcases to make a bedside table. Decluttering will bring organisation to your home and mind, helping you to de-stress and create a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere.
Scandinavian lifestyle trends tend to encourage us to be more responsible and to think outside ourselves. Being more conscious about the resources you use in your home will improve efficiency, reduce bills and help support the environment. Simple things like turning the tap off when you brush your teeth, switching to LED light bulbs or adding thermostatic valves to your radiators can make a big difference.