4 Lessons on Nordic Living (2017)

It’s become a trend now for us all to be inspired by the Nordic lifestyle, and to be fair… why shouldn’t we be? The winters are cold and harsh with limited daylight hours and if anyone out there should have the right to re-create their life to spark joy in all that they do – it is the people of these northern European countries. They have mastered the art of living to an extent that some of us are even contemplating moving up there just to live like them. Minimalism, organized simplicity, and cosy living…isn’t that what we all want?

Let’s start with a little trivia lesson. The confusion is always there with understanding what the Nordic states are. What is the difference between Nordic and Scandinavian countries? This – Nordic countries are represented by Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Finland. Scandinavia, on the other hand, does not include Finland and Iceland and that’s as far as this lesson will go…but totally check out Santiago at ‘Big in Finland’‘s article to understand the history here.

I have come across so many articles on Nordic living and home interior inspiration over the last few months than I have ever seen throughout the past 28 years of my life. My dream home now looks like something you would see in a Scandinavian magazine. I can say that I have now learned 4 important lessons from the Nordic lifestyle and I’m going to share them here today.

1. Minimalist Living

Sustainable, simple, clean and chic. If you ever search for Nordic home inspiration, you will see tons of photos of white interiors, wooden rustic details and insane amounts of empty spaces. This, is minimalism. Everything is neatly placed, functional yet tasteful pieces with zero clutter. Gives this feeling of simple cottage or farm life of the past that’s been modified to this century.


Inside a Scandinavian bedroom. Source: HouseBeautiful


Nordic Living Room. Source: Nordic Design


This doesn’t just apply to interiors and spaces, minimalism integrates itself in to their style and fashion. Clean, simple, unique quality pieces. Excellent craftsmanship and practicality. They somehow manage to make a simple basic outfit look so chic and elegant. Nothing seems to be over-done and over-the-top.


Source: Ulrrike Lund


2. Mixing Nature and Originality

The neat thing about the lifestyle is that it seems to be adapted to the landscapes and nature of these northern countries. Crystal white winters, shrubs and bark. It is a distinct Nordic style…now that it’s become mainstream, you can easily tell when something is inspired by a Scandinavian concept. It’s genius how they take something so traditional and normal and turn in to into this new querky, artsy thing. There’s a lot of originality that goes in to Nordic styles…for instance each one of these photos has bits and pieces of nature in them, yet each piece is unique and original in itself. Although styling is simple, the art is quirky and warm.


Unique Rustic Scandinavian decor. Source: My Scandinavian Home


Industrial interior. Source: My Scandinavian Home


Lifestyle inspired by nature. Source: The Future Kept

3. Hygge

It’s kind of funny that this term has become so popular this year, yet the phenomenon itself has been going on for ages. With no name attached. The act of manipulating a simple every-day task to make it feel extra special is actually an in itself. Creating moods, mixing warm cozy vibes in to a fast paced life and going out of your way to make the most mundane of things feel ‘glamorous’. That is Hygge living. Books have been written about this and I highly suggest checking some of them out, or alternatively, you could also read a quick summary about what it’s like to ‘hygge’ your life up HERE. Found a great article by Harper’s Bazaar on this topic as well “Hygge: The Danish Lifestyle You Need to Know“.

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Perfect idea of Hygge living…breakfast with florals, a delicious spread and bright sunlight coming in from the windows. Source: Josefin Dahlberg

4. Lagom

This, like Hygge, is a way of life but it seems to take on a grand scale approach to things. Lagom is generalized to the way you live your life – day in and day out. Hygge is about manipulating pieces in your day to set the mood and tone of that particular moment in time. If you look up the definition, lagom literally means “sufficient” or “the right amount”. Search for this word in Pinterest and you will find the words “not too little, not too much”. What even does this mean?? To me it sounds like another way of saying minimalism. The kind of minimalism that makes you feel at ease in your life. A less cluttered life with a focus on experiences instead of tangible things. Long story short, fill every day with joyful mood-inducing moments because at the end of it all, the sum of these moments will create a fulfilling life. Here’s what ELLE UK has to say about this: “Lagom: The Scandi Trend Taking Over Hygge in 2017“.

Although most photos of hygge and lagom are of winter, these concepts are applicable to every season. I read through a blog post by Abi, the author of “These Four Walls Blog” called “Summer Pleasures” and it is a perfect portrayal of how to appreciate the beautiful moments in life – summer style. This is an example…


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Image by Tessa Barton, By Tezza