How to Live the Nordic Lifestyle
There is something about the Nordic lifestyle that people have long been curious about, with their love of design, nature, light and emphasis on family. But the Nordic way of life is much more than painting your walls white or throwing a sheepskin on a designer chair – it’s a mindset that informs everyday life. The good thing is, you don't need to live in Scandinavia to practice some of these principles, and it’s possible on any budget and in an size home. Here are our six steps to living like a Scandinavian:
1. Practice 'Hygge'
‘Hygge’ is a Danish word and means 'cosy warmth, spending time with the ones you love, in a home that is filled with light and well-loved items that fill you with everyday joy when you use them'. It's really about much more than design - it's a way of life that centres on slow joy and community. It is a Nordic state of contentment that is mostly found at home. Creating a 'hygge' atmosphere can start (especially in winter!) with decorating with warm, cosy throws and cushions, candles and some favourite books or pictures. But it needs to be filled with people you love and deep conversations too.
2. Get Close to Nature
Whilst many people like to flock to the cities, many Scandinavians prefer a summer house in the forest by a lake. They often have no running water or central heating, but that's part of the charm. The beautiful Nordic landscapes and sceneries are deeply ingrained in their culture and mindset. Apart from walks in the forest and generally being outside, I love to use elements of nature in my own interiors too. It may just be an artful twig in a glass vase, or some beautiful river stones, or of course some lovely pot plants to take us through the winter months when things look a little starker outside.
3. Use Wood
Wood and stone are of course essential materials to incorporate into your home too for a true Scandi vibe. In Scandinavian, from stools to saunas, many things are clad in or constructed from pine and spruce that give interiors that typical Nordic look. But it’s also about using the materials that are close at hand and can be sourced sustainably.
4. Live Sustainably
Following on from this, it's important to remember how important sustainable living is in the Nordics. We hold enormous power in our choice of products and the smarter we shop, the better things will be. So support local firms and artisans and those who tell the story of their production process openly, and you can make little changes every day.
5. Keep things tidy
Order and tidiness is somewhat important in the Nordics. After all, two Swedish words you might all know are ‘ombudsman’ and ‘smörgåsbord’. But it’s also about seeing everyday beauty in the simple things – taking pleasure in a pile of well-folded towels or running a hand along a shelf of colour-coordinated books. Something akin to ‘mindfulness through design’, and something that can be done no matter how you live or what your budget is.
6. Family Values
Family is important in Scandinavia. Spend time with your spouse or parents. If you have kids, know they should be both seen and heard in the Nordics, as often and as loudly as possible. Playtime is taken very seriously indeed, and is regarded as a very important part of early education (read more about the difference between Scandinavian education practices here).