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Is “Lagom” The New Hygge?

Lagom (pronounced la-gome) is a Swedish word that is meant to capture the feeling of having "just the right amount."

As anyone who has seen the Kinfolk Instagram can attest, minimalism has a cult following among at least a portion of the design world, and no where is that influence stronger than in Scandinavia– the land of simplified living.

In the last few years, the concept of hygge— a Danish word used to connote feelings of coziness and/or charm– has been a reigning motif on Instagram (especially in the winter, when warm cups of tea, wooly socks, and reading by the fire become all the more appealing).

The popularity of hygge as an #aesthetic is well established, but a new movement in essentialism has arrived. (And it’s slightly easier to pronounce.)

Just in time for 2018, people are dialing down on superfluous purchasing and scaling back on the number of knickknacks they keep in their homes– so how does this square with hygge, which often includes a certain amount of creature comfort?

Enter lagom (pronounced la-gome)– a Swedish word that is meant to capture the feeling of having “just the right amount”. “Lagom” is often loosely translated as being “enough”, “sufficient”, “adequate”, or “just right”, and it carries with it connotations of frugality, fairness, and balance.

While a table full of mugs and saucers might be indescribably hygge, a lagom version of that same design concept would be just enough cups and plates for two people– or even just one. If hygge is about achieving coziness at all costs, lagom is the space where coziness and minimalism collide.

As Elle UK reports, the concept has gained momentum in 2017, and with winter season upon us– and with environmental awareness at an all-time high— it’s likely the trend towards lagom living will continue into the new year (“reduce” does, after all, come before “reuse” and “recycle” in The Three R’s).

Ultimately, in this era of conscious living, lagom seems like an inevitable movement. Nothing is better than the peaceful feeling that comes from having just enough— nothing more, nothing less.

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