‘Lagom’ is a Swedish concept that means finding the right balance, as noted by Miki Brantmark in his book, Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced Happy Life. This concept permeates much of the Swedish lifestyle, extending to food, the work-life balance, and interior design. Scandinavian interiors are known for the importance they give to light, with light fabrics, walls, and flooring giving interiors a fresh and youthful feel. If you are into minimalism but you wish to avoid the cold futurism of some minimalist interiors, why not find your inspiration from Scandinavian design, creating a space that finds the perfect balance between warmth and coolness?
Accents of Color
The idea of Scandinavian design almost instantly conjures up images of white, breezy interiors, but minimalism in Norway or Sweden is far from a monochrome affair. Most homes have a beautiful mix of lighter and warmer hues, the latter often being present through the predominance of wood. Color is absent from most major pieces of furniture but can be found in ‘pops’ through coordinated accessories like cushions and rugs. Art is also big in Scandinavian homes. How does pairing framed black-and-white photography with just one signature abstract impressionist artwork sounds? Color should not take over and clutter one’s living space or psyche, yet it is very much needed to give the eye a break from the monotony of white, beige, and grey hues.
‘Death Cleaning’ to Free Up Space
Döstädning, which means “death cleaning” in English, is a new method of minimizing living spaces by downsizing and purging homes of unwanted items. The key is to look at every item in your interiors and ask, ‘Is this making me happy?’ If it isn’t, get rid of it. The idea is simple but brilliant in that the nature of minimalism isn’t just picking the right color or shape of furniture. Minimalism is a lifestyle that involves downsizing and tidying up your interiors and your life. As noted by Swedish author, Margareta Magnusson, keeping your interiors in a permanent state of organization is one of the pillars of a happy and well-balanced life.
Metallic Touches of Brightness
Scandinavian design celebrates light in all its forms – including reflection. Metallics are big in interior design regardless of the style. You only need to look at top interior design publications to see golden, silver, and rose gold touches in everything from chairs to vanities and countertops, and lighting. Metallic accessories work very well in Scandinavian minimalist homes, adding a small shine that commands attention in the form of a delicate pendant light, decorative piece, or mirrors. In a minimalist dining room, a stunning modern rose gold candelabra or lighting feature, for instance, adds a sense of grace and warmth, while rose gold mirror features on the wall reflect the white serenity of the rest of the room to perfection.
Scandinavian design provides inspiration for lovers of minimalism in many ways. It reminds us that beautiful interiors are about balance and happiness rather than about making a statement. From metallics to downsizing, color accents to wooden flooring, it also shows us that minimalism is anything but cold when equilibrium and visual beauty are kept in mind.