Both Hygge and Lagom have become the new lifestyle trends of 2016/17, and it seems there is a slight divide between people who prefer Hygge and people who prefer Lagom. So I thought I’d try to interpret this feud and make a conclusion as to where I stand on the matter.
To begin, I must explain what each of these names mean. Hygge (not pronounced ‘hig’ like I thought but like ‘hue-guh’ – confusing I know) is of Danish origin meaning to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, for example, family, friends and your surroundings. It is based around the feelings of being cosy and warm within your environment and people who follow this lifestyle encourages storytelling, and keeping cultural history alive.¹
Lagom, a Swedish word, roughly translating to the idea of having an adequate amount of things. It is the idea that one does not need to have too many or too little possessions. People who support this lifestyle aim to have just the right amount of food on their plate for a healthy lifestyle and their house at the right temperature – not too hot and not too cold. Shops such as IKEA symbolises the lagom lifestyle, selling products that are not too cheap, and equally not too expensive, and can be bought by the majority of people.²
Out of these two definitions I feel myself naturally being drawn to the Hygge lifestyle slightly more than the Lagom way of things. This is mainly because I am a lover of everything cosy, and I am at my most content in a low lit room with a cup of tea doing something I love, whether that is reading a book or watching a film. Although I do not actively pursue storytelling of history or culture myself, I have always liked the idea of stories being passed through generations, keeping them alive long after the people are gone.
That said, Lagom sounds like the healthier of the two lifestyles, and I can see why people are so drawn to this way of life. Following this, I could see myself becoming happier, having just the right amount of everything in my life, and removing clutter, of which I do tend to accumulate. I am also a massive fan of IKEA, and I mean massive. During my free time I frequently visit the site to find affordable items of furniture to buy, despite not even owning a house in which to furnish (yes, I am a bit weird). I am a great advocate of finding deals or sale items to avoid spending too much for any type of item. If it is too cheap, I can sometimes be wary of the quality, and if it is too expensive I would be put off spending such a large amount of money on the given item.
And there steams the issue: a conflict between those who love cosier lifestyles and those who strive to live clutter free and have the perfect amount of everything. It is believed by some that Hygge was the trend of last year, and Lagom has slowly been taking over from the start of 2017. This idea of moderation fits in perfectly with the new year resolutions and diets, and it is easy to see why many people have adopted the Lagom lifestyle right at the start of the year. Despite the cleaner lifestyle aspect leading many people to side more with Lagom I believe the constant feud between warm and cosy and stark modern interiors will continue on through the ages.³
So, choosing between a lifestyle of moderation without clutter and one focused around being cosy and enjoy life’s simple pleasures, I will have to say I am siding more with the latter. Although the idea of a healthier lifestyle sounds good on paper, I am a woman of indulgence, and I don’t think I could live without over indulging on chocolate or ice cream every once in a while. And despite my love of IKEA, it cannot convince me that having a clutter free modern interior is better than having a cosy one filled with all my favourite things, and although I hate to admit it, I am a hoarder at heart.