Which Scandi tribe are you - Hygge or Lagom?

Jumping on the Scand-wagon

For the last few years, we’ve looked to Scandinavia - the region made up of Denmark, Sweden and Norway - for inspiration on everything from how we decorate our homes, to our approach to heating them and even how we spend time with our families. And it’s no wonder, with the deluge of ‘Scandi noir’ television programs, furniture ranges and book releases that have been hitting the UK.

Forget Abba, The Swedish Chef and old references to the kitsch and the camp, these days most of us can be found binge watching Borgen, the Danish political thriller tucked up under cosy blankets when the kids are in bed. We’ve invested in minimalist, wooden Scandinavian furniture that cleverly conceals all those messy toys. Suddenly Ikea has become a chic shopping venue instead of the place where you were most likely to break up with your partner. We fell in love with Nordic food and knitwear, and Swedish spa culture. In short - the Scandi revolution is now and families in the UK are getting involved.

How Hygge are you?

Enter Hygge - the crest of the Scandi trend wave which seemed to be the buzzword for every trendy mum at the school gate last year. It’s tempting to say that you must have been living in a cave if you missed out on last year’s massive Hygge trend - but then, curling up, staying in and hiding from the outside world is exactly what Hygge is all about. The Danish word loosely translates to ‘cosiness’, and as winter crept in, many of us were inspired to embrace the movement by investing in cosy knitwear and candles. It’s not just for the winter months, Hygge can be embraced all year round with stolen moments of calm throughout the year - anything you do that evokes a sense of calm and wellbeing is a fitting nod to the Hygge trend. Not convinced of it’s ubiquitousness yet? There are over 500 books on Hygge currently for sale on Amazon - those numbers speak for themselves.

Put cream in your hot chocolate and crank the heating as high as it will go to make you and your family as cosy as possible, and you’ll come close to evoking the spirit of Hygge - well, the British version, at any rate. And tempted to go extra-Hygge by adding extra insulation for your home or adding a wood-burning stove? It could have a positive effect on your energy bills, so make sure you’re getting the right deal by using our energy comparison service.

Introducing Lagom

If you’ve begun the year bemoaning your heating bills and your bulging spare tire, you might have overdone the Hygge and be ready to embrace Lagom - a new, more minimalist Scandi concept. Lagom, a Swedish idea which translates to ‘just the right amount’, is all about embracing a “not too much, not too little” attitude - much like Baby Bear’s porridge bowl.

While for some of us, Hygge hype meant replacing all of our cushions with reindeer print pillows and throwing out our pyjamas so that we could buy a onesie emblazoned with the words ‘I heart Hygge”, if you’re practising Lagom, you need to avoid excessive waste and make the most of what you’ve got. Elliot Stocks, the creative director of Lagom magazine explained it as a “way of living”. If Hygge is like Christmas, when you turn all the lights on, pile your plate high and pour a second double Baileys, frugal Lagom is the New Year’s resolution of lifestyle trends.

Could it save you money?

The latter is definitely more purse friendly. Instead of keeping the heating on all day long, you wait until you’re home for the day, and put an extra jumper on before deciding whether you’re really cold. In other words, it could help save you and your family money on your heating bills. Bonus. On the other hand, if the shock of the cold, grey, windy, rainy weather is too much to deal with, your commitment to Hygge might last until Spring for fear of any home temperature that is cooler than ‘warm bath’.

With its focus on meeting needs not wants, Lagom is definitely good news for the environment, and if you practise it properly, you’ll use far fewer fossil fuels than you got through during Hygge. It’s also a great trend to adopt if you’re keen on recycling and upcycling. A careless Hygge practitioner might by a brand new jar of marmalade when they got bored of jam on toast. If you’re doing Lagom, you’ll finish the jam, clean the jar and pop a tealight inside to save on electricity bills (maybe even get the kids on the craft hype). Living with less, and getting rid of some of your possessions in your home could also have a positive effect on your home insurance as you might have less to insure, so use our home contents insurance comparison service to make sure you have the right cover for your home.

The right amount of everything

Ultimately, a little Hygge never did anyone any harm, but if you’re turning your house into a sauna every day, and you’ve ruined three pairs of pyjamas with candle wax and melted butter, it might be time to bring some Lagom into your life. Lagom is about having just the right amount of everything, and that includes Hygge.

Let’s fight it out - Hygge Vs Lagom

Hygge heroes…

Splash out on sets of expensive scented candles, creating a ‘complementary fragrance burst’

Have a special set of loungewear for the whole family to achieve peak cosiness - must include shearling slippers and customised cashmere tracksuit bottoms.

Love a roaring fire - it’s great for toasting marshmallows on with the kids. Whilst keeping the central heating on full blast at the same time.

Wish someone would invent an app that automatically turned on their electric blanket.

Love nothing more than lying in a hot bath feeling slightly sleepy when they’ve finally got some ‘me time’ away from the family.

Lagom lovers…

Will not turn a light on at night until they have finished the bag of 5000 economy tea lights they bought in 2009.

Will make the whole family layer up rather than crank the heating up… but mum!

Might put the heating on before bed, for a treat occasionally but it’s really all about thermal underwear.

Have so many apps to manage their heating that there’s no room on their phone to take pictures – oh and they’ll know when the kids turn the thermostat up.

Love nothing more than starting the day with a bracing cool shower.

Who’s Hygge or Lagom in your family ?

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