Lagom - For a life in balance
Life has not become easier in recent years. In view of the challenges we face, we must not lose our inner balance. When it comes to our healthy living, a term from Sweden can show us the way: Lagom. It stands for an attitude to life in the context of the new keynote theme of the coming DOMOTEX: Floored by Nature!9 May 2022
In almost every language, there are words or phrases that express a state of mind that is typical for the respective language area. Since there is rarely a direct equivalent, these terms present translators with a problem. The classic German Gemütlichkeit, for example, often forces them to use rambling explanations in order to depict this feeling in a halfway comprehensible way. Every now and then, however, it happens that such a term overcomes the language barrier - and thus also conveys the attitude to life.
Learning from Michel from Lönneberga
If you Google the word Lagom, you will quickly come across terms like happiness formula or Swedish philosophy. These somewhat lurid headings, however, are rather an idealised interpretation of what could grow out of Lagom. Wikipedia takes a more objective approach to the word. Lagom means something like "just right, not too much and not too little, the ideal balance, middle way, equilibrium, consensus". Thus the mother of Michel from Lönneberga in Astrid Lindgren's novel answers her father's question about how she prepares the köttbullar for the local festival: "Lagom stora, lagom runda och lagom bruna" (As big, round and brown as they have to be).
Finding the ideal balance - that is the core statement of the Lagom attitude to life
This "Swedish middle way", the ideal balance, is one of the answers to the questions posed by the new keynote theme "Floored by Nature" at DOMOTEX 2023 in Hannover. How do we find our way to a healthy, natural and more sustainable life in our working and living spaces? While much, that is out of balance is beyond our direct control, we are often free to shape our surroundings. The active engagement with Lagom first of all sharpens our awareness of what is essential and helps us to recognise too much and too little in it in the first place.
But where to start?
Much of what we (should) have already internalized, can be found in a lagomish lifestyle. And the beauty is that sustainability, mindfulness and healthy eating can very well be reconciled with enjoyment. The avoidance of waste, the conservation of natural and private resources is by no means synonymous with renunciation, but simply an expression of a conscious, reflective way of life that takes responsibility and thus contributes to inner balance. As a result, escalating costs, horrendous energy consumption or unhealthy body fullness can feel as if they are levelling out by themselves.
In Scandinavia - in fact, the Norwegians also know the term Lagom - this modest and conscious lifestyle has ensured a relaxed everyday life for many generations. The work-life balance that everyone is currently striving for has been at home here for a long time.
More and more suppliers like MeisterWerke promote the Lagom way of life
Even if lagom has not yet swept across the continent as a big wave, more and more suppliers are supporting this way of life with their own product lines. In the flooring sector, for example, MeisterWerke from Rüthen in Westphalia has taken up the theme. On its website, the company not only offers a large selection of lagomish floor coverings, it actually approaches the topic quite comprehensively. Among other things, you can find suggestions for matching furniture in the Lagom style and information on how much decoration is Lagom according to the Westphalians.
Lagomish floor coverings from Italy focus on cooling effect
And even in Italy, usually known for its extravagance, lagomish floor coverings can now be found. Interestingly, the southern Europeans prefer the cooling effect and the pronounced robustness of ceramics. Both Ceramiche Marca Corona from Sassuolo and Terratinta Ceramiche from Fiorano Modenese focus in their portfolios on designs that pay homage to the lagomish way of life.
Lagomish furniture, home accessories and floor coverings for a longer togetherness
The examples show that a Lagom-like ambience is also reflected in the choice of materials. Lagomish furniture, home accessories and floor coverings are designed for a longer coexistence and are essentially made of wood, ceramics or other natural materials. The colour scheme is appropriate and favours white, grey and natural tones - balanced minimalism paired with cosiness.
The design of your own four walls needs a good dose of lagom
So we see that concentration on the essentials, avoiding extremes, is not limited to consumption, working methods or social interaction. The design of the spatial environment, especially of one's own four walls, also needs a good dose of lagom. But here, too, the middle course, the balance, applies. For those who focus solely on a functional, sober, supposedly Scandinavian ambience have not yet internalised Lagom. In fact, the middle course always includes a dash of hygge, or as we Germans would say: a little cosiness.
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