Words: Anne Schauffer | Images: Supplied
A University of California, Los Angeles, study on the “Everyday Lives of Families” concluded that the relationship between clutter, anxiety and stress is chemical. It was found that women who live in cluttered homes have higher than average levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The Swedish word “lagom” can be roughly translated as “not too little, not too much, just right”. Applying the concept in your life can help you find balance. The book by Linnea Dunne, Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living, is a good introduction because lagom isn’t a flash-in-the-pan trend; it’s a focused approach to life.
Lagom in your life?
Lagom affects everything you do. Sustainability plays a major role, and whether it’s growing your own herbs, making your own compost, buying only what you need, even cooking more simply with less, it’s also about ensuring the sustainability of the source. You’re looking to balance work and life, which includes good amounts of downtime for you.
Alon Sachs, co-owner of Mobelli Furniture + Living, is a big advocate of lagom. “With living simply comes decorating simply, which is the key to living well – just find what works for you,” says Alon. “Start with your furniture; get rid of those unwanted pieces, declutter your indoor living area and live simply.” He says that decluttering the home does a world of good for the soul, helping you destress and enjoy a sense of calm and ease. Alon believes that embracing this trend comes down to how you arrange your indoor living space.
Less is more
Alon says that sustainable, sophisticated furniture pieces with simple, clean design lines tick all the right boxes. “With the right decor items, balance, comfort and utility will work in harmony.”
Each piece of furniture needs interrogation and should be seen as part of the bigger picture. So often we fall in love with a single item, without giving too much thought about how it integrates into the whole. Or, indeed, how it makes you feel or, perhaps, how you want to feel in the space.
Bearing in mind the lagom way of living harmoniously, ensure everything is easy to maintain. Alon suggests incorporating furniture with a relaxing look and feel, with soft and neutral shades, into your indoor living space.
“Consider including furniture with material combinations into the mix; they offer that much-needed balance between modernity and comfort. Ensure the living space is trendy and conforms easily with the lagom way of living.”
Alon says having too many accessories can clutter up your home and take up too much of your time. So choose carefully and don’t confuse mementoes/knickknacks with decorative accessories.
“Keep in mind that if you’re going with the ‘less is more’ theme, then accessories should be simple and minimalistic to make that ultimate statement of style in your home.”
Decor isn’t just about decorating a home. It’s a reflection of who we are. Paring down decor could be a good way to reduce the tendency to hoard, overbuy clothing and overstock fridges, and, according to research, it will help reduce stress.