Everything You Need To Know About Lagom — the Art of Balance

In an increasingly globalised world, the adoption of foreign words into everyday use is a fait accomplis, a trifling event that excites librarians and logophiles alone. But what’s often fascinating about these hybrid pieces of vocabulary is how they give rise to a new emotional language, in many cases revealing a new voice for a previously elusive feeling.

Anyone who has travelled to Latin America will have heard the Brazilians express their Saudades — a feeling that no English word can fully explain, but which describes a profound melancholic longing for an absent someone or something. We have all encountered the Danish principle of Hygge, the wildly popular lifestyle movement that transformed modern living rooms into intimate, tactile cocoons for much of 2016. And now there is a new Scandinavian import finding traction in the sketchpads and recommendations of designers, and it goes by the name of Lagom. 

Calin Sofa by Ligne Roset in White

When literally translated from Swedish, Lagom means “not too little, not too much, but just enough”. On a superficial level this might relate to the small satisfaction of a perfectly made coffee, the snug fit of a tailored blazer or the exacting touch of the masseuse as a knot is a worked loose.

But beyond the material world, Lagom becomes something much more sophisticated.

It is equilibrium of the mind and spirit — the balancing act of a busy life that has reached perfect fulfilment. Lagom preaches moderation and responsibility, returning as much as we take and making conscious choices to reduce our impact on the world around us. Artistically, it refers to making contemporary living spaces less complicated and more resonant, trusting in the soothing beauty of organic materials, clean silhouettes and artisan craftsmanship. Lagom commands us to reclaim our modern living spaces from the draining presence of physical clutter and make space for the possessions and experiences that matter.

“It is both a coping strategy and a cure, a wonderful law that can be practised during the rough times and the smooth.”

Kaiser Idell Floor Lamp Fri Easy Lounge Chair

So how might one create a Lagom interior? Well, to start with there is no need to look exclusively to Scandinavian furniture brands, although these can of course be an excellent source of Lagom inspiration. Simplicity is essential but this does not dictate the deprivation of small luxuries, rather it encourages a minimalist approach to your decor and a “buy once keep forever” mentality.

FOCUS YOUR CREATIVITY

Fritz Hansen FH429 Lounge Chair - Chaplins

Start by creating a focal point around which the rest of the room will come together. This could be a statement designer sofa or a contemporary armchair illuminated by a slender floor lamp.  Fritz Hansen’s Ro Easy Lounge Chair, Ligne Roset’s Calin Sofa or B&B Italia’s Solo ’14 Sofa are excellent places to start, their simple silhouettes and sumptuous comfort convey timeless elegance with minimal effort.

  • Ro Easy Lounge Chair

    Ro Easy Lounge Chair

    Allowing the user to form a tranquil environment for either study or relaxation, this chair is crafted from grey, pink or blue fabric to formulate an ergonomic shape.

    £2,561.00

    £2,176.85

  • Calin Sofa

    Calin Sofa

    Calin is like a giant pillow: soft, yet structured to support correctly for years to come, with a loose cover which may be removed for dry cleaning.

    £2,429.00

    £2,064.65

  • Solo '14 Sofa

    Solo '14 Sofa

    The beautifully balanced construction of Solo’14 was obtained through the reduction of all superfluous elements and the careful proportion of its components.

    £3,570.00

    £3,034.50

  • FH429 Signature Chair

    FH429 Signature Chair

    Frits Henningsen's Signature Chair clearly emphasizes Henningsen's work with achieving both comfort and elegance through the use of graceful, curved lines.

    £2,790.00

    £2,371.50

A SOFT TOUCH

Mineheart The Goat Rug

Equally, your focal point could be as simple as a standout designer rug or wallpaper. A soft Tufted Rug by Mineheart goes perfectly against a dappled neutral wall while the Jaipur Cotton Rug by Cattelan Italia adds a touch of understated glamour to scrunch your toes in.

The contemporary sofa should not have to fight for attention against an array of antagonistic or overly busy elements; upon entering the room one should feel enveloped by an overwhelming sense of calm. Pare back the use of colour to a few complementary shades and, where possible, try to go natural with your textiles. Lagom is an ethical way of life and asks us to celebrate the gentle joyfulness of woven natural materials and the earthy richness of wood over decadent displays of metals or plastic. GAN are an excellent designer brand to look to here, all of their soft furnishings are produced using natural fibres and authentic Indian weaving techniques. The result is a very Lagom collection of rugs, cushions and poufs with a colourful Eastern aesthetic to boot.

  • Sail Taupe Pouf

    Sail Taupe Pouf

    Designed by Héctor Serrano the Sail rug uses the traditional techniques of the wool dhurrie rugs to create a fresh and modern feel, with volume and Eastern essence.

    £1,143.00

    £971.55

  • Trenzas Beige Pouf

    Trenzas Beige Pouf

    Made of wool and cotton on manual looms, the Trenzas pouf displays nature in a pure form while evoking comfort and quality.

    £598.00

    £508.30

  • Abstract Soft Green Canevas Pouf

    Abstract Soft Green Canevas Pouf

    Decorated with a large scale cross stitch embroidery, the Canevas Pouf will add character to any modern environment.

    £1,067.00

    £906.95

  • Hexa Rectangular Kilim Rug

    Hexa Rectangular Kilim Rug

    This iconic design is a signature piece from GAN, featuring a geometric pattern embedded in a rectangular Kilim-manufactured rug.

    £740.00

    £629.00

MAKE SPACE FOR THE THINGS THAT MATTER

Cattelan Italia Hudson Bookcase

In an epoch of micro apartments we seem to be accumulating more and more stuff. Lagom suggests that we get rid of anything that leads to a feeling of disorganisation, upholding the old adage that a tidy house is a tidy mind. In doing so we can make way for the possessions that truly matter: books, photos and mementos, the souvenirs of a life well lived.

While this might seem difficult at first, it’s because many homeowner’s still think of contemporary storage or designer bookshelves as an ugly space waster rather than a design feature to be embraced. Using slender storage units as room dividers is a perfect way to create an illusion of privacy and the feeling of a better planned space. Andrea Lucatello’s Tokyo Shelving Unit is an excellent option for smaller apartments while Antonio Citterio’s Interparete System for Porro caters to those with a more expansive living area.

  • Tokyo Shelving Unit

    Tokyo Shelving Unit

    The Tokyo storage unit features a unique design which fits horizontally anywhere in a room thanks to its changeable height - which is where it gets the name Tokyo from.

    £1,575.00

    £1,338.75

  • Wally Bookcase

    Wally Bookcase

    Designed in 2006, the Wally Bookcase was designed by Philip Jackson for Cattelan Italia and features a beautiful frame crafted from lacquered embossed MDF frame.

    £1,450.00

    £1,232.50

  • Giotto Bookcase

    Giotto Bookcase

    The striking Giotto bookcase by Andrea Lucatello is a perfect example of when contemporary furniture design combines with luxury Italian styling.

    £2,630.00

    £2,235.50

  • Hudson Bookcase

    Hudson Bookcase

    Featuring a slender frame which houses five shelves, this contemporary piece works exceptionally well in twos or threes - conveying an open storage look.

    £1,795.00

    £1,525.75

BLITZ YOUR BATHROOM

One area that often needs de-cluttering is the bathroom. Throw out your empty bottles, give away products you don’t use and strip your regime back to the essentials by embracing natural beauty and non-toxic products. Free up your physical space and watch how this carries through emotionally. The Mezza Round 4 Tier Caddy is made from sustainable bamboo and will help you cut back and keep the remaining products organised while taking up minimal floor space.

  • Slimline Glass Wall Shelf 55

    Slimline Glass Wall Shelf 55

    Use to display your prized perfumes or simply to keep at hand the things you use most often. The polished emerald edge shelf contrasts beautifully with the solid, oak support.

    £55.00

    £49.50

  • Mezza Round 4-Tier Caddy

    Mezza Round 4-Tier Caddy

    With it's slim profile and refined form, the Mezza round caddy has a sensual appeal.

    £165.00

    £148.50

  • Matégot Démon 1 Shelving Unit

    Matégot Démon 1 Shelving Unit

    Gubi’s first storage system that can be utilised in many ways thanks to its array of wood finishes and availability from one shelf to five.

    £225.00

    £191.25

  • Apartment Duckboard

    Apartment Duckboard

    Made from solid lacquered oak - a current version of the classic Victorian wash-house design.

    £80.00

    £72.00

SWITCH TO LED

Perch Pendant Lamp by Moooi

LED light bulbs allow us to re-evaluate the relationship we have with light. Rather than be plagued with guilt every time you use the lighting in your home, switch to LED bulbs. Consuming 85% less energy than halogen bulbs, LED is a fuss free way to go Lagom with your contemporary designer lighting.

  • Heracleum II Chandelier

    Heracleum II Chandelier

    The decorative LED lamp inspired by the Heracleum Plant now comes in two sizes. The leaves ramify from a branch creating a very technical, natural structure. By using the technique of coating conductive layers. A design not possible with normal wires.

    £1,830.00

  • Perch Wall Light

    Perch Wall Light

    Created in 2016 by Umat Yamac, the Perch range is a family of lights and lamps with a painted brass frame and a bird shaped diffuser.

    £710.00

  • Rituals Table Lamp

    Rituals Table Lamp

    One, two, three lanterns that are lightweight yet brimming with seductive texture. Three different yet concurrently complementary shapes, balancing between the east and the west.

    £283.00

  • Magneto Floor Lamp

    Magneto Floor Lamp

    Magneto is an essential and functional lamp featuring an invisible power: the magnetic field of a magnet.

    £391.00

PUT THE FUN BACK INTO FUNCTIONAL

Zac Desk by Bontempi Casa

Carving out zones of productivity in the modern home is essential, but only if our quiet moments of reflection are balanced by stimulating conversation and a healthy work/life balance. Having a small contemporary desk stationed by a large side room window is a wonderful way to capture moments of inspiration without having to withdraw to the solitude of a home office.

  • Qwerty Desk

    Qwerty Desk

    Qwerty by Andrea Lucatello is a stylish desk with creatives in mind. The desk top is the ideal space for a laptop and includes a space at the back to keep wires tidy.

    £1,390.00

    £1,181.50

  • Clarion Desk

    Clarion Desk

    Crafted in 2016 for Cattelan Italia, this desk is perfect for modern home offices thanks to its space and thought-provoking aesthetics.

    £1,775.00

    £1,508.75

  • Zac Desk

    Zac Desk

    Zac is a project based on the harmonic contrast between the two principle elements: the desk in wood, essential and pure, and the metal frame structure.

    £1,230.00

    £1,045.50

  • S 1200 Desk

    S 1200 Desk

    The Thonet Design Team was inspired by the company’s collection of classical tubular steel furniture for this design. The decisive advantage of the S 1200 is its compact dimensions due to which it can be integrated in the smallest living space.

    £1,940.00

    £1,649.00

  • Saffo Writing Desk

    Saffo Writing Desk

    Saffo is a stylish writing desk, which will sit perfectly in any modern home-office.

    £2,915.00

    £2,477.75

  • Storm Desk

    Storm Desk

    The Storm desk by Andrea Lucatello is an ideal personal desk featuring a smooth leather pad available in a variety of different finishes.

    £1,185.00

    £1,007.25

  • Fred Desk

    Fred Desk

    A featherlight structure and the beauty of an uninterrupted leather surface.

    £5,760.00

    £4,896.00

  • Mexique Desk

    Mexique Desk

    The Mexique desk was designed by Charlotte Perriand for Italian manufacturer Cassina. This desk consists of an oak or walnut top which contrasts with the matt-black legs.

    £2,328.00

    £1,978.80

Lagom is about staying delicately in tune with all the aspects of our emotional lives and manipulating our physical environments and actions to create harmony. On this radiantly sunny weekend, why not wander down to the Chaplins Showrooms in Hatch End or Chelsea to experience #ThePerfectSaturday. Indulge in the exhaustive knowledge of our design team or meander slowly throughout our store and admire the carefully honed craftsmanship of 180 European designer furniture brands. Lagom is about belonging, shared responsibility and being part of a greater entity, attributes that resonate throughout the design world and in all of Chaplins endeavours to bring the vital pleasures of design to an ever expanding global audience.

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