BOOK REVIEWS OF THE MONTH ON IMAGES OF A HYGGE LIFESTYLE…

I have two brilliant book review for this month. Both books are great and would look amazing on your coffee table.

Inspire Your Home: Easy Affordable Ideas to Make Every Room Glamorous by Farah Merhi. This gorgeous book is full of inspiring ideas and images to set your mind on fire. Farah Merhi launched Inspire Me! Home Decor in 2012 as a creative outlet during a transitional time in her life. Farah was about to graduate college and planned to attend law school. Going through the motions and feeling unfulfilled in her career choice, she built up the courage to face her truth. Taking time off to figure herself out, Farah, through a remodel project in her home, had her “ah-ha” moment. The importance of taking care of your home, specifically in the way you clean, organize, and design, was instilled in her at a young age, but she didn’t realize how much of an impact her upbringing had until she owned her own home. Farah knew she had found her passion and calling, and was determined to inspire home owners to live their best lives in their homes.

Her design style is elegant and glamorous but infused with warmth and coziness, creating a welcoming feel with neutral color palletes, soft and inviting fabrics, and exquisite design details that can work in any room. Farah walks you through every room in the house from the mudroom to the kitchen and kids’ bedrooms. Woven throughout are Farah’s personal stories that will feel like you’re getting design advice from a close friend. Everyone deserves to walk into a beautifully decorated home every day—now you can, with the inspiration and practical tips in Inspire Your Home. Available from Amazon and other good book stores for around £23.99 (Hardcover).

My second choice this month is Home for the Soul: Sustainable and Thoughtful Decorating and Design by Sara Bird & Dan Duchars. Another lovely hardback book for your coffee table. A beautiful book with views of some amazing homes full of peace and tranquility. The photography and ideas will inspire and guide you on how to create the whole look.

Sara Bird and Dan Duchars show how to create a beautiful home that suits its inhabitants while causing minimum damage to our increasingly fragile environment including using non toxic, vegan paints and fabrics. The first section shares ideas for the elements of a stylish yet sustainable home, from lighting to linens, while in Part Two, Sara and Dan visit soulful homes and their owners to discover how they have created interiors that are beautiful yet responsible at the same time. Home for the Soul shows how a mindful, ethically sourced and eco-friendly ethos can be at the heart of modern homemaking. It looks at sustainable, renewable and reclaimed materials, using traditional skills and choosing organic and hand-produced homewares. No matter how new or old a building, or what your own particular style is, there are simple ways to add warmth, contentment and soul to our homes. Available from Amazon and other good book shops from £14.69

FROM HYGGE TO ‘NIKSEN’, ANOTHER NORDIC WORD WITH A GREAT MEANING…

I have written in the past about the Swedish word ‘lagom’ which means moderation and was ‘Lagom’ going to be the new ‘Hygge’?

I wrote that according to the magazine Country & Town House, “since Vogue touted lagom as ‘the new hygge’ last year, (the Danish concept of ‘cosiness’), the word has been popping up everywhere, from lifestyle blogs to new season interiors collections. But has ‘lagom’ really overtaken hygge as the biggest lifestyle trend for this time of year? “.

So, the meaning of ‘lagom‘ is ‘Not too much, not too little. Lagom’ but the Swedish translation of lagom is “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right.” In other words, being content with what you have which might be quite apt during these trying times.

Another word ‘Niksen’ means doing nothing but not in the absolute sense of ‘nothing’, it means enjoying the moment whether your playing Lego, painting, colouring in a book, listening to music or podcast or just simply sitting quietly reading.

To completely understand this concept then you should buy the book ‘ ‘Niksen : Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing’, by Olga Mecking,

A concise and witty book, Olga Mecking will provide tips on how to niksen in the most important areas of your life: work, home and leisure. Talking to experts from around the world, she reveals how doing nothing can make you happier, more productive and creative. In addition, we are given a fun glimpse of Dutch culture to show us why the Dutch are one of the happiest people in the world and why they are so good at doing nothing every once in a while.

We all have a concept of what doing nothing means to us, but do our ideas actually correspond with the truth behind niksen? A common hurdle towards embracing idleness, for example, is that we feel the need to be productive, contributing members of society. In fact, even the Dutch tend to say, niksen is niks or, in English, doing nothing is good for nothing. That constant need to work can lead to more stress, decreased mental wellbeing and paradoxically, being less productive.

Stress and burnout are on the rise. The antidote: Niksen.

Of course, to enjoy ‘Niksen‘, it helps if you have the right atmosphere with all our homes nowadays open plan but you still create your own corner of hygge so that you can embrace ‘Niksen’. I have recently purchased this light bulb that changes colour via remote control to create my own peaceful area. It is an LED Bulb Mood Light with a 21 key remote control, which has a duel memory function and 12 colour choices for your home. I got mine from Amazon for £8.49

It is perfect for me in my kitchen, diner as I have a couple of armchairs in there but needed to do something about the light to make it feel cosy and enticing. It means I can sit in my chair with my hand knitted wrap around my shoulders and ready quietly while my other half can enjoy his sports on the tv in another room and enjoy a bit of Niksen time.

‘FIKA’, ANOTHER RELAXING WORD FROM SWEDEN…

‘Fika‘ is another delightful Swedish word. It means sitting down and setting aside quality downtime with friends for a coffee and cake. How nice is that?

The lovely print from Etsy would look nice in any kitchen. Fika Definition Print, Swedish Scandinavian Nordic, Coffee Bar Kitchen Decor, Friends Family Dining Room Artwork, Minimal Dictionary Art for £4.90

Fika Definition Print Swedish Scandinavian Nordic Coffee Bar image 1

It is linked to the recognition of coffee and pasties, but they say it is really meant to be a way of stopping for a short while in work and life to just enjoy the moment, which is such a wonderful idea.

Apparently it can take place inside a café, outside in nature, or in the comfort of your own or friends home.

‘Let’s go for a ‘fika’ is often overheard between word colleague or friends you have not seen for a while. ‘Fika‘ is a image, a state of mind, a belief and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for fika every day.

Swedish Fika Mug  Swedish Coffee Mug Scandinavian mug image 0

I also love this ‘Finka’ themed mug.from Etsy at £10.38

It would make a great with a card inside depicting what it means in English.

These candles are perfect to have around the home and to remind you of this lovely Swedish tradition. They are from Fika Candles and are £40. Fill with a hole collection of our single wick candles. Enjoy the full aroma of our fantastic candles and wax melts. Everything in this luxurious gift set has been lovingly handmade and packed full of fragrance by the team at Fika Candles to make your gift set extra special, using natural organic ingredients.

Before I pop down to call some friends for a ‘Fika’ meet I thought The Little Book of Fika would be a great match with any of the gifts above and is available from Amazon at £5.94 (and other good retailers).