The design of the house is security and remembrance

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In recent years, a cozy trend has swept across the Western world: the Danish practice of “hygge”.

It means a lot of things, but it has been translated into a lot like the fun of spending time with people through comfortable living spaces, home cooked meals, reading books by the fireside with cookies nearby and general contentment.

Before the pandemic, we were fascinated by “slow living”, which promotes serenity through detachment, be it more time in nature and less time with technology, intentional shopping or, for some, adopting a “home” lifestyle. Slow living challenges what Carl Honoré calls in his book “In Praise of Slowness” the “cult of speed” – the way we praise fast living – by thinking rather than reacting. Honoré admitted in his 2004 book “deceleration will be a struggle until we rewrite the rules that govern almost all spheres of life”.

Then came 2020.

Last year, hygge moved in favor of “lagom”, the Swedish idea of ​​an ultra-cozy atmosphere that isn’t overcrowded with stuff. Lagom stands for ‘just right’ and ‘everything in moderation’, and it puts more emphasis on making every item in the house functional and practical. Author Niki Brantmark in “Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced and Happy Life” said that everything in a Swede’s house should be useful and beautiful.

While hygge and lagom are both philosophies, hygge is more about seizing the moment and enjoying the gluttony, while lagom sticks to frugality with just enough time and property. The environmental practices that could be used at lagom (upcycling, recycling, living in a sustainable way, etc.) can also come from slow living – slow food, slow gardening, slow money and slow fashion are just a few examples.

And now here we are, a year and more than seven months after the start of the pandemic in a state of new normal. Our homes have become multipurpose spaces – offices, gymnasiums, home schools, escapes – in a changing world, and now also accommodate spaces. Time seems more important, relationships more expensive. Home and office experts in Jefferson City said these concepts of hygge, lagom and slow living still exist – and mean more to us than ever. They offer some tips and ideas for transforming your home into a slower lifestyle.

Furniture, lighting and perfume

Kim Quinn, founder of Bright Ideas for Home & Hospitality, started her business late last year and found that creating safety, security and peace in a space has become increasingly important to people. Her goal of helping people create their ideal space through home / office styling, holiday decorating, flower arrangements, and event planning was “dovetailed” with the growing new functions of homes.

“I think a lot of people want to feel good about what they’re doing, and creating a sense of community, making our homes and offices inviting is one way to do that,” Quinn said. “And it starts when you get to the front door.”

Homeowners should first ask themselves what the goal is with the space, she said, and then focus on three things: comfortable furnishings, lighting, and scent. Start by creating a welcoming entryway with seasonal decorations that reflect what the interior will look like. Think about plush seating, like sofas and armchairs, and change the textures for each season. A quilt works best in fall, while a thick knit blanket warms guests on long winter days.

“Thick, fuzzy covers are good when you need them, but don’t be too premature,” Quinn said. “Pick the right texture for the right use. I want things to look good, but I also want them to be practical.”

Michelle Bernskoetter, owner of Lavender Lily Gifts & Decor, advises collecting items that feel like home and then go from there. She sells dough bowls, historically used by mothers to make bread, then passed down from generation to generation. The “lagom” is in its many uses: add decorations, like pine garlands, glass cylinders and candles, and it becomes a centerpiece. Take them out and it becomes functional cookware.

“It seems like a great thing because you can do whatever you want with it,” Bernskoetter said. “The key with decorations is that they don’t have to be big, just enough to make you feel right at home.”

Underlying elements

The feeling of a welcoming room can also be subconscious. Leslie Davis, realtor at Keller Williams Realty, said smell is a factor. Baking bread before a home visit can help a home feel more welcoming, she said, but it’s a balance.

“Not many people have time to bake a loaf of bread before a showing, so if you’re using candles or plugins, take it easy,” Davis said. “Sometimes the force can overwhelm the buyer; it makes them ask ‘what are they trying to hide?’

Quinn agrees: Growing up on the floor of a flower shop, she may walk into a house and say the missing item is smell. Even the smell of freshly cleaned floors can make guests feel more comfortable. Add a wooden wick candle to the center of a room to create a focal point and a feeling of hygge comfort.

Davis also advises homeowners to declutter. Especially since the pandemic, we’ve become more hyper aware of cleanliness – display decor items, open windows, and create a “visual open space” so you can focus on the important elements of a room.

“I always ask sellers to leave the blinds open,” she said. “When people walk into a house with the curtains closed, it looks dark and unwelcoming. If you have dark spaces in the house, warm them with lamps. “

One way to create a sense of belonging is to show people who are there. Bernskoetter works with clients to create family walls: start with a few canvas prints of family members, then add canvas blocks or signs related to the relationship (for example, a baseball flag if they play sports. or a maternal expression around the children). Used on a main wall, customers can feel right at home from the moment they enter.

“They can see your whole family and see what they like,” she said. “A lot of people like it because you can’t take it off a table, which is popular with toddlers.”

The same goes for memorial walls, which can honor deceased family members. Every home expert has recognized that the scale of the loss of the past two years has melted into the way we experience and view the home.

Bernskoetter, who also works at Boone Hospital, keeps a corner of his store devoted to memorial figurines to remember those who have died. She said the isolation and shared grief has done something for us: we try to make our home more comfortable to enjoy the people in our life and the closeness that some have developed.

“While working at the hospital, I saw a lot of deaths,” she said. “Every day is not promised, so make the most of it as if it were the last.”

Davis said that when buyers look at homes, they also look for familiarity and a sense of security.

“Everything is so uncertain, it feels good to come home and have a place to feel safe with a sense of familiar surroundings,” she said.

For Quinn, she hopes people continue to seek lagom, hygge, and usability in general. She sees this as something owners and businesses understand: it’s more than security from a COVID-19 perspective, she said.

“This movement to create that look and feel of safety, security and peace is growing,” Quinn said. “It’s the backbone of the family, the backbone of a community is that environment. I think it’s more than existing, it’s belonging; not just rushing from one obligation to another. other. It’s about stopping to take a moment to savor a relationship that may be gone tomorrow. If we can capture that now, it will be easier to continue. “

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