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5 Nordic philosophies for better living

Scandinavian countries are proven to be among some of the happiest in the world. One of the reasons behind this is their mindful approach to life. Here, we’ve shared five of the most popular Nordic life philosophies that can make you happier – and highlighted how you can practise these in the way you design and spend time in your kitchen.

Friluftsliv (free-loofs-leaf)

Friluftsliv or “free air life” is all about embracing the outdoors and feeling connected with nature. It means forgetting about the fast pace of modern, urban life – finding a harmony between your inner self and the world around you.

You don’t have to go camping or visit a forest (although you can do if you want to). A simple 30-minute stroll in your local park will give you the same benefits.

The important thing is establishing a mindful connection between you and the natural world.

This will not only clear your mind and let you think straight, but helps to lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension – as well as reduce your stress levels!

Mindfulness and our human need to connect to nature informed our Nordic Nature concept kitchen, which takes inspiration from the Nordic woods, valleys, mountains and fjords.

Nordic Nature’s use of natural materials like oak, along with nature-inspired colours and textures, brings the outdoors in – no matter what the size of your space.

Seeing – and touching – natural materials allows us to connect with our environment, which ultimately benefits our wellbeing.

Fika (fee-ka)

You might have already come across fika or ”coffee break”.

While most of the world have our morning cup of coffee to wake ourselves up and help us focus on our tasks, in Sweden, coffee is symbolic of slowing down and stepping away from all your problems – just for a little while.

However, fika is not really about the coffee (or tea), it just serves as a means of giving yourself a moment to dissociate from those daily stresses.

As our kitchen is where we catch up with friends over a cuppa or simply take a moment to sit and reflect, this makes it the ideal setting for a fika moment.

Create a relaxing atmosphere in your kitchen with nature-inspired elements.

Wood is shown to have a link to wellbeing, as its natural warmth and grain pattern produce a calming effect. That’s why we incorporate it into our kitchen designs.

Be consistent when making fika part of your daily routine. Block out some time in your diary each afternoon, [and make sure those around you know this is ‘me time’].

It’s a necessity to be able to have a moment to yourself, without feeling you are doing so at the expense of your productivity.

Lagom (la-gum)


“Lagom translates to ”optimal” or ”moderate”. The idea is that everything is good in moderation and you should not be extreme in your actions. Lagom is about finding the right balance that leads to maximum enjoyment.

The importance of things being “just right” is reflected in our approach to designing kitchens – where every element is carefully considered.

Finding a balance between style and function, and tailoring your kitchen to your needs, will maximise your enjoyment of your space, subsequently helping you live and feel better in your home.

Hygge (hue-guh)

This is the Danish tradition of enjoying the moments that make you feel happy and carefree. Literally meaning, ”cosiness of the soul”, it describes that feeling of being tucked up in a blanket and warming your hands on a hot drink.

Allow yourself to indulge in things that you enjoy, without having second thoughts or doubting whether you deserve a special moment or not. You do! 

Hygge starts in how we spend time in our kitchens. Time-saving solutions, like washer dryers and dishwashers, will help get the chores done faster, making more time for those moments of cosy contentment.

Use soft-toned kitchen lighting to set the mood – and even the temperature – just right.

Lykke (lu-kah)


”Lykke” is the Danish and Norwegian term for ”happiness”. In this context, this concept is all about finding balance and focusing on the things that increase your level of joy.

Lykke comprises several key factors: togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness. In order to be genuinely happy, the theory is that we need to ensure that none of these parts are lacking.

Admittedly, this might not be the easiest thing in the world to achieve, but the components are inherently intertwined, so working on one can directly improve another.

Togetherness is something we can quite easily practise more of in our kitchens. Create some quality family time by baking together, or stay connected with friends by hosting dinner parties or cocktail evenings.

Incorporating at least some of these concepts into your everyday life can improve your physical and psychological wellbeing – making you feel generally happier. And as the kitchens is the heart of the home, where better to start practising these philosophies?

At Magnet, the need for balance and harmony informs how we design our kitchens – with every detail created around you and your lifestyle.

Discuss your style ideas and needs with one of our friendly kitchen experts, at a free, no-obligation design consultation.