In case you missed it (and I’m certain you didn’t), in 2016 cosiness received a Scandinavian rebrand and suddenly you couldn’t open a magazine without being confronted with the almost unpronounceable Hygge (hue-ga). The age-old Danish phrase is more accurately translated to a comfortable state of being or a warm feeling of contentment, yet in Britain we filtered this down to listing soft furnishings and the most comfortable socks.
That would be Lagom, according to Elle – a Swedish word meaning ‘just the right amount’. Or perhaps Sisu, as the Times reports, a Finnish word that means fearlessness and stoicism. Either way, whether we’re ditching knitwear for balance or bravery, it looks like the next big lifestyle trends are migrating from Scandinavia once again.
So, the question remains, why the overwhelming interest in Nordic culture? It could be because they’re just so happy. In the 2016 World Happiness report, the top five countries listed are Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland respectively. As a region, Scandinavia seem to have their collective lives together, and that’s pretty appealing. Perhaps it’s just a clever marketing tool? It’s all too easy it seems to find a mysterious-sounding foreign word for an everyday concept. Or maybe it’s just a long-standing notion that the birthplace of Ikea can do no wrong? At the end of the day we’re in it for the kaukokohteisiin (that’s long-haul in Finnish), but at least Lagom is easier to pronounce.
Is green the theme for 2017? Nick Horbowyj, amateur lover of all things interiors, gives his thoughts on how to incorporate Mother Nature’s palette into your home this year.
Green with envy
Firstly, attention must be paid to the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year aptly named, Greenery. Described by Elle Décor as the world’s brightest neutral, it is said to represent rejuvenation and although the colour of envy may be scary to some, going green will inject life into any room. Paired with pale greys, stark whites and matt black, the colour helps highlight elegance, marrying perfectly with a wide range of styles, from ancient splendour, 70’s revival and extreme modernism.
Taste of the tropics
The tropical trend has been consistent in design since the Rio Olympics, and it’s not hard to see why. Martyn Lawrence-Bullard in Vogue attributes the ongoing trend to runway collections from Marc Jacobs, Prada and Emanuel Ungaro, with hibiscus and palm leaf featuring prominently. The vibrant prints certainly add excitement to interiors however, moderation is important, if you want to avoid your living room resembling a Tiki lounge. Subtle incorporation can be achieved through soft furnishings, such as accent pillows on a neutral sofa.
From print to potted plant, any space can benefit from foliage. According to an article in The Telegraph, this year swap your flowering house plants for evergreens, with ferns taking centre stage. Loved by the Victorians, this plant adds year-round architectural elegance to a room. If you struggle with the responsibility of keeping plants alive, incorporate your ferns into a sealed terrarium – minimal upkeep for maximum leafy impact.
(Photo credit: Solid Nature: this Dutch company exhibited 40 monolithic “standing stones” — just a fraction of its range of marbles, Travertines and granite in more than 600 colours. The company plans to open a London office this spring.)
Here at Lucre Towers, Home & Lifestyle is one of our four key sectors, so we make sure we know what’s what when it comes to everything from wallpaper to diffusers, from hot colours to cool kitsch.
At the recent Maison & Objet Paris show, it seemed that if you want to be up-to-date, rather than down-at-heel, you need to get your hands on some marble – as much of it as possible.
And the icy cool palette of pales remains popular, not only in interiors but also in haute couture. The majority of stars at this year’s Oscars were wearing the palest of pales, and whether you like her Armani Privé dress or not, Cate Blanchett never puts a foot wrong when it comes to fashion. If she’s into the palest of blues, then rest assured the rest of us will be soon enough.
Emily Blunt in palest pink Prada showed that crystal embellishment remains on fleek; it’s a real trend for interiors in 2016, (see below)
Consider this collaboration between Lalique and Steinway: the Helconia piano. The iconic piano firm has created a unique instrument, decorated with glass crystals made by the equally iconic glass firm Lalique:
Finally, back to black. This stand-out Maison de Jeu wallpaper by Christian Lacroix Maison for Designers Guild demonstrates just how effective black is as a foil to other colours.
Now, where did we put that step ladder and set of overalls?