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hygge

A SENSE OF CALM AND PEACE

May is finally here, but before we fully start to embrace this new month let’s take a look at some highlights from the ever growing #thatscandinavianfeeling Instagram feed. Each month that goes by I love discovering new accounts and seeing how you all interpret what That Scandinavian Feeling is. What seems to be constant is that sense of calm and peace, enjoying life and it’s everyday moments. I believe coziness is key to this, making sure you fully appreciate everything around you and not missing the little moments. At home calm and peace can be achieved with minimalism and decluttering, and what better time to do so than spring?

In my home, I try to keep a minimal colour palette, with mostly white or light wood surfaces as well as a lot of grays. I recently bought all white bed linen, and what a difference it makes! Waking up in a bright and airy environment does wonders for your mood and even though colours can make you happy, I find that white and paler shades do the trick for me.

Another way to feel tranquil is to have a walk and just be at one with nature. A lovely scenic view over the peaceful sea can have a soothing effect and make you forget about all of the everyday stress. Sometimes we tend to stress a lot for no reason when what we should be doing is slowing down and enjoying a nice cup of coffee while thinking about ways to minimize those stressful elements. Many of the things we stress about in our everyday life are just small things we could resolve quite quickly instead of dwelling on. I read somewhere that; if something is on your mind and making you feel stressed that could be dealt with in 5 minutes or less – just do it and get it out of the way! This is something I have been trying to live by recently, and I find it helping me to decrease those long lists in my head of things that always seem to stress me out. So if you too are feeling a bit overwhelmed and need more calm in your life, try it out for the rest of the week and see if it helps.

I have selected 4 of the images from Instagram to share with you, these images all have a calm and lovely tone that captures That Scandinavian Feeling perfectly. If you want to discover more, grab a coffee and click on the hashtag below;

1 // @momentsandays
“Calm moments and simplicity, time with family and friends. This picture is telling about our Easter tradition in Scandinavia, spring time and new beginnings.”

2 // @annahsalter
“For me That Scandinavian Feeling is simplicity. It’s inviting spaces that draw you in and make you feel at home. It’s ordinary moments that make you feel cozy and content.”

3 // @designandnicethings
“Bright skies, blue water, and fresh air. That Scandinavian Feeling is a sense of calm and peace.”

4 // ​@ingvildye
“​​Now that spring has finally arrived in Norway, it’s great to be able to listen to the birds singing, with a coffee cup in hand and know that the sun is warming up my cheeks. Bright, long and lazy days.”

What is That Scandinavian Feeling to you? Share your images on Instagram too for a chance to be featured​, and let’s spread some hygge!

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EASTER HYGGE IN ITALY

It’s been a while, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I took a bit of time off from the blog after the busy Milano Design Week to enjoy some quality time over the holidays. My parents visited us from Norway, which was so nice! It ended up being quite a Scandinavian Easter after all full of good food, fun and hygge – just the way it’s supposed to be! My parents had brought with them Norwegian Easter eggs in the luggage which was the icing on the cake. These beautifully decorated cardboard eggs are filled with chocolate and sweets, a lovely tradition I am happy to keep.

Thinking back to my childhood, we would always spend Easter at a cabin in the woods going skiing. Whenever I want to get That Scandinavian Feeling here in Italy, I head to the lake. If I look at the view it almost feels like I’m back home, it is something familiar and safe. And although having a walk in the park seeing all the white flowers looking like snow makes me miss home, it also makes me feel content and happy to be here.

If you want to learn more about the typical Norwegian Easter traditions and see what I got up to last year when I was in Norway, have a look at this post.

Now that Easter is done, I am working on a couple of different blogposts from MDW, so stay tuned for that. I saw a lot of great Scandinavian design and I can’t wait to share it with you!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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ENJOYING THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE

As April starts it’s nice to look back at some of the moments shared throughout March. We have now reached over 1000 images which is amazing, I am so happy that so many of you are using the hashtag and sharing your Scandinavian feeling with us! In the build-up to Easter and springtime, you have all been loving spending time at home creating a cozy environment full of joy where you can enjoy those little things in life. Because hygge is not just for winter, it can be enjoyed all year long! We see a lot of white and wood elements in the interior, but colour are starting to pop up more as we now go towards sunny days.

Here in Italy Spring is already in full bloom, with the sun shining through my windows in the mornings spreading happiness and hope. Growing up in Norway, I remember it still being quite gray in this period and that can really dampen your mood when you wake up. Because of that, Scandinavians are used to trying to make the best out of the situation and create a lovely environment at home that we can enjoy. Having lovely, sentimental items around our house as well as fresh flowers and plants helps us getting through the darker days. We are also very good at using this period to invite friends or family around for coffee and cakes or a dinner party to have something to look forward to. And believe me, when the sun comes out and the weather is great Scandinavians are the best at getting out and enjoying every drop of sunshine to the fullest! But when that’s said, we are also pretty good at staying optimistic on a gray day too, because you never know when the sun decides to make an entrance.

I have selected 4 of the images from Instagram to share with you, as well as a quote from each of them about what That Scandinavian Feeling means to them. Be sure to check out the #thatscandinavianfeeling feed for more! Just click on the hashtag below and it will take you to the feed;

1 // ​​@mich.elle.imagery
“​​That Scandinavian Feeling to me translates to curating and living everyday moments with a sense of joy and inner warmth. This little still life is a collection of those moments for me. A little wood horse picked up during a memorable trip. Pictures of quiet moments, white vases to fill with flowers, and the perfect light filtering through a window nearby adding warmth to my Scandinavian feeling.”

2 // ​​@koivu9902
“​​That Scandinavian Feeling is the coziness I can experience at home surrounded by my family and by the objects I love more, it’s white and minimalistic spaces warmed up by wood and spiced up by bold patterns, it’s lighting candles in winter nights, it’s hot tea in nice mugs and homemade bread, it’s sharing food with friends, it’s curling up on the sofa with a good book… in a word; it’s enjoying the little things that everyday life offers.”

3 // ​​@wealllovebeautifulthings
“​​That Scandinavian Feeling is kicking my shoes off after a long winter day, wrapping up in a warm blanket, sitting on my favorite chair, and relax… I’m home…”

4 // ​​@silje_li_
“​Scandinavians spend a lot of time indoors during a year, and to me That Scandinavian Feeling is about bringing brightness, lightness and «hygge» into our home. It’s about getting that cozy and homey feeling, and using delicate colors and different materials to bring light and everyday-joy indoors. To me, it’s also about bringing nature inside. I love mixing materials like wood, concrete, glass and last but not least: plants and flowers. It’s about mixing old with new, like in this picture with my grandmother’s old wooden crate together with modern design objects. To me, That Scandinavian Feeling is about creating your own style, using objects, pictures, and colors that you like and making your home nice and cozy the way you like it.”

What is That Scandinavian Feeling to you? I hope you want to join in and share your images on Instagram too! It’s a great way for us all to get together and spread some hygge while we wait for summer to arrive.

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VISITING NAMI CONCEPT STORE IN BERGAMO // FOR NORDIC DESIGN & HYGGE LOVERS

Living in Italy I do miss the homeware stores we have back home in Norway, always beautifully decorated and stocked full of goodies for Scandinavian interior lovers. So when I discovered a new store opening nearby with that same Nordic vibe that I love, I knew I had to visit. The NAMI Concept Store is located in the small but vibrant town Bergamo, about an hour drive from Milano. If you are planning a trip to this area I would highly recommend stopping by, the store is gorgeous and it has a great selection of homeware items in different price ranges. When walking in you immediately feel welcome, it is like entering someone’s living room full of treasures to discover. Warning; you will probably not leave empty handed…

On my visit I had a lovely chat with the owner Stefania, she told me all about her idea of creating an emotional store where design, quality, and craftsmanship are fused together. Her mission to enhance our daily life with little details chosen with care and attention for nature do come to life in NAMI, a store with the perfect Scandinavian feeling here in Italy.

BIO: Stefania, 28 years old, is a graduate in Design and has been working as a photographer for some years while cultivating her passion for art in all its forms. In the last few years, she has organized different exhibitions and collaborated as art director for a young artists collective called Progetto Meteora. She says she is an aesthete and likes to discover things that satisfy her taste; because of this during the last few years, she has approached Nordic design and therefore felt the need to bring up some not so well known artisans and brands for people to discover. For her, Nordic design is the right compromise between liveability, design, and nature.

Q1 // Tell us more about NAMI and why you decided to focus on Scandinavian style and hygge?

The idea originated from a little dream of mine but was mostly led by the path I had taken such as my photography experience, design studies, and experiences in retail. This all became NAMI. I started off by taking part in local markets and followed with an e-commerce, then finally I recently opened my concept store which allowed me to have a physical place to show all the products I love. The store is today also a gallery and a workshop location.

Q2 // Which Scandinavian brands do you currently have in your store?

I have decided to focus on two main Danish brands; Bloomingville and Madam Stoltz. While the first is more modern and minimal, the second is rougher in the aesthetic but with an ethnic chic soul. I have chosen these two companies as their styles are diverging but at the same time they provide our concept store with a good view of my idea of Scandinavian design, the right mix between the new (Bloomingville) and the lived (Madam Stoltz). We also stock Meraki skin care products.

Q3 // What are your future plans for NAMI?

In the future, I can see definite room for art exhibitions, workshops, and collaborations with new brands and creative people, in this way we will be able to widen the network of art and Nordic design lovers.

Q4 // What do you think is most important to think about when styling your own home? Any personal tips and smart solutions?

There are many elements to consider when giving a homogeneous and uniform style to your own home. Everything needs to appear as comfortable as possible since we have to see it as the place where we will spend the majority of our time. First of all, I believe the consistency of the palette is essential, the number of colours does not really matter, instead the ability to combine them correctly is key. Another essential aspect is the correct use of empty walls. Sometimes we tend to overload them as they can feel quite bare, in this case just the use of a wallpaper with the right colours and patterns is a great solution.

Q5 // Any new furniture & interior trends you are excited about?

Yes! One of the most fascinating trends for me is the use of plants in the home for decorative and other purposes, finally, we are bringing nature back inside. Apart from looking nice in the environment, plants appear to provide a relaxing feeling. They are also natural humidifiers, have healing power, minimize allergies risks by purifying the rooms and reduce the level of stress.

I would like to further develop these aspects in my concept store as well. At the moment you can find plants such as cactus, pilea, aloe and terrarium, but for the near future, I am planning to start retailing the beautiful vase by Boskke which aims to save space and water.

Q6 // How do you like to relax, how do you hygge?

During my free time, I like to discover new places and I am always hunting for new inspiration as, believe it or not, I find it very relaxing!

Q7 // What is That Scandinavian Feeling to you?

For me, it means to be able to understand deeply all the aspects of a different culture from mine and turn it into inspiration.

If you would like to visit the store, you can find it on Via Broseta in Bergamo. View all items available and shop online here, and if you do go let me know as I would love to hear what you though!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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SCANDINAVIAN PRODUCTS WITH THE NATURE AT HEART // SAGALAGA DESIGN

I had the pleasure of having a little chat with Satu Enstedt, the woman behind the Finnish brand Sagalaga Design. Their designs are born from life’s magical moments and the depths of timeless time. She gets inspired by the simple aesthetics of Finland, creating beautiful Scandinavian products with the nature at heart.

Q1 // How did Sagalaga Design start? Can you tell us a bit about your creative background and how the brand was created?

Sagalaga Design started in 2013 by baby steps. I was working as a creative freelancer for clients and I felt I needed to create something on my own. Sagalaga, as a word, didn’t leave me alone, so I trusted my instinct and that’s how Sagalaga Design was created. ‘Saga’ has been my childhood nickname and it means story / fairytale which I would like to believe can be found in my design style as well.

I studied Fine Art, Graphic Design & Textile Design while working on many different kind of creative projects before Sagalaga Design. I think the result is a good combination of all projects from my past.

Q2 // What inspires you in your design process?

Unexpected things in quiet moments are the best. I think my head is constantly working on something new and when the mental process is ready to come out, I start to work with an idea on paper. The idea can basically come from anywhere around us. There´s always a story behind every illustration or pattern, even though it may not be that obvious at first. Little joy for your everyday life, as our slogan says.

Q3 // In what way does your Scandinavian heritage affect your style?

I spent my childhood playing around in old pine forest close to our house and we also had a summer cottage in a small island at Finnish archipelago. I think nordic nature with all its scents, forms and lines are still affecting me and can be seeing as a minimalistic Scandinavian style and functional products.

Q4 // Are you currently working on any new designs, and if so can you give us a little insight?

Yes, I´m currently working with new patterns and designs, new products are coming out soon. The latest will be our cosmetic bag and two smaller purses. These will be out this Spring and we are quite excited about them!

Q5 // How do you like to relax, how do you hygge?

I relax with friends and loved ones spending quality time together. Cooking together, spending time by the sea or doing a picnic in the forest is to me the best thing you can do.

SAGALAGA DESIGN PRODUCTS SHOWN IN THIS BLOGPOST:
KUUSI tray: Silent, winter woods, snow on spruce. This pattern is inspired by the beautiful winter forest with heavy snow on trees. The Finnish word KUUSI means spruce. TUIKE candle holder: This wooden candle holder is made out of Finnish birch. You can have a small piece of Finnish forest twinkle at your home and bring you special nordic atmosphere. The Finnish word TUIKE means twinkle.

Both the KUUSI tray and the TUIKE candle holder are available from their online store along with a lovely selection of other trays, textiles, paper and wood products.

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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FRIDAY INSPIRATION: SCANDINAVIAN BREAKFAST IDEAS FOR THE WEEKEND

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but for me taking time to create an extra nice breakfast is the best part of the weekend. So for this Friday inspiration post I thought I would share a couple of typical Scandinavian dishes. If you want to try these yourself you can find all the links below, or follow my How to hygge the Nordic way Pinterest board.

// 1: Heart shaped waffles / 2: Smoked salmon sandwich / 3: Cinnamon buns / 4: Knekkebrød / 5: Rømme grøt / 6: Muesli

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