We often count on Europeans and their inherent sense of style to inspire us – all clean, timeless designs and pared-down simplified style. Here’s how to inject a dose of Scandinavian living and thinking into your heart and home.
1. Connection through coffee
In a world where we can barely get through the day without being faced with almond milk and green juices, a rich coffee brew and pastry couldn't be more welcome – and the Swedish love to invite their neighbours for this, says Anna-Carin. Called Fika, which is often translated as "a coffee and cake break", it’s really much more than that – a daily ritual enjoyed with others. If you prefer your solo time, Stephanie recommends connecting with nature instead, by “a long walk outdoors or foraging for food.”
2. Family first
It is not just Sweden’s parental leave and daycare schemes that allows the Swedish to focus on family as Anna-Carin says, but also they’re strong food culture. Entertaining expert and Electrolux ambassador, Stephanie loves to incorporate the Scandi fresh seasonal approach to cooking and in the cooler months that means comfort food like meatballs, classic potato salad, and apple layer cake.
The Swedish practice of "having just the right amount". As Stephanie explains, this way of thinking fosters contentment by “seeking and maintaining a balance in life.” That can mean anything from simplifying your home to only a collection of pleasure bringing things, to small practices like these enjoyed by Swedish interior designer and Electrolux ambassador Anna-Carin. “Buy lots of candles and place them around the house. Heat up cinnamon buns gently in your oven. While the smell of warm cinnamon fills the room, fire up your cooktop and brew a pot of string coffee, before transferring it to a thermos and settling in on the sofa.” Anna-Carin recommends the Electrolux multifunction steam and pyrolytic oven which cleans itself, while the FlexiBridge induction cooktop’s Stop & Go feature ensures your cooking will “keep warm” if you’re unexpectedly interrupted.
4. Sweat your stress away
Like Fika, sweating away life's problems in a baking-hot sauna is an essential part of the Swedish experience. It’s a pastime all Swedes enjoy, says Anna-Carin. “We do have unisex saunas all the time, where we tend to talk and sweat and drink in there.” Relax and soak up the circulatory benefits.
5. People over prestige
Anna-Carin explains that the Swedish always consider others first. “The thinking is how can we put people and the user experience first in everything we do, as opposed to profit, prestige and appearance.” This applies to home design as well, says Stephanie, who specialises in entertaining. She recommends creating a minimal and simplistic space with a neutral colour palate and investing in things that are built to last like Swedish appliance manufacturer, Electrolux, which celebrates 100 years’ experience designing premium appliances for the home.