Last year was all about hygge; we spent the winter months indoors, cosied up by flickering candlelight with blankets, hot chocolate, and muted colours.
But this summer, as people try to draw away from a sedentary lifestyle and more towards fitness, and as we attempt to take breaks from modern technology and embrace digital detoxes, we’ve noticed a new trend emerging: Friluftsliv.
The philosophy of friluftsliv is nothing new in Scandinavia. In Norwegian, the definition of friluftsliv is “free air life” and has no equivalent English word or notion. The goal is to live a content, fulfilled life by connecting with the world outside your door and appreciating the beauty in nature around you. It is claimed to relieve the stress and anxieties of everyday life, and also helps your physical wellbeing by being out and about.
To fully take advantage of this trend in our everyday lives, Festive Lights have put together some tips on how to embrace this concept, for those of us who can’t make it regularly to the great outdoors.
Reconnect With Nature
The obvious first step to embracing friluftsliv is to put down the phone or laptop, switch off, and get outside. It might be easier said than done, but creating a welcoming environment in your outside space is the best way for you to encourage yourself to get out there.
Set aside a space in your garden to be calm and peaceful, then use this as your area to reconnect with nature and to spend time outdoors. To make it an even nicer environment, surround yourself with natural plant life and flora, decorate with discreet fairy lighting and solar lights to create a warming atmosphere, and find a comfortable place just a few steps from your back door.
Bring the Outdoors In
If your working life doesn’t allow you much of an opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors, or your home doesn’t have any outside space to enjoy, that doesn’t mean you can’t still embrace the concept of friluftsliv. Instead, bring the outside to you, wherever you are.
In the home, seek out bright, open, airy spaces that allow a lot of light, with views of nature or just the great outdoors, if possible, and use this space regularly. Find greenery — whether real or artificial — and fill the space with it by draping over furniture, hanging in baskets, or simply by dotting it on surfaces.
Use natural wood in your indoor spaces to bring friluftsliv to fruition. Twig lighting is ideal to appeal to the trend, particularly if your inside space is usually stark and white. Log slices as coasters or decoration are perfect, bringing in a new contrast in texture and colours. In terms of hues, keep colour schemes very natural, incorporating green, brown, beige, rust, and greys.
For office workers, light spaces can be difficult to find, especially if your desk isn’t situated near a window. All you need, to build a space that brings you the joy of nature, are small plants that can easily be kept alive in an otherwise stuffy environment; clever lighting to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the outdoors, and maybe a picture of your favourite view. Again, greenery is your best option here — choose small ferns, cacti, and regularly flowering houseplants to keep the feeling awake, alive and active, and plant these in small (or large) terrariums.
Live the Cabin Life
Cabins and BBQ huts have become more and more popular over the past few years; these are no longer just any old garden shed! These homes away from home, which can be easily set up in a mid-sized to large garden, are ideal for helping to reconnect with nature. With no electricity and all natural decorations inside, you’ll be able to restore the peace and calm you’re looking for.
Even if you don’t have access to a cabin, you can create the feeling of one in your own home. Wooden elements are key to the outdoor lifestyle, and are fortunately easy to find in furniture. Choose strong and sturdy furniture in natural wood that will last a lifetime, and will connect you with the tree it came from. Have wooden flooring underfoot, and seek out wooden accessories; you can even find crockery and cutlery made from wood.
Fire pits, chimineas, and barbeques will add to the feeling of reconnecting with the great outdoors and all things natural.
Sheepskins and tactile shaggy pieces can be draped over chairs, over beds, or as rugs on wooden floors. They’ll keep the feeling warm and cosy whilst also reviving those natural outdoor vibes.