Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 16th October 2018

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Umage: The Scandinavian lifestyle trend for autumn

The Scandinavians had us all at hygge, the Danish term for cosiness and warmth. Next came lagom, the Swedish word meaning “just the right amount”, which advocated living with less and shopping mindfully. Now there’s a new Scandinavian lifestyle trend in town, and its name is umage (pronounced “oo-may”), which in Danish means “make a bit more effort”.

Whilst cashmere, candles and minimalism are easy to love, making a bit more effort sounds, well, hard work.  And yet, here at Michael Graham we all agree that our homes have something that irritates us on a daily basis that we can’t quite get around to sorting out.  For example, the lock that only turns if you jiggle the key in a certain way or the paint colour in the hallway that looked so different (better) on the tin. By making some time to address these niggles and go above and beyond the day to day keeping-on-top-of-everything tidying, we could clear some mental clutter and create a more zen like space to unwind in at the end of a busy day.  Here’s how we could make a bit more effort:

  • Clear and clean window ledges, dressers or bookcases.  Shelves are magnets for clutter and rearranging them is therapeutic in itself.
  • Move your furniture around.  Rearranging sofas and chairs can completely transform the look of a room.
  • Sheepskin blankets immediately add a Nordic, rustic look and changing cushion covers and throws in autumn refreshes a room with minimal expense and effort.   Some Scandinavians even change their curtains seasonally – but that might be a textile too far.
  • Walk around your house and make a snagging list, in other words, a list of small jobs that need doing in each room, for example touching up scuffed paintwork or replacing a hinge on a door. Then plan ahead and allocate time for getting the jobs done.
  • Add interest to a room with greenery. A tall, floor-standing plant will add height to an area, while a smaller, trailing plant adds life to a shelf.
  • Hang pictures to instantly add character to a space. Frame a collection of inexpensive prints, family photos or children’s drawings.

Does this Scandinavian trend appeal to you?  Let us know via Facebook or Twitter - we'd love to hear from you

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