The spotlight in Nordic design is typically on brands coming from Denmark and Sweden. If you fancy the style, you may think of Muuto, Hay, Ikea and Normann Copenhagen as best representatives. Finland have come to enjoy some fame, too, thanks to famous brands such as Marimekko and designers as Aalto. Less known is - I believe - Norwegian design.
I thought it was time to investigate it. I was especially curious about the concept of 'koselig', which many compare to the Danish 'hygge' and the Swedish 'mysigt'.
What best way to discover what Norwegian design and koselig are all about than asking Norwegians themselves? So, I went on to interview two Instagram account owners I´ve come into contact with through my Instagram account.
Here is what they have to say about Norwegian design and koselig. Get ready to read about how nature plays such an important part in Norwegian life and what trends are currently popular in Norway!
ON NORWEGIAN DESIGN
The first interview is with Silje Gården Lian, a 28 years old marketer and event planner living in Trondheim, Norway.
Silje loves renovating and decorating (she has renovated herself - with help from her father and sister - her whole apartment). She also owns the online shop "Nordic Interiør" , which makes her a perfect candidate for telling us more about Norwegian design.
1. How do you think Norwegian design characterises itself compared to the design from other Scandinavian countries?
I think that Norwegian design has a lot of the same characteristics as other Scandinavian countries, Denmark for example. A lot of interior in Norwegian design has a clean and simple design. Designers focus on sustainability, handmade product and using materials that are close by, as wood.
2. Scandinavian design is worldwide recognised as the prefect blend between minimalism, simplicity, coziness and functionality. Which of these elements do you think are mostly represented in Norwegian design?
I think simplicity and functionality. For example Dare To Design Studio just designed a shelf system that is very functional. You can organise the shelves the way you want. You just choose which size you like, and then add pins and boxes as you wish. Also, it has simple design and it is very trendy with the wooden materials.
3. As an owner of an online Nordic home decor shop, can you tell us which items are sold the most and what colours seem to be most popular?
We can see that items like the sandy vase form Hübsch Interiør have been very popular, as also the creamy vase from Enjoy Design and our smoked/grey vases from House Doctor. So, colours as beige and smoked grey have been appreciated, lately. But we can also see that darker colours as brown, black and purple are becoming more and more popular!
4. While hyggelig has become an internationally used word, there is a Norwegian counterpart – koselig – which is yet to be discovered. Let´s try promoting it here! How would you describe koselig and what makes it different from hyggelig in your opinion?
I would describe “Koselig” as a home with a lot of personal items and maybe items that have a great story behind them. It does not have to be pictures of family or friends, but other personal items that represent you as a person and style. For example, my wooden dinner table is over 100 years old and this makes it very special. To add to that, I also have sheers from different vintage shops. I love furniture and items that other people might not have and mix them with new design.
I also would describe “koselig” as a home where you easily can relax and be comfortable. Furniture with cosy materials and warm colours that you can snuggle into. I feel that “hyggelig” is more of a state of mind and the feeling of when you’re in a “koselig”/cosy home.
You can follow Silje on Instagram @siljelian_ for more Norwegian design inspiration!
A BIT MORE ON KOSELIG
The second interview for this blog post is with Ingunn Leifsdatter, owner of the Instagram account @ileifsdatter. I fell in love with her intimate photos depicting the small pleasures in life. I thought she would have a good sense of koselig, considering her wonderful feed.
Here is how Ingunn describes the feeling. Enjoy!
1. How do you think the idea of koselig differs from the idea of hygge and mysigt?
Koselig-mysigt-hygge - my guess is that even if all these concepts have a lot in common, there will still be some cultural differences. Koselig is all about making that warm, comfortable feeling inside. Moments that we define as koselig can happen anywhere at any time - inside/outside, in summertime/wintertime, together with family and friends and, of course, alone.
2. What is a very koselig thing to do as a Norwegian?
Here in Norway we have a lot of different traditions that we think are koselig. In wintertime it is all about skiing all day long and later go inside (often to your cabin) to curl up in your comfy sofa with hot chocolate and with some fire in the open fireplace. There will also be candles - lots of candle! And cushions and, also, homemade socks of wool. In summertime, we love to gather family and friends around tables in the garden for dinner. Even better is to take a trip with our boats to visit one of our lovely islands! Again we lit up a campfire and eat crabs we ourselves fish. We end the day by looking at the stars. It may also be much simpler than this, of course. For me it starts early in the morning with a cup of coffee in the garden - no matter if it is raining or the snow falls down. It is very koselig anyway. If my partner is home, it's twice as koselig. A typical koselig moment for us is to put some music on and share a beer or a glass of lemonade in our backyard after dinner. This is really, really koselig!!
3. Do you know how the concept is related to Norwegian culture and the reasons behind it?
The concept with koselig might come from the need for some extra warmth in the long, dark and often cold winter. This is just my guess, though. For us Norwegians it has become a lovely part of our culture - and I truly love it!