Embracing New Lifestyle Trends in 2018

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Lifestyle trends come and go and 2017 was a year that saw quite a few different trends explode onto the scene. Of course, hygge was the big trend that we were all aspiring to, but as the year progressed a number of other trends sought to take the limelight away from hygge and convince us to adapt our lifestyles in order to live our best lives. In today’s post I want to take a look at the four major trends that I noticed last year. I want to take a closer look at just what they mean, how we can incorporate them into our lives and how they will affect me personally.

As you know from my colour trends post earlier this month, I don’t always follow trends unless they resonate with me personally, but I have become pretty good at looking at trends and taking bits from them if they work for me. And I think that’s the best way to approach trends. As yourself, ‘Can they work for me?’ and ‘How can they help to improve my life?’ If there is some benefit for you, go ahead, but don’t just follow trends to be part of the cool gang.

Apart from hygge, I haven’t really paid much attention to the other trends I’m talking about today and it wasn’t until I started researching this post that I realised how much these trends speak to me and my life goals. So let’s get started and you can tell me what you think of these lifestyle trends in the comments at the end, okay?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Hygge

I’ve touched a little bit on Hygge here before, which you can see in this post. For those of you haven’t heard of it….well where have you been hiding? Hygge has been an absolutely massive trend in interiors and home design in the UK for well over a year now, maybe even two now I come to think about it. Everything has revolved around making our homes as hyggelig as possible. But what is hygge? With no direct translation into English it can be a little bit tricky to define but according to Wikipedia Hygge is the Scandinavian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.

Over recent years, hygge has become a defining characteristic of Danish culture. It has been lauded as the lifestyle to aspire to as if we Brits are completely incapable of creating an atmosphere that helps us to feel happy, cosy, contented, warm, safe and comforted. I try to experience Hygge as often as possible and I like nothing more than snuggling up in a cosy blanket beside the fire with loved ones, sipping hot tea and chatting with friends, settling down to read a good book or sharing a meal with mates. (I’m not a big fan of candles mind you!) All things which could come under the umbrella of hygge.

In his book, A Very British Hygge, Simon Sinclair notes that hygge has a lot to do with our state of mind and it’s more about learning to be happy with the simple things in life. It’s about getting pleasure from experiences rather than stuff. The part of the book that really resonated with me was the bit about decluttering your home and making sure that your home tells your story. I’ve been feeling stressed at home ever since having kids meant that the amount of stuff that we own practically tripled overnight. We live in a small two bedroom flat so all these belongings can feel suffocating.

I’ve been reading a lot recently about becoming a minimalist and it is something I would love to attempt. I don’t mean I want to live in bare home with only a few pieces of furniture and no belongings. But I really would like to go through my home and get rid of everything that isn’t useful, doesn’t bring joy, hold fond memories or tell our story. I’m pretty sure that doing this would help me to feel more relaxed and at ease at home and I would definitely feel more comfortable having friends and family come round if we weren’t drowning in clutter that needed to be tidied away every five minutes.

This would definitely help me to feel more hyggelig. However, I can only do this if I can convince my husband to do the same. He really doesn’t like the idea of getting rid of his stuff and he loves to hold on to things that he will never use again and hasn’t even looked at for the past 10 years. Perhaps I need to fill him in on hygge and another big lifestyle trend that ties in with this, Lagom.

Balance - Artwork by DesenioArtwork by Desenio

Lagom

Last year, once we were all a bit tired of hearing about hygge, a new lifestyle trend cropped up to rival the Danish way of life. The internet was awash with articles heralding lagom as the next hygge. Lagom is a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount”. Rather than striving for a momentary state of cosiness as with hygge, Lagom is more about our approach to life as a whole and seeking more of a balance. It encompasses many aspects from finding a better work/life balance to looking after your financial well-being. It’s also about living more sustainably by saving energy and water, creating less waste and recycling more.

A few years ago, IKEA launched a campaign called Live Lagom where they sought to help their customers embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. In fact a few of my blogging friends took part in the campaign, you can read their posts about it here, here and here and find out how it changed their lives. There is also a great article full of ideas about how to become a “lagomer” over on the House Beautiful website.

But being more conscious doesn’t necessarily mean depriving yourself of life’s little luxuries. Again it’s about balance. Lagom is a concept that I have decided to adopt this year. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with the whole minimalism thing I guess. I want to be more conscious of the things that I bring into my home and I want to spend my money more wisely.

That may mean spending more money to buy better designed, good quality products that will last longer (and bring me joy) but ultimately I will be spending less money as I won’t have to replace things so often, adding to the mountain of waste that ends up in landfill every year. Plus I’ve always been a bit obsessed with recycling as I mentioned in this post so that won’t change. I’m also hoping to save as much money as possible this year as my husband and I plan for our future and that of our girls. So I can definitely get on board with Lagom.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Wabi Sabi

The next lifestyle trend that has come onto my radar recently is something called wabi sabi. Hailing from Japan, wabi sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and really valuing authenticity. Wabi is a word that basically means rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects. It can also refer to the anomalies that arise from the production process, which add uniqueness and elegance to an object. Sabi, on the other hand, refers to the beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object can be seen in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.

The tradition of wabi-sabi can offer an inspiring new way to look at our homes, and our whole lives. I am a self-confessed perfectionist and this is probably why I’m struggling with my home at the moment and can explain my ambition to become more of a minimalist. I like my home to be just the way I want it, but with our current situation it’s just not possible. I have a plan to get us somewhere close but this will take time, effort, patience and money. So in the meantime, I intend to practice wabi sabi to help me to appreciate the beauty of our home and to accept all the imperfections that it has.

Perhaps focusing on all the signs that our little family is growing up here rather than lamenting the lack of perfection will help me to feel less impatient and frustrated with the current state of our home. It won’t be forever, before we know it the girls won’t need all these toys and they will stop spilling every drink I give them and dropping their Play Doh and kinetic sand all over the floor. For now, I’ll just have to learn to see these blemishes and flaws as the story of our family. The perfectionist in me won’t find this easy!

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Ikigai

The final lifestyle trend that I’d like to explore in 2018 popped onto the scene in the Autumn of 2017. Again journalists were frantically scribing articles about the Japanese concept of ikigai taking hygge’s throne as the number one aspirational lifestyle we should all be striving for. But what exactly is ikigai and why should we be interested? Well, ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being” along the same lines as the French phrase “raison d’être”.

According to Japanese culture, everyone has an ikigai and discovering what it is brings satisfaction and meaning to life. I have always been a big believer in the saying that everything happens for a reason so it’s not too far removed for me to believe that everyone also has a reason for being.

According to Wikipedia, Ikigai is “used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile”. Many people believe that it can be found at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing. For me, I guess this is blogging and this year I will be trying to be more conscious of my ikigai.

By being more aware of my ikigai I hope to make this pursuit a lot more enjoyable. By taking time to notice the writing tasks that I enjoy and that fulfill me, I can try to do more of those things. Likewise, if I notice the things that bring me no joy I can try to steer clear of those things in the future. Hopefully this will help me to lead a more fulfilling life.

So what do you guys think of these lifestyle trends? Have you already embraced any of those I’ve mentioned? If so how is it going? Or will 2018 be the year you give one of these a go? Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

LIFESTYLE TRENDS 2018 PIN

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Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Everest. However, I want to stress that I only collaborate with brands and companies that I genuinely like and believe that my readers will like too.

31 Comments

  1. January 23, 2018 / 8:47 am

    We really do live in a NON STOP world. Taking time out for one self is a discipline in itself. Yet so important.
    Great post and lots of inspiration for the different approaches.

    • January 24, 2018 / 10:29 am

      Thanks Tom. It really is a big effort to take time out and switch off but we should do more of it really for the sake of our mental health!

  2. January 22, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    Such an interesting post.. I hear about different trends all the time (especially Hygge) but never heard of Ikigai.. I love the concept of it!

    • January 24, 2018 / 10:28 am

      Me too. I think finding the value in your life is so important. Without it people can feel a little bit lost!

  3. January 22, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    Really enjoyed this post, I’d never heard of the last two before. I’m a huge fan of hygge and lagoon too

    • January 24, 2018 / 10:27 am

      Thanks Medina, glad I was able to introduce you to two new trends!

  4. January 21, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    Really enjoyed this, going to have another read when I’m home!

  5. Emma
    January 21, 2018 / 10:14 pm

    Your photography is so beaut. I love the whole aesthetic of your blog. Totally agree about the Hygge movement..I’m really trying to inject Hygge into my lifestyle and what better way than through homewares. Candles, throws etc. Ps. I have some Desenio prints too, so beaut! Over from littleowlblogs.wordpress.com

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:36 am

      Thank you but I have to admit I didn’t take any of these photos myself. I’m not great at photography! Desenio are awesome for prints, I’ve got loads at home!

  6. January 21, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    I’m gonna be honest, I’ve not heard of ikigai before. But I did hear about the first three and even read a book about hygga ( like everyone else 😉) I quite like the idea behind all four philosophies and i think they all help us feel happier 😊

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:38 am

      I don’t usually buy into lifestyle trends but I agree that following these could help us feel happier!

  7. January 21, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    I like the idea of Wabi Sabi best. The constant struggle for perfection can lead to disappointment and we can learn a lot from finding satisfaction in the naturally imperfect.

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:39 am

      I love that idea. My home is far from perfection and I often get inst-envy so bearing wabi-sabi in mind might help me ward off that feeling of inadequacy.

  8. January 21, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    Trends come and go (and I thought hygge would be gone by now) but I think these have lasted because they are true to the way people want to live these days. And they are about taking time, finding pleasure in simple things and not being too materialistic…which can never be a bad way to live. :)

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:40 am

      I agree totally. With such a fast-paced digital lifestyle these days people are seeking to get back to their roots and disconnect. This can only be a good thing!

  9. January 21, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    excellent post and have to agree with the comment above by Susan Earlam – we seem unable to switch off on our own and rely on trends to helps us achieve it. I have burnt more candles this year and found myself cosying under chunky knit blankies but have I really switched off? Off to research Ikigai!

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:41 am

      So true! I really struggle to switch off and as a blogger I think it’s even harder. That’s why I’m trying to embrace these trends more!

  10. January 19, 2018 / 11:51 am

    As an interior designer I observe so many traits, quirks and rituals of people and their lifestyles. By no means a judgement call – but there are common threads that the trend instigators are aware of. These four lifestyle trends counter the influence and imposement of technology and the speed in which we now live which is here to stay. So perhaps these trends are answering a global cry of help … but If I burn any more candles or buy any more chunky cable knit blankets and eat comfort foods – I’ll be overloading on the good stuff and never leave my house.

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:43 am

      I totally agree with you. I am hearing of lots of people trying to disconnect and slow down and I desperately want to do that myself. It’s just not so easy when you blog and a lot of your life plays out online.

  11. January 17, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    I think it’s always nice to pick and choose different elements of trends like these. Take what will work for you and your home. The Lagom concept suits me down to the ground. I don’t like to be surrounded by too many things … it makes an environment stressful for me rather than homely.

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:44 am

      I’m the same Rachel although I only discovered that when I had the kids and the stuff become overwhelming. I’d love to get rid of most of it but Mr Design Sheppard won’t let me.

  12. January 17, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    These trends have come to the forefront because people genuinely need help in switching off. It’s so difficult to do these days so I think any advice or help in these areas is great

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:44 am

      Absolutely agree Susan. it’s so hard to switch off and disconnect. I really struggle myself

  13. January 17, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    A couple of new ones on me and the end, and I found both really interesting. I do like things that make you thing a little differently, and more mindfully.

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:44 am

      Me too. I see it as a personal challenge!

  14. January 17, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    Such an interesting post and love all the different trends. It’s funny how I touched on Hygge today on my post. I think its the January blues… haha! x

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:45 am

      January is a great time to think about hygge that’s for sure!

  15. January 17, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    What an interesting post! Of course I was familiar with Hygge, Lagom and Wabi-Sabi but I’d not heard of Ikigai so that’s a new one for me and I quite like the idea of it. I think Lagom is something I’m more conscious of than anything else – as a maximalist, I can end up amassing huge collections and just excess stuff and only buying things or bringing things into my home I truly love has been really important to me. I visited IKEA a couple of months ago and I loved how much the concept really is engrained in the company as well as the culture. People there seemed truly warm, happy and content. It gave me a lot to think about! xx

    • January 22, 2018 / 10:47 am

      Ah the burden of stuff. I find it all so suffocating. That’s why I’m planning to spend more money on less stuff this year. I just can’t deal with it anymore! I loved reading about your IKEA trip. I wish I could visit! I love IKEA and can’t wait til the Exeter one opens this summer! I’ll be in homeware heaven!

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