'Friluftsliv’ Is the Nordic Concept That'll Reconnect Your Home With Nature

It wasn’t long ago when Scandinavian lifestyle concepts such as Hygge, Lagom and Pantsdrunk became buzzwords in the lifestyle and interior design realms, as a result of our desire to lead happier and fulfilled lives. Now, it seems as though there’s another trend emerging: Friluftsliv.

The ancient Norwegian philosophy of Friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) is nothing new in Scandinavia. The expression literally translates to “free air life” (or “open air living”) and was popularised in 1859 by playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen, who used the term to describe the value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical wellbeing. Ultimately, the goal is to live a content and fulfilled life by connecting with the world outside and appreciating nature’s beauty. As a result, Friluftsliv should alleviate the stress and anxieties of everyday life - and there’s a wealth of evidence behind this concept. 

An empirical study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that virtually any form of immersion in the natural world heightens your overall wellbeing and boosts a more positive engagement with the larger human community. Moreover, a study by the University of Queensland found that people who visit parks for 30-minutes or more each week are much less likely to have poor mental health than those who don’t. 

And after spending the majority of 2020 indoors, we’ve all come to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and appreciating the simpler things in life. Luckily, it’s easy to implement the advantages of nature into your everyday life by simply sprinkling Friluftsliv into your home’s interiors. Here are seven ways you can bring the outside in. 

7 ways to channel 'Friluftsliv' into your home’s interiors

1. Plants galore

As mentioned above, nature can boost your wellbeing in phenomenal ways, both physically and mentally. It has a positive physiological effect on the body, helping to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels, which are linked to stress. It can help to improve your productivity, focus and creativity, plus reduce mental fatigue and help fight depression and anxiety. 

A simple way to immerse yourself in nature without leaving the house is to add some greenery throughout your space, or even create an indoor jungle. 

If you’re seeking cleaner air and good vibes, the Snake Plant (aka Mother In Law’s Tongue) helps to improve air quality.

For someone who isn’t the best with living plants, we recommend the Giant Bird of Paradise. Like the Monstera, this plant has large, shiny leaves, making it a great way to instantly add greenery to your home. The low-maintenance plant comes in a range of different sizes depending on how much space your home offers. Otherwise, opt for the Cast Iron Plant, which is basically known to be indestructible for anyone with a poor track record for keeping things alive. 

And if you’re all about the looks and don’t mind putting effort into maintenance, you can’t look past the incredibly trendy Swiss Cheese Plant and Fiddle Leaf Fig. 

 

2. Shaggy pieces

Sheepskins and tactile shaggy pieces can be draped over chairs, beds or used as rugs on wooden floors. They’ll help keep the feeling warm and cosy while also reviving those fresh outdoor vibes. 

3. Seek out wooden elements

Wooden elements are key to the outdoor lifestyle, and can instantly add a rustic and natural appeal to interiors. Fortunately, they’re also incredibly easy to find chic furniture in. Opt for strong and sturdy furniture in natural wood you’ll have for the long-term, and if possible, pieces that will connect you with the tree it came from. 

Plus, a dining table isn’t the only decor option when it comes to wood. You can seek out wooden accessories such as clocks, frames, trays, log slices as coasters and tableware. 

 

4. Don't forget the power of scent

Transport yourself to the great outdoors with candles and diffusers. Choose warming but fresh scents such as fig leaves, geranium and macadamia nut. We love the Glasshouse Fragrances Lost in Amalfi candle as it helps transport us to the crystal clear ocean water with a hint of zest from freesia, lime and moss.

If you’d rather refrain from lighting a match, invest in a diffuser and some calming essential oils such as patchouli, lavender, chamomile and holy basil. 

5. Rustic and earthy colour palette

In terms of hues, you want to keep your colour scheme natural by incorporating green, brown, beige, rust and greys. Earthy tones will complement any green hues you have placed around your home. Try our 100% Flax Linen Bedding Set in Rust, Terracotta and Turmeric in the bedroom, or drape our Rust Throw over your living room couch. You could also opt for Olive and Sage linen if your goal is to add more greenery.

Then, pair your Threads with a jute rug, a concrete table or ceramic statements. These will all play off each other and create a grounding, earthy feel to your space - however modern it might be.

 

6. Create wide open space

The wide open spaces that you come across in nature will help you reconnect with feelings of freedom, which is difficult to experience when you’re living in a dense, urban environment. However, there are countless tricks that can transform even a shoebox apartment into a spacious sanctuary. For example, the natural light you receive indoors can simply be multiplied by placing a mirror on the opposite wall to a window. Just being exposed to natural light is proven to boost your mood and help aid sleep. 

In a room where you are likely to entertain, adding a large mirror can increase the atmosphere in the room by giving the illusion of more guests, while a statement mirror in the entrance of a house gives the immediate feeling of uplifting light as soon as you step foot inside.

7. Upgrade your lamps

There’s a reason the warm, cosy glow of lamps is referred to as “mood lighting”; it has a seriously positive effect on the way you feel.

When it comes to your lighting solutions, you have our permission to go overboard — lamps in your living area will allow you to relax in the evening, and one on each of your bedside tables will up the cosiness levels in your bedroom and get you into wind-down mode come bedtime.

Don’t be afraid to pair your lamps with chic vases and ceramics, and objects that mimic water and organic shapes.

There are other ways to create a more positive atmosphere in your home. Here are 4 mood-boosting ways you can use colour therapy in your interiors.

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