As a fan of Scandinavian design, Danish pastries and generally all things Nordic, I was very excited at the prospect of a ‘Scandi night’ hosted by trendy furniture store BoConcept.
Dressed in suitably Nordic attire of a grey jumper and shirt combo, black skinny jeans and Superga trainers, we headed to the venue on Tottenham Court Road to look at beautiful furniture we could never afford, excepting perhaps an impossibly chic candle holder.
Guest speakers for the night included designer Morten Georgsen who decreed “furnishing is a practical need that we all have, and in that sense, we all deserve good style and quality that works.” Morten’s designs for BoConcept included the best-selling Milano table and effortlessly cool Chiva coffee table. He also entertained with stories of a crazy ex-boss and his early life in Denmark. His newest design, the Copenhagen Wall System, was as flexible as it was beautiful and only left me day-dreaming of my own Scandi-style apartment where I could waft around in muted colours, impressing guests with my impeccable taste in interiors.
But the real gem of the evening was a talk by former journalist Helen Russell, who emigrated with her husband to rural Denmark after 12 years living and working in London. A complete convert to the Danish way of life, Helen has written the best-selling book about her experience; A Year of Living Danishly and in doing so has become an expert on all things ‘hygge’ – the nation’s latest buzzword coined from a Danish word that roughly translates to ‘cosy’.
Hygge is simple enough to understand, but can be harder to do in a bustling city like London: you can get ‘hygge’ by drinking a hot drink curled up on the sofa, reading a favourite book or hanging out with friends, but what most appealed to me was the idea of creating a hygge space even in rented accommodation.
All it takes is a couple of cushions and some suitable mood lighting, burning some candles, throwing on a blanket and enjoying a good box-set. I couldn’t think of a better way to ease into the cold weather and take some lifestyle tips from the world’s happiest people.
By Jo Kendall