Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome back from the festive break, did you all have a good time?
As part of my break I went to Copenhagen and although we don’t really do New Year’s Resolution’s here at TWR (life’s too short for that much denial) I have come back from Denmark seriously impressed with just how TIDY the Danish are. Last year we added more Danish hygge and softness into our lives, but this tidiness really impressed me so, this year, I am determined to channel my inner Viking and live even more Danishly by adopting some of their neatness to my home organisation.
We love everything about Scandi style, as regular readers will know, so it’ll be no surprise to you that I liked Copenhagen very much. Middleagedad and I stayed in a lovely Air B&B apartment in the centre of town while the owners were away for the New Year. One of the many advantages of Air B&B stays is having a good look around the homes of stylish people (or am I the only nosy one?) for inspiration on how to make your own home better. As well as having gorgeous lamps and candle holders everywhere (a key factor in hygge is cosy lighting) everything in this space was beautifully displayed and neatly stored, from the washing chemicals in an old leather suitcase to shoes and boots filed carefully in vintage apple crates rates attached sideways to the wall. Although there was a lot of ‘stuff’, it was carefully curated so as not to over-fill the space.
It wasn’t just our apartment either, the courtyard block design of where we stayed allowed for a good bit of Rear Window gawping into the other residents’ spaces too and it looked like everyone was neat, something Helen Russell confirms in her excellent book The Year Of Living Danishly (don’t even think of visiting Denmark without reading this, btw, it’s terrific) where she states that pretty much all the Danish houses she visits are neat and tidy.
Good design is important to the Danes, they are famous for their gorgeous lighting and appreciation of minimal, modern shapes, just look at Normann, Stelton or Menu to see what I mean (all available from the Copenhagen airport Illum store, just saying…..) Part of this design appreciation is clearly based on this visual tidiness. All around Copenhagen you could see this organised approach to the visual, from the neat way florists stored their flowers to the careful clean-up-as-we-go approach the baristas had to serving their expressos and cortados (another highlight, the coffee is FABULOUS).
Both M.A.D and I are enthusiastic clutterers, we will always haul back interesting bits of junk from our travels and have our radar fine-tuned to discovering the nearest junk shop, but we looked at the calm and ordered home design and marvelled at how with fewer things out, you could actually see and appreciate what was there.
It’s definitely time to rethink our clutter and adopt some Danish-style order into our lives. Having just what’s needed and NO MORE is liberating and freeing, it doesn’t mean going all minimalist, heaven forbid! But it does mean getting rid of unwanted stuff in order to let what we love shine properly. Think of it as a strategy on how to be a better maximalist…..
As we get older and look around at everything we’ve collected along the way, I suspect this Danish approach to having just the right amount of stuff is a good one. Yesterday I collected five black bags of unwanted ‘stuff’ to recycle/throw away/send to the charity store..and that was just the kitchen! I’ll let you know how I get on with me new Living Danishly approach…will it last?