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Never heard of friluftsliv? You’re not alone! While it still isn’t a household word, this Nordic philosophy started gaining popularity as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders swept across the US (and the world).
Spending so much time indoors left even the most enthusiastic homebodies wanting to get outside.
Enter friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv). Let’s discuss this term, how it has made its way into home decor, and how you can incorporate it into your home.
Friluftsliv is a Norwegian word described by playwright Henrik Ibsen as the “value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical wellbeing.”
This can also be described as spending time outside any chance you get: from walks or runs on your lunch break to reading on the patio to catching up with friends by going on a hike together.
Studies have shown that being outdoors lowers your stress, improves mood, and increases your vitamin D levels, making nature great for both your mental and physical health.
When we’re talking about interior design, friluftsliv is about bringing nature indoors. While it’s not quite the same as getting outside, bringing the outdoors in is a great way to boost your mood and create an inviting living space.
If you’re looking to connect your home with nature, try these tips:
Jewel tones are popular at the moment, but earthy colors are the way to go if you’re trying to cultivate a friluftsliv aesthetic. Incorporate colors like olive green, terracotta, brown, golden yellow, and warm gray tones into your home decor to lay a great friluftsliv foundation.
One of the biggest benefits of getting outside is the vitamin D you get from the sun. Luckily, it’s easy to get sunlight indoors (and without the risk of sunburns!) If you’re in the market for new windows anyway, choose styles that maximize the amount of natural light in your home. Classic double hung windows are great for natural light, or you can stack casement and awning windows for a beautiful look with lots of glass space. No matter what window styles you have, the idea is to pull back the curtains, open those blinds, and let the sun shine in whenever possible.
Houseplants are one of the easiest ways to bring the outside in! Before you head to your local garden center, you can use our guide to houseplants to find the perfect plants for your home and lifestyle.
If you don’t have a green thumb, try succulents, which are famously easy to care for. Dried greenery like pampas grass, which is extremely popular at the moment, or eucalyptus are other low-maintenance ways to incorporate greenery into your home.
Whether you like to spend time in the mountains, at the coast, or somewhere in between, art depicting your favorite landscape is a great way to add a friluftsliv touch to your home. This is also a great opportunity to support small and/or local artists! Explore local pop up or farmer’s markets and sites like Etsy to find the perfect piece for your home. You’ll be much more likely to find something that really speaks to you!
Marble and metal may be trending right now, but for a true friluftsliv home, you’ll want to opt for wood accents. Natural tree stump coffee and accent tables, also called “live edge tables”, are a great way to inject nature into your living area. Keep the theme going with teak or bamboo decor. Bamboo is an extremely sustainable material and for that reason, its popularity is always growing.
When it comes to household linens, ditch synthetic fibers and go for natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool. An added benefit? Natural fibers tend to be more breathable, making them more comfortable. Take it a step further by choosing unbleached linen or fabrics in earthy or neutral colors like tan or terracotta.
Candles always make a space cozier, and it’s easy to make even your candles reflect your new friluftsliv style! Choose nature-inspired scents like pine, citrus, or florals. If candles aren’t your style, avoid synthetic air fresheners and go for essential oil diffusers.
The completed look? A room that is cozy, calm, and might even make you feel like you’re spending time in nature.