These days I wake up so early in the mornings. Most days, as early as 4:30 👀. The reason: the incredible chirping from the birds outside. At this time of year in Scandinavia, 4:30 am is dawn. And it must be the peak activity time of all of the little birds in my yard. The sound level is quite impressive, a concert really, I have no chance of sleeping through it: I sleep with an open window – relishing that fresh breeze and the airiness of the summer nights.
I know the open window is not possible everywhere in the world – but at least this time of year, in the part of Denmark where I live, we have very few mosquitoes and the right temperatures, so it's perfect.
I just love that freshness of an open window and somehow connecting with the outside as I go to sleep. The price, then, is waking up early to the sound of bird's dawn songs. But that is OK; I happily pay the price. Summer mornings make my brain and my soul happy.
Early dawns, long light summer nights, apple- and quince trees blossom; everything is still so fresh and sparkling light green outside. When you live in a region of the world where the winters are dark, and the warmth of the summer sun is not guaranteed, the feeling of happiness is doubled up for me when temperatures go near the 80s.
I tend to spend many days outside (oh like right now writing this blog, sitting with my laptop and a cup of coffee on my patio).
Now seems a good moment to share reflections on what I call 'Nordic simplicity,' which embraces the soft simplicity of the Nordic lifestyle and design.
As you may know from my previous blogs, a core principle of Scandinavian design is that "form follows function" and "less is more". The Scandi style is definitely not a cookie cutter style: There is plenty of room to make choices that allow you to reflect and create your personal style. It is more thought of as a style shaped around who you are, not pressing who you are into a specific framework. At the very core of Scandic design is simplicity. Not overdoing, but also not underdoing things. The best example I can think of as I am sitting here listening to the birds is the Little Bird, by Normann Copenhagen.
In my mind that's just an irresistibly cute piece of design. I am sure you will also agree that it is very simple. The mix of purity, nature, minimalism, and not least: it just makes me feel good.
The Litte Bird is turned in wood with the characteristic beak as its sole detail. But the amazing thing is that that is sufficient for you to perceive it as a bird! It captures the essence of a bird in the simplest possible way and in the world of design, I call Nordic Simplicity. Applying that same approach to home décor and the subject of creating a home that will make you and your loved ones feel good, we're back to the concept of 'less is more.
My main Nordic Simplicity summer home advice would be to minimize the borderline between the outside and inside; Bring the outside in and the inside out. Here are a few ideas for how to achieve that:
1. Open your windows and doors whenever possible. Go for light curtains
2. Make sure you always have a nice throw at hand that you can use if the evenings get chilly
3. Bring nature into your rooms with plants, blossoming branches, etc.
4. Reflect the light - did you ever consider a mirror in your living room?
5. Skip the carpet. Most modern Scandinavian homes have wooden floorboards as opposed to carpets. This is another way of bringing nature to your interior. Perhaps with a nice rug, whether textured and fluffy or woven and pattered, your room could feel warm, soft, and cozy.
6. Create functional spaces outside – your workstation, a breakfast place, a coffee table, or whatever fits your day.
7. Instead of putting your laundry in the dryer, hang it on a line outside if at all possible. Then enjoy that freshness that comes from it (wink wink: energy saving as well).
8. If you don't have access to a backyard,- consider that morning stroll before it gets too warm.
9. Can you add something to the list? Let me know what you do to enjoy summer outdoor.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog and feel ready to give your home that Nordic Simplicity feel-good look.
What is Norlii?
Norlii is a Nordic Living home decor and accessories subscription. Rooted in Scandinavian design, we strive for simplicity, elegance, and harmony in every box.
When you sign up for a Norlii subscription, you will receive carefully curated high-quality Scandinavian items for you and your home, plus receive up to 40% off retail value.