Living in Half Darkness

7 April 2017

Nordiska Museet

We recently published our City Guide: Trend Tracking in Stockholm post, where we shared our highlights from the stores we visited on our recent trip to the Swedish capital. During our two day visit, we also attended the Nordiska Museet, a Nordic Light Exhibition exploring the history of light and the relevance it plays in our daily lives.

“Today we can have as much light as we want, but many Nordic people still prefer a kind of half-darkness. Our workplaces are light but at home we like to soften the electric light and surround ourselves with candles and open fires. Warm light is most popular in the Nordic region, while in Southern Europe cold light is more common. Perhaps cold places seek the warmth and vice versa?” – Nordiska Museet.

Half-darkness in the home is something people now strive for as strong light becomes something associated with work. With the increase in busy work lifestyles and increasing hours spent in the office, individuals now crave natural lighting and somewhere to feel relaxed. Seeking space to recharge, people lose appreciation for bright, artificial lighting in the home and instead favour a semi-dark atmosphere both indoors and out in the garden.

With this comes a focus on cosy, decorative lighting. String lights, spotlights and decorative lamps, along with stearin and paraffin candles, tea lights and fireplaces have become important components in our homes.

“The stores in Stockholm have a much bigger focus on candles than in the UK. We spotted some really sculptural statement candle-holders and oil lamps, which felt particularly new and interesting for homeware,” explains Naomi Shedden, Senior Trend Strategist at Trend Bible.

“We’re seeing the ‘raw’ movement shift from food to other lifestyle areas, including our approach to light,” explains Joanna Feeley, Founder of Trend Bible. “The harsh blue glow of tablet and phone screens and artificial light generally are being singled out as having detrimental effects on our natural abilities to regulate sleep patterns.”

Mirroring the Nordic mindset, householders are wanting to use light to impact the way they feel and to create a relaxed and comforting setting in the home. Light quality linked to sleep is becoming a major concern for health-conscious consumers and there is a lot to learn from the Nordic approach to lighting our homes.

Keep track of the interesting places we’re visiting with #lifeattrendbible on our Instagram and Twitter channels.

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