The swedish art of balanced living: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne

Lagom. The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life

by Niki Brantmark

Lagom. The Swedish Art of Living a Happy, Balanced Life

In a fast-paced world, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could slow down and enjoy a life with less pressure, less stress and more time for the things you love?

Loosely translated as ‘not too much and not too little – just right,’ lagom is the Swedish philosophy that centres around finding a balance that works for you.

Drawing on my life in Sweden (fourteen years now, can you believe it?!), a country ranked in the top ten in the World Happiness Report, I have included fun suggestions and bite-sized actions to help you make subtle changes in your life, so you too can find time for the things that matter most and enjoy greater happiness.
Niki Brantmark

A peek inside:

Pick Up A Copy In Your Language


Lagom Interview – France
Lagom is the New Trend – Germany


Time Magazine
The New York Times
Domino Magazine (US)
PBS News Hour 
Good Morning America
Elle France
Le Parisien
Pure Wow 
Le Journal Des Femmes
Taylor Magazine
Passion Shake
The Literary Edit
Le Buzz Magazine

Photo: Agata Dimmich


To my wonderful publisher – Thorsons, an imprint of HarperCollins who believed in my ideas and the subsequent publishers from around the world who deemed my book inspiring enough to translate. I would also like to say thank you to the talented Swedish illustrator Petra Borner who transformed it into the prettiest book ever with her drawings. And every single person who entrusted me with tips, knowledge, personal experiences, DIY ideas and recipes. And last, but by no means least – to all who of you who have bought my book, I truly hope it inspires you! Tack så mycket!

“Lagom” by Niki Brantmark, “Live Lagom” by Anna Brones & “Lagom” by Linnea Dunne – The Saturday Reader

There’s nothing lagom about reading three different books about the suddenly-trendy Swedish philosophy of “everything in moderation.” As a Swede by birth—I grew up and reside in the U.S., but I have spent a great deal of time in my native land—I felt compelled to evaluate which of these competing books offers the best and most Swedish advice.

Lagom (Not Too Little, Not Too Much): The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark was written by a Brit living in Malmö with her Swedish husband. The references to wellies, kirby grips and hen dos prove that the book didn’t undergo the usual Americanization prior to its publication here. Despite the somewhat anodyne nature of much of her advice (Exercise! Clean out your closet! Recycle!), Brantmark does do a thorough job of outlining Swedish attitudes to everything from child-rearing, taking breaks during the workday to enjoy a cup of coffee and a treat (fika), holidays, and foraging for mushrooms.

Best advice: “Be more punctual.” I have found this to be absolutely true, and it’s why I’m almost never late (and go into a guilt-induced frenzy if I am). “In Sweden people are used to everything working on time—buses, trains, doctor’s appointments, etc. They therefore have the expectation that whoever they’re meeting will be punctual,” a Swedish friend tells Brantmark.

Low point: I love Swedish proverbs and quote them frequently. Quite a few appear in these pages. However, at one point, Brantmark credits “A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a single step” as a “Swedish proverb. ” Lao Tzu might beg to differ.

Authenticity: There are plenty of color images in the book, but most of them are generic-looking stock photos, credited to the free-pics site Unsplash. More äkta (genuinely) Swedish images would have made this book more appealing.

Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way by Anna Brones, the daughter of a Swedish mother and American father who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, is a bit more journalistic in its approach. I appreciated the fact that Brones sometimes looks at Sweden with a critical eye (one chapter is titled, “Is There a Darker Side to Lagom?”). She also mentions employee “burn-out,” something I wrote about during my extended stay in Stockholm 10 years ago, and the fact that the “fast fashion” purveyed by Swedish company H&M is “the antithesis of a lagom wardrobe.” (IKEA wins kudos for its “focus on sustainability.”)

However, the majority of Live Lagom is dedicated to exploring everything that’s good about the Swedish lifestyle, from interior design to the “healthy hedonism” of enjoying a freshly-baked cinnamon bun at fika. Brones does a fine job of capturing today’s Sweden, which can sometimes be a land of contradictions; she doesn’t idealize it, and I approve of that.

Words of wisdom: “There is enjoyment to be found in the outdoors in any season, and energy to be drawn from it… When we spend time outside we are also more likely to work to protect it. We cannot fight for something that we don’t know, and becoming intimate with nature turns us into better advocates for it. Sustainability becomes less of a policy buzzword and more of a mindset. We make nature a part of our value system.”

Authenticity: I applaud the fact that the photos in Brones’ book were taken by actual Swedes (the team of Nathalie Myrberg & Matilda Hildingsson). The household interiors in particular have a certain Swedish je ne sais quoi (or should I say jag vet inte vad?) that can’t be faked.

By the time I finished Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne, I had discovered that there were at least three other books about lagom, but I had totally maxed out on reading about the joys of cinnamon buns and spending time in nature. (Though if I could read French, I might be tempted to pick up Le Livre du Lagom by Anne Thoumieux.) Dunne grew up in Sweden and moved to Ireland as an adult, so hers is more of an insider’s guide, devoting lots of pages to the importance of consensus and the collective. She interviews Swedes like Jasper, who grows his own vegetables in his suburb’s community garden, and Angeliqa, who buys “nothing but eco toys made of wood” for her two daughters.

Dunne also devotes two pages to the Swedish phenomenon of Friday taco night, where families set up a taco bar and then settle down to watch TV. (One Swedish satellite channel shows six episodes of “Modern Family” in a row on Fridays, which seems almost a little too on the nose.)

This Lagom is probably the quickest read of the three, thanks to the image-heavy layout; however, I didn’t like the fact that much of the text is set against deeply-colored backgrounds, which made it hard to read at times:

Most depressing statistic for American readers: More than the others, this book really shows how far ahead Swedes are in terms of living lightly on the earth. (“Only 1% of all household waste in Sweden ends up in landfill—the rest is recycled or used to produce heat, electricity or vehicle fuel.” Sweden literally imports garbage from other nations to keep its recycling plants going.) “Swedes are generally far more trusting than other nations, and it shows—why bother with laborious recycling and composing if you don’t trust that your neighbor will follow suit?” writes Dunne. “Ideas about avoiding plastic wrappers and opting for organic alternatives are taking root because there is less cynicism than elsewhere.” Meanwhile, over here, people are still arguing about whether or not to charge for plastic bags at the grocery store, something Swedes have been doing for decades.

Bonus points: For quoting Swedish national treasure Jonas Gardell. He described Sweden as the land of mellanmjölk (roughly, 2% milk)—not too skinny, not too fat.

If I had to pick just one of these books to buy for an American reader, I think I’d select Brones’ Live Lagom. All three books do a fine job of describing the concept of lagom living, but I especially liked the layout and photos in her book. And the fact that she discusses both the positives and negatives of lagom seems very balanced to me.

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trend: Lagom: The Swedish Art Of Striking A Balance

What is Lagom?
The English translation of the Swedish word lagom is “not too little, not too much, just right”. In essence, lagom is all about balance and moderation. It encourages a sustainable lifestyle, and finding a more balanced approach that leaves you with more time to do the things you love. “Lagom provides simple solutions to juggle everyday priorities, reduce stress, eat well, and save money, with lessons on the importance of downtime, being outdoors, and Sweden’s coffee break culture,” says Linnea Dunne Lagom, the author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living.

The Philosophy:
Lagom is all about striking a balance. This is applicable especially when it comes to work-life balance as well. It encourages taking coffee breaks, and leaving office on time. It is about being thrifty financially, and conscious environmentally. It’s about finding time for the things and people you love.

How to live the lagom lifestyle

Lagom can be applied to your daily life in many ways, from food to home decor. Here’s a simple guide on lagom-ing:


“Lagom at home is about finding balance between aesthetic and function, and focusing on simplicity, light, and open spaces,” says Anna Brones, author of Live Lagom: Balanced Living, the Swedish Way. It emphasises de-cluttering. White walls, natural decor like plants, bamboo and wood, natural lights and switching to LED, and no carpets, are all essential components of lagom decor.

Fashion and beauty:

Lagom is all about remaining minimalist, yet uncompromising on quality when it comes to fashion choices. It emphasises buying outfits of higher quality, that may be more expensive but can last you through multiple fashion cycles. It also stresses on being sustainable and mindful when it comes to shopping. As for beauty, using natural and sustainable products is encouraged.


The Nordic diet is known for its healthy mix of whole grains, vegetables and fish. The Nordic tradition of fika – a mid-day coffee and sweet break – is especially famous. And that’s what lagom food can be curated around, as long as one strikes a balance. However, lagom is also about getting your hands dirty and growing your own food, as well as choosing local produce.

The Swedish Word for Living a Balanced Life Could Make You Happier

  • The Swedish ‘Lagom’ translates to mean ‘Not too little. Not too much. Just right.’
  • The word encourages a more balanced approach to life, from the number of hours we work, to the quantity of food we consume. 
  • By choosing to lead a life of moderation, you are more likely to experience feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

In a fast-paced world, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could slow down and enjoy a life with less pressure, less stress, and more time for everything you enjoy and love doing?

Lagom (pronounced “lar-gohm”) is probably why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world, with a healthy work-life balance and high standards of living.

Lagom is a huge part of the culture in Sweden.

It means “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.”

This single word encapsulates the entire Swedish socially democratic philosophy on life: that everyone should have enough but not too much.

At the office, professionals who work hard  —  but not to the detriment of other parts of their lives  —  are following the lagom ideal.

Rather than burning yourself out with a 60-hour working week and then getting stressed, lagom encourages balance and living somewhere in the middle.

Other features include frugality, stress reduction, striking the perfect balance between work and play and focusing on environmental concerns and sustainability.

The archetypal Swedish proverb, “Lagom är bäst”, literally means, “The right amount is best” but is also translated as “Enough is as good as a feast” and “There is virtue in moderation.”

You are probably exercising lagom is many aspects of your life already.

For Swedes, lagom is a lifestyle, a habit of mind. ‘There’s an internal mindset of acceptance and contentment in Sweden. That’s part of the secret to being happy  —  don’t obsess about it.

The philosophy of lagom is beautifully simple, and offers an alternative to the idea of ‘always seeking the next best thing.

The concept encourages an overarching balance across our lives: everything in moderation.

It’s the opposite of materialism and consumerism.

Anna Brones writes in her new book, “Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way,” “Applying a sense of lagom to our everyday lives – in what we eat, what we wear, how we live, how we work – might just be the trick for embracing a more balanced, sustainable lifestyle that welcomes the pleasures of existence rather than those of consumption.”

Master the art of moderation

“Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance” —  Epicurus.

The key to experiencing greater fulfillment and pleasure is actually moderation. It’s about having only what you need.

“Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide,” says Marcus Tillius Cicero.

In a busy world where we now have access to almost anything at any time, Lagom presents a simple and balanced way to live and work without missing out on anything.

Chef and author Bronte Aurell who runs a Scandinavian Kitchen in London’s Fitzrovia says, “Lagom is very important to the Scandi psyche.” In an interview, published in the telegraph, Aurell said, “There is balance and moderation in everything we do in Scandinavia  —  from our working hours to how many slices of cake we eat in one sitting. How much milk we take in our coffee, to the portion sizes of our dinner.”

Lagom is the new minimalism for anyone with the desire to live with fewer material possessions but aim to enjoy a fuller life.

But lagom goes far beyond embracing minimalism. In fact, it can teach us valuable lessons about how to live a happier life.

Niki Brantmark, author of “Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life,” argues, “In an age when we’re leading increasingly busy lives and feel connected 24/7 I think we should channel the Swedes, slow down and take more time out to relax. This might be enjoying fikas with colleagues, friends or family, it might be taking a decent lunch break to relax and prepare for the afternoon, using the weekend to head out for a day to the forest, beach or local park or enjoying an analogue activity like baking, reading, or crafting.”

Pursuing a more lagom style of happiness is preferable in many ways.

Jaime Kurtz, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at James Madison University writes in Psychology Today“For a happier, more balanced life, start by asking yourself, “Is this lagom?” Ask it when you look inside your crowded closet, or as you consider your relationship with your work. Ask it when a massive portion of food is placed before you, or as you consider that second bowl of ice cream. Ask it about your life in general. Amid the more typical American life questions, like “Am I joyful?” and “Can I do better?” add in these much more reasonable questions: ‘Am I content?’,’Is this good enough?'”

If you can find that balance between work and your personal life  —  giving yourself time to do the things you love  —  in the long run, you find that balance.

If you finish work on time, you give yourself more time for family and your relationships.

Give yourself more personal time to do the things you love, you will become healthier and happier in the process.

Find ‘lagom’ by by keeping track of your spending, upcycling furniture, consciously reducing your environmental impact on the world, taking purposeful breaks from work, spending quality time with family and friends, focusing on what is absolutely essential, and knowing when to stop.

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living | Linnea Dunne

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living | Linnea Dunne | Souq Dükkan



Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living

Linnea Dunne

Lagom is the new Scandi lifestyle trend taking the world by storm. This delightfully illustrated book gives you the lowdown on this transformative approach to life and examines how the lagom ethos has helped boost Sweden to the No.10 ranking in 2017’s World Happiness Report.


Lagom (pronounced ‘lah-gom’) has no equivalent in the English language but is loosely translated as ‘not too little, not too much, just right’. It is widely believed that the word comes from the Viking term ‘laget om’, for when a mug of mead was passed around a circle and there was just enough for everyone to get a sip. But while the anecdote may hit the nail on the head, the true etymology of the word points to an old form of the word ‘lag’, which means ‘law’.

Far from restrictive, lagom is a liberating concept, praising the idea that anything more than ‘just enough’ is a waste of time. Crucially it also comes with a selflessness and core belief of responsibility and common good.


By living lagom you can: 


Live a happier and more balanced life,
Reduce your environmental impact,
Improve your work-life balance,
Free your home from clutter,
Enjoy good food the Swedish way,
Grow your own and learn to forage,
Cherish the relationships with those you love.

  • Hardcover 
  • 160 pages
  • Edition Language: English
  • 13,4 x 2,2 x 17,8 cm

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Lagom: The Swedish art of living a balanced life

Last year was all about hygge, the Danish concept of cozying up with candles, blankets, and nourishing meals. (Yes, Netflix, I’m still watching.) As far as self-care goes, it’s about as good as it gets. But hygge isn’t exactly conducive to tackling a to-do list.

Photo: Running Press

Enter, lagom, the Swedish word for a lifestyle that encourages balance and mindfulness in everything that you do. Lagom translates roughly to: “not too little, not too much,” according to Linnea Dunne, a native Swede and author of lagom lifestyle guide Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living.  

According to Dunne, lagom is the secret to Sweden’s high rankings on international happiness and productivity. Instead of a life full of extremes—like working your butt off 60 hours during the work week and completely crashing on the weekend—lagom is all about consistently living somewhere in the middle.

How exactly do you live the lagom life in a society that values extremes? Keep reading for six ways to bring balance into your life—Swedish style.

Photo: Stocksy/Aila Images

1. Take regular breaks

“It’s been proven countless times that our brains weren’t made to plough through for hours on end,” Dunne says. “We produce poor quality work, and then feel unhappy, tired, and ineffective.” Which is, you know, not exactly ideal.

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Taking a five-minute break for every hour you spend working—whether you’re at the office or at home cleaning the bathroom—is a great way to start living the lagom way. And while it may be tempting, try not to fill every break with social media. Instead, Dunn suggests talking to a co-worker or just taking the few minutes to check in with yourself.

Photo: Stocksy/Studio Firma

2. Keep your to-do list realistic

Because American culture values a packed schedule, your default is probably to charge through as much as you can as quickly as possible. Instead: Be realistic. “Your to-do list should have ‘not too little, not too much’ on it,” Dunne says. Then, you will actually enjoy everything you have to get done instead of just seeing it as yet another obstacle.

But even a perfectly crafted to-do list doesn’t always prevent the wall of brain fog that can hit around 4 p.m. If you find yourself feeling stuck or uninspired at work, Dunne advocates for finding some creative inspiration rather than staring blankly at your computer screen. “A magazine, for example, can provide a different perspective and a break to the mental cycles that can sometimes get you stuck in a rut,” she says.

Photo: Stocksy/Treasures & Travels

3. Do more with less

Dunne is a major proponent of having a comfy—yet uncluttered—space to call home. After all, minimalism and functionality are at the heart of Swedish design, à la Ikea. “It’s all about functionalism and a touch of cosiness,” she says. In this regard, it actually goes hand-in-hand with hygge: Picking furniture with storage solutions (think: an ottoman that hides remote controls inside), shows character.

Photo: Stocksy/Victor Torres

4. Enjoy doing your own thing while still spending time with your partner

If you’ve ever spent a lazy Sunday morning in bed sharing the New York Times with your partner, you’ve already integrated lagom into your relationship. “Swedes can have ‘me’ time together,” Dunne says. “You simply don’t have to talk all the time, which leaves a lot of space,” she says. Hitting up a yoga class together is another way to practice lagom.

Photo: Stocksy/Jordi Rulló


 Only follow people on Instagram who you actually like

Sometimes, scrolling on Instagram is exactly what you need to recharge and feel inspired. Other times, it may leave you feeling kind of irked. Why? It could be who you’re following. Only fill your feed with accounts that are funny, inspiring, grounding, or that just generally make you feel good. In other words, no following someone who you don’t actually like—just to see what they’re up to.

Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

6. Like hygge, lagom all comes down to self-care

It’s no secret that this generation is busier—and more stressed—than ever. Part of that has to do with having a jam-packed schedule. According to Dunne, lagom can also mean reprioritizing what matters most to you in day-to-day life and letting go when the situation calls for it.

“When there simply aren’t enough hours in a day, drop a few balls, accept it, take an evening on the couch with those you love, and then start again.”

Take a break from your to-dos and snuggle up in style this hygge season. Plus, these are the mantras wellness pros swear by to squash stress and anxiety.

90,000 Lagom: How This Swedish Philosophy Can Help You Live a Meaningful Life

In a world that is developing at a fast pace, would it be great if you could slow down and enjoy life without pressure and stress and have more time to do what you enjoy doing?

Lagom is the reason Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world with a healthy work-play balance and a high standard of living.

Lagom is a huge part of Swedish culture.

It means “Not too little. Not too much. Just right”.

Lagom is one word that defines the entire Swedish social democratic philosophy of life: everyone should have enough, but not too much.

Professionals who work hard – but not to the detriment of other areas of their lives – follow the lagom ideal.

Rather than exhausting people with 60-hour workweeks and putting them under stress, lagom encourages work-life balance.

This philosophy also revolves around moderation in everything, reducing stress, achieving the perfect balance between work and play, focusing on environmental issues and sustainability.

Swedish proverb says: “Lagom är bäst”; literally it means “The right amount is best.” The Russian equivalent is the “golden mean”.

You probably already practice lagom in many areas of your life.

For Swedes, lagom is a way of life, a state of mind.They are inwardly attuned to acceptance and contentment. This is part of the secret to happiness – not being obsessed with anything.

The lagom philosophy is beautifully simple and offers an alternative to the idea of ​​always looking for the best.

The concept encourages an all-encompassing balance in life: everything should be in moderation.

This is the opposite of materialism and the cult of consumption.

Anna Brons, in her new book Living Lagom: A Balanced Swedish Life, writes: “Living lagom every day (eating, dressing, working, resting) is an easy way to adopt a more balanced, sustainable lifestyle. who welcomes the joy of existence, not consumption. “

Master the Art of Moderation

“Be temperate so that you may taste the joys of an abundant life.” ~ Epicurus

Moderation is the key to experiencing satisfaction and pleasure. It means having only what you really need.

Mark Tullius Cicero said: “Never strive for excess, let moderation be your guide.”

In a busy world where we now have access to almost everything at any time, lagom is a simple and balanced way to live and work without depriving ourselves of anything.

Chef and writer Bronte Aurell, who runs a Scandinavian restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia, says: “The lagom philosophy is very important to the Scandinavian soul.” In an interview published in the Telegraph, Aurell said: “Everything we do in Scandinavia has balance and moderation – from working hours to the number of pieces of cake eaten in one sitting.”

Lagom is a new minimalism for those who want to enjoy a full life with few material benefits.

However, lagom goes far beyond minimalism. In fact, this concept can teach us valuable lessons on how to live happily.

Niki Brantmark, author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life, states: “In an era where we lead a busy life and are connected 24 hours a day, I think we should follow the example of the Swedes; we need to slow down and relax. This can be a simple coffee with coworkers, friends, or family members, or a good lunch break to relax and get ready for work in the afternoon.This could be a weekend in the woods, on the beach, or in a local park, or activities such as reading, cooking and making crafts. ”

Jaime Kurtz, associate professor of psychology at James Madison University, writes in Psychology Today: “To start living a happier, more balanced life, constantly ask yourself, ‘Is this a lag?’ Ask yourself as you get closer to your crowded closet, or start redefining your relationship with work.Ask yourself when a huge meal is brought to you, or when you feel like having a second ice cream. Ask yourself when you think about your life in general. To typical life questions like “Am I happy?” and “Can I do it better?” add these much smarter questions: “Am I satisfied?” and “Is that good enough?”

If you want to balance work-life and be happier, you must make time for your family, relationships, and things that you enjoy doing.

Track your expenses, recycle old furniture, consciously reduce your environmental impact, take breaks from work, spend more time with friends and family, focus on what really matters, and know when to stop.



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Read “Food as a kind of sex” – Todorovich Neda – Page 12

Tu Nant – the best water of the late XX and early XXI century, comes from the sources of sparkling water in Wales and is considered the purest of all. that have ever been explored. Recommended for special occasions.

San – Pellegrino – sparkling alpine water – is considered the most popular Italian spring drink.Contains a high percentage of minerals and is slightly bitter.

“Ramlösa” – well-known Swedish water, slightly mineralized, in its natural state has no taste, but easily artificially carbonated. At the moment, the place where its springs are located is considered the best thermal health resort in Europe.

Arctic Water is extraordinary sparkling water that comes to markets from areas north of the Arctic Circle.If it is sold in a yellow bottle, then it is flavored with lemon, if in a blue bottle, it is in its natural form.

“Selters” – this water comes from the outskirts of the German city of Stuttgart. Mineralized, sparkling, delicious and exceptionally well balanced.

“Chateldon” – is considered the water of the aristocrats, as it gained fame in the days of Louis XIV and the unforgettable Versailles receptions of that era.Comes from springs located in Auvergne, it goes well with whiskey.

“Apollinaris” – the most famous German water, because of its salty taste is not recommended for those who follow a salt-free diet, a phenomenal gastric remedy.

Ferrarelle – This tasty brackish water comes from the area northwest of Naples. After bottling, it is carbonated with its own gas. It goes well with wine.

“Volcan” is a newly discovered water originating from the volcanic foothills of the Auvergne.Delicate sparkling, recommended for digestive disorders and asthenia.

Highland Spring is a delicious Scottish water that is gaining more and more fans. But it is not easy for fans to find it on sale.

“Rosa” – comes from an area of ​​untouched nature on the slopes of Mount Vlasina. Its composition is very similar to Evian, it has a minimal sediment, which is why it is recommended for pregnant women and babies.

About strawberries and champagne

What is champagne – art, as defined by its inveterate lovers, or a way of life, according to the most famous fans of champagne, to which Orson Welles also belonged, famous for his statement that there are only two really unbearable things – cold woman and warm champagne?

What do James Bond and Georges Sand, Bernard Shaw and Marilyn Monroe, Orson Welles and Colette, Lord Byron and Sir Winston Churchill, Empress Josephine and Coco Chanel have in common? Of course, the love of a noble drink – champagne, the taste of which makes the aroma of strawberries more expressive, as billionaire Edward (Richard Gere) told prostitute Vivienne (Julia Roberts) during his first good manners lesson in Pretty Woman, the best movie tale of the nineties! Many exciting pages have been written about the different brands of this precious wine – from Dom Pérignon to Saint Laurent. Every two seconds, a soft pop of a cork is heard in the world, accompanied by foam from a bottle, which, in addition to tickling bubbles, also contains a piece of a fairy tale about world-famous varieties, about autographs of great artists, about grandiose festive spectacles … And all this together evokes associations with two the most attractive things in the world called sex and money.

At one time, a scandal broke out at the fashion and beauty fair of vanity, in which the magician of rags Yves Saint Laurent and the powerful association of the producers of the divine drink were involved.After the perfumes “Rive Gauche”, “Opium” and “Paris”, the fashion king decided to pack his newest eau de toilette in barrels and christen it with the intoxicatingly frothy name “Champagne”. This could have become a brilliant publicity stunt if the producers of the famous drink did not regard such a borrowing of a truly gold-bearing name as sacrilege. They won the lawsuit, and Saint Laurent lost millions of francs in a deafening advertising campaign and precious packaging of the failed Champagne.

Champagne, as experts say, is a kind of delicate, noble wine (the name comes from the vineyard province of Champagne in northeastern France), to which sugar and yeast are added, after which, as a result of their interaction, carbon dioxide is formed, which creates pressure in the bottles in 4-6 atmospheres. The name “champagne” can only be used for bubbly wines from Champagne. The rest of the wines with this property (vins mousseux [9]) do not have the right to this protected name, which is why other peoples had to find their own names for them.The British call it “sparklig wine”, the Germans call it “sekt”, the Italians call it “spumante”, the Russians call it “sparkling wine”. Well, we, of course, are “champagne”.

Wine of laughter and oblivion

The legend confirms that champagne is a royal wine. During the coronation of the first Frankish king Clovis I in Reims Cathedral, wine suddenly flowed from an empty barrel. True, cynics claim that a clever bishop had a hand in this miracle, but wine was always served from that hole in Reims during church celebrations and coronations, so the European rulers who came to participate in them were the first to spread the glory of the vineyards of hilly Champagne. And who can resist the advertising from the lips of the king? Now, they say, tourists coming to Reims do not hesitate to visit the local wine cellars and excursions to the famous cathedral.

The fact that the servants of God from the very beginning showed an interest in wine barrels is clear already from the cited legend. The name of the blind Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon, who headed the monastery in the town of Auvilliers during the time of Louis XV, has become a symbol of the best champagne in the world for a reason. The monk is credited with the fact that it was thanks to him that champagne became frothy in the 18th century.Like all great discoveries, this happened by accident, due to fermentation, which is why the epithet “devil’s drink” was stuck to champagne for a while, associated with the fact that the cork can fly out of the bottle completely unexpectedly.

Dom Pérignon, many of whose merits are questioned by a strange modern custom, nevertheless remains worthy of worldwide fame, if only due to the fact that it was during his time that different varieties of grapes, which entered the monastery were mixed in one barrel, were mixed in one barrel from the surrounding vineyards as a church tax, and thanks to a special technology from black grapes it was possible to get white transparent juice, which he first guessed to pour into bottles made of very thick glass and close them with a cork from the bark of a cork tree, tied to the neck with wire. Experts say that the bark of the cork tree is the best friend of noble wines. And the point is not only that each type of high-quality nectar requires its own kind of cork, but also that the cork helps the champagne to become transparent in the bottle and begin to release precious bubbles. The Dom Pérignon method, which is now called classic, implies the process of prolonged “boiling” of champagne in bottles, and this, in turn, requires large rooms and a lot of work. Over the course of several months, each bottle must be carefully rotated by a certain number of degrees and gradually raised, bringing it to a position that is more and more approaching vertical, so that at the end of the process all the sediment is collected in the neck.Losses due to bottles bursting under increasing pressure and the need to open them in order to remove sediment and add aromatic liquor, which gives the champagne its final taste, are not at all imperceptible. The modern production process, which involves “boiling” in steel tanks, avoids most of these problems and contributes to the general democratization of champagne, as a result of which the price of this wine of laughter and oblivion becomes public.

90,000 School reform in Estonia: away from the USSR

According to the results of the international test for schoolchildren PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) for 2018, which is held every three years under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Estonia ranked 4th among 79 countries in science literacy, 5th in reading and 8 in math.

There is not a single European country above it – only China, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.

Russia took 33rd, 31st and 30th places, respectively. The academic failure rate of Estonian schoolchildren, determined by the same testing, is the lowest in Europe. Only 10% of them showed unsatisfactory results in math and reading, and less than 5% in science. In addition, one third of schoolchildren from families with the lowest incomes showed the highest results, which indicates that families with different incomes have equal access to education.Unlike some countries in Eastern Europe, Estonia has managed to maintain the “Soviet” equal access to education for all.

On this topic: The education system in the United States: how it works

Of course, the PISA rating is not the only one. However, it shows to the greatest extent how much school education in a particular country corresponds to the global trend: focus on solving real problems, not abstract problems. This distinguishes the PISA test from more “classical”, “academic” ratings, for example, PIRLS and TIMSS, conducted by the International Association for the Assessment of Academic Achievements IEA, in which Russia shows much better results.Successful completion of PISA assignments requires, as a rule, creativity, the ability to apply their knowledge in practice, an integrated approach to solving the problem, and not just a good knowledge of standard formulas and rules.

How did small Estonia manage to achieve all this? According to many analysts, the main factors of effective educational policy in Estonia are decentralization, constant monitoring of students’ knowledge and, as mentioned above, orientation of education towards solving real problems.

Estonia became the first post-Soviet country to start the process of decentralizing education back in 1993. The Finnish model of educational policy was taken as a basis. Schools were granted broad financial, organizational and administrative autonomy. Responsibility for the provision of secondary education services in Estonia was transferred to municipalities and schools. The government of the country and the Ministry of Education and Research are responsible for public education policy and the overall strategy for the development of the education system.The Ministry drafts the national curriculum, defines the conditions and principles of funding, sets the requirements for the level of professional competence of teaching staff, determines the minimum wage for teachers and oversees the register of institutions in the school network.

Estonian school principals have a high level of authority over personnel decisions and school budget planning. The headmaster of an Estonian school is responsible for the appointment and dismissal of teachers and other personnel, the definition of their duties, conditions of service and salaries. Estonia now has one of the highest levels of decentralization of school finance compared to other OECD countries.

At the same time, the transition to expanded school autonomy was accompanied by increased control. At the national level, schools are monitored by regular inspections and additional accountability measures, which are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Research and the education departments of the municipalities.

Education policy development is transparent, public, and usually involves consultation with stakeholders.The materials developed by the ministry are considered by a number of associations, including associations of municipalities, cities, school principals, teachers, parents, private schools, business representatives and many others. In the process of joint discussion, comments and adjustments are made, which are taken into account when adopting a normative act. The ministry’s audit-based information system collects all data on the performance of both municipalities and individual schools (including student assessments, overall performance in each grade, etc. ).etc.). Third-party independent organizations are also involved in the process of collecting information.

Secondary education in Estonia is free, no money is collected from pupils for textbooks, school meals or transportation. More than 95% of all children of school age study in municipal schools. The largest share of municipal expenditures, on average from 35 to 38%, falls on education services. More than half of the funds come in the form of targeted grants from the government. The grants cover the costs of teaching staff salaries, school meals and textbooks.

Municipalities provide school principals with budget plans for the next fiscal year in the spring. Elected boards of trustees made up of parents, teachers, students, and external educational experts are reviewed by public school budgets before final approval by local governments is obtained. The director submits decisions on remuneration for discussion with the teachers’ union and the board of trustees, and only then they are submitted for official approval. The legality of the actions of the school principal on the use of budgetary funds within the framework of the educational institution is regulated by legislation and the school charter.

Thus, schools, acting within the framework of the educational policy determined by the government, independently plan their work, based on their capabilities and needs. The Boards of Trustees evaluate and control the activities of the director and teachers, express their opinion on the quality of education and collectively introduce proposals for its improvement.

The state organizes tests and exams after each stage of education. For example, after the 3rd grade, a national test is carried out.No grades are given for it, it is feedback for the teacher and students to understand whether they have received the necessary knowledge or not. At school, grades are usually not given until grade 4 – the teacher can only orally describe the student’s achievements.

A school director and teacher in Estonia has a lot of freedom of action. Estonian teachers can pay attention to what they see fit, because there is no strict curriculum in Estonian schools. The state establishes the “competencies” that children must acquire at school, then – almost complete freedom.Everyone knows what goals need to be achieved, but how exactly to do this is the business of each individual teacher. For example, it is important for a child to know certain things in mathematics after the third grade. But what exactly the student will do for this from 1 to 3 grade – the teacher decides.

Preparation for school begins in kindergarten, and they take it very seriously. At the end of kindergarten, the child receives a school readiness card, which describes the results of his development in a number of competencies.As a result of such preparation for the first grade, children can read, can retell what they have read, write a simple dictation, add and subtract within 10, have an idea of ​​where they live, about various natural phenomena, etc. The very form of schooling – the lesson and how one should behave in it – is also familiar to them, and they understand what to expect in the first grade.

Teaching salary in Estonia is a national priority, it should be the same as the average salary in the country for a person with higher education.Any government, no matter what parties it is, tries to maintain such a level of salaries.

The school infrastructure has been significantly updated – for this, foreign investments have been attracted since the end of the 90s – the FARA fund, Norwegian and Swedish funds. When Estonia became an EU member, EU funds became available. An estimated € 500 million has been invested in school infrastructure over the past 18 years.

The orientation of education towards solving specific problems gives its own specificity to studying in Estonian schools.They like to mix several subjects in one lesson here, which gives students the opportunity to understand how to use knowledge to solve real problems in real life.

For example, teachers of labor, programming and fine arts conduct a general lesson where children need to create a multi-colored garland: write a program for it, load it onto a microcontroller, and then connect wires with light bulbs to it.

Also, teachers can, for example, conduct a physics lesson in English or combine it with mathematics in a virtual environment.It is believed that such tasks are suitable for modern children who “no longer want to pointlessly learn formulas, because they can be viewed on the Internet anyway.”

On this topic: School in England: є two main subjects – mova and mathematics School in england: є two main subjects – mova and mathematics

Another principle that Estonia has borrowed from Finland is equality. Finland has an attitude to teach everyone; it has existed in Lutheran countries since the days of the Swedish Empire, when the first public schools were opened.If a teacher pays attention to all children, and not only to the “olympiads”, then there is a chance to raise the general level of the class or school. For those who are weaker, there is an individual approach. If the child does not have time to master the material along with the whole class, the assistant teacher works with him separately or in a small group.

Estonian children get used to computers from the first grade. In the first grade, children program a robot bee, in the eighth they work with microcontrollers, and in the tenth grade they write programs for video games.At least one lesson per week for each subject takes place in a virtual environment.

The equipment is provided either by the state or local government. According to the Ministry of Education, there is at least one laptop for every seven students. And this applies to all schools in the country, not just the capital. It is impossible to survive in Estonian society without digital skills, 98% of services provided by state institutions are provided in digital format “

School education is included in the e-Estonia program: computers of teachers, school administrators, parents and students themselves are connected to the e-Kool system, which allows you to track homework and grades, warn about upcoming control and important school events.Parents can send through this system a certificate of the child’s illness, track the student’s personal achievements and the level of his knowledge and training in comparison with other students (their data is displayed anonymously) and the average class indicators.

In parallel, the state is investing in teacher training – 4.3 million euros per year. 54% of teachers in the country are over 50. Not everyone owns computers.

Of course, there are certain problems and difficulties in the Estonian school.For example, Estonian children are technically advanced but lack the social skills to cope with online threats. The safety of children on the Internet is monitored by special police officers – web constables who answer students’ questions directly on social networks, and sometimes come to lessons and answer various questions.

Children are taught the correct behavior in a virtual environment, taught not to trust the first available source, to check the accuracy of information, to look at different sources.

On this topic: Education in the USA: from sex education to student fraternities

The problem of bullying at school is actively discussed – a problem recognized by the Estonian Ministry of Education and the Ombudsman for the Rights of the Child. The KiVa program to combat school violence is being introduced. This scientifically based program was developed in 2007 at the University of Turku by order and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Education of Finland and today it is actively used not only there, but also in more than 20 countries around the world.

Roughly a third of Estonia’s population is Russian. And Russian children mostly study in Russian schools. Traditionally, Russian-speaking schoolchildren show lower PISA scores than their Estonian-speaking peers, although after switching to teaching in Estonian (in public schools, including Russian gymnasiums, at least 60% of subjects should be taught in the state language), this gap began to narrow. Among the reasons for the low results, first of all, the problem of bilingualism is mentioned.From the tenth grade, Russian children learn in two languages, which theoretically can complicate the mastery of the subject. In addition, in Russian schools many extra hours are spent learning the Estonian language. Estonian schools can use these hours for physics or mathematics. Plus, there are fewer teaching materials in Russian than in Estonian.

Another problem is the discomfort that children feel due to workload and constant tests. Younger schoolchildren, according to the observations of psychologists and parents, relate well to school, but the mood changes with age.As they get older, children ask questions: why so many homework and tests? With comparatively high rates of various tests of knowledge, children are not satisfied with the way their school life is going. This may be due to the high level of “competitiveness”, as well as the realization that school success is directly related to their future opportunities.

A 2015 study on the quality of life and well-being of schoolchildren showed that few Estonian children feel happy at school.Thus, only 36% of the surveyed Estonian schoolchildren were able to agree with the statement “my teachers listen to me and respect my opinion”. Only Germany has a worse result – 35%. 23% of the surveyed Estonian children agree with the statement “I like going to school” (for comparison, 84% of respondents in Ethiopia like to go to school, in Nepal – 69%, in Turkey – 62%, in Norway – 38%).

The goal formulated in the Estonian Education and Research Strategy 2021–2035 posted on the official website of the Ministry of Education and Research (, – to create a balanced and cohesive society in Estonia by 2035, to reduce inequality and increase well-being.

On this topic: About the Finnish school. How successful citizens are trained

To achieve this goal, the Strategy assumes, first of all, to develop adaptability and self-management skills, social skills, critical thinking and creativity, enterprise and perseverance, since the living environment is changing more and more rapidly.

Further quotation.“In the learning process, the interests of the student are at the forefront, training involves cooperation and is aimed at increasing the abilities and support of each student, his self-realization and the ability to successfully implement himself in different roles. Important keywords are the content of study, the autonomy of the student and the teacher, close cooperation, conscious and systematic feedback between all participants in the educational process. The joy of attending school – the subjective well-being of the people involved in the educational process – is valued more than before.If the student’s freedom of choice and responsibility grows, then the risk of the weaker being left on the sidelines also grows. It is becoming increasingly important to what extent the teacher knows how to be a mentor for his student, a mentor who helps to shape the educational path and supports the student in the process of getting education. By 2035, state curricula for preschool and general education will be transformed. At the same time, they proceed from the tasks of a modern approach to learning, that is, they support the independence of students, help them to be open and ready for learning throughout their lives, to be distinguished by motivation and the ability to independently find opportunities for self-realization. “

This is how Estonia sees the future of their school.

Viktor Mikhalov,, published in edition Daily magazine

In preparing this article, materials from the sites https: //,https: //,,, were used ,,

90,000 Scandinavian design trends – Nordic decor

Alexander White

Scandinavian design – an aesthetic marked by minimalism and functionality – has influenced since its inception in the early 20th century, but design ideas still emerge in the Northern Region to this day.This is what is trending in the world of Scandinavian furniture, decor and interiors.

Nicky Brantmark

Lagom Lifestyle

Americans are known for constantly chasing a “balanced” lifestyle – but the Swedes just do it. The author of Lagoma: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life, Nicky Brantmark (also the brain of my Scandinavian home) knows a thing or two about balance. As the name describes, “Lagom” means finding exactly that quantity that is a beautiful Scandinavian approach to life and design.She predicts it will shift from our daily schedules to our bedrooms, where “conscious buying and slow design” will be the focus.


Storage as decor

“My all-time favorite Scandinavian décor trend is to take what would normally be boring storage and make it the design center of your home,” says Anna Decilveo, a merchandiser at Tictail, Sweden. “Instead, the shelf or basket that you probably hid in your closet is a work of art in and of itself.We are already seeing a lot of this in the new Swedish brands on Tictail. ” From designer clothes hangers to famous kitchen organizers, every aspect of your home can now be Scandinavian-class chic.


Get a glance

This three-legged clothes hanger is heavy in form and function, thanks to its robust design and a combination of sharp corners and gentle curves.


$ 149 West Elm

Bold blue accents

Favorite accent color in Scandinavia? Obviously it’s blue – a bright blue that stands out brilliantly against the all-white interiors, as in this colorful 1920s Copenhagen home owned by industrial designer Josephine Bentzen. Let’s just say the monochromatic phase is over.


Get a glance

A gemstone-colored blue carpet with creamy leaf-shaped accents brings classic Scandi-inspired natural motifs while maintaining a modern look.


$ 10000, ABC Carpet & Home


Get a glance

There is something about a brightly patterned blue rug that brings the space to life. Made in India, this wool design can add warmth to any room – Scandi style, of course.


Starting at $ 59, One Kings Lane

Alexander White

Frayed leather

We are seeing a significant shift towards worn leather in Scandinavian interiors, such as the leather-backed wooden chairs at the home of Swedish stylist Lotta Agathon at La Maison d’Anna G.They’re rustic, don’t look too old-fashioned – and look great with a sheepskin blanket thrown over the back. We think this might be the Swedish game in the mid-century modern American obsession.


Get a glance

The slings of this slings and buckles accentuate the buttery softness of the leather.


Starting at $ 1496, refurbishment equipment

Frida Ramstedt

Feather textures

Feather motifs are a little hooked here in the States, but we’re happy to see a full-blown feather epidemic happening in Sweden as seen in this Easter buffet.

Whether you add them to your desk or work feather designs on your wallpaper or bedding, Scandinavians strive to add a natural element to every space. (Just make sure you walk around with faux feathers, okay?)


Get a glance

Curved brass nib is ideal for placing coats, aprons or tea towels.


10 dollars, anthropology


Get a glance

Use this cast iron feather accessory to add visual interest to the wall or simply pound your items in style.


42 dollars, Joss and Mine


Gray walls

Black and white aesthetics have been made in every corner of Scandinavia – which is why we are so excited to have gray walls back. They provide the same neutral, monochromatic appeal, but pick it up by a few notches, as seen from the home of Swedish real estate company Alvhem.


Get a glance

A subtle weave of grays lends depth to this easy-to-apply removable wallpaper.


$ 29, 90 for 27 sq. Ft, target


Get a glance

If you prefer a wall finish with a little more eye-catching, consider the classic gray and white striped removable wallpaper.


79 dollars, western elm

Nicky Brantmark

Technology-free seats

“At a time when we are constantly connected through technology and social media, wouldn’t it be nice to have a private hideaway to disconnect from?” says Brantmark.Creating a highly personalized space that is warm and inviting, without the distractions of phones, TVs or computers, is essential to counteract the stress of everyday life and focus on the heart of design.

“Bedrooms become device-free and feature a palette of soothing grays and milky whites that blend with natural textures such as plush linens, cozy sheepskin skins, thick knitted blankets and warm country wood for your own oasis of tranquility,” says she says.

Kochi, Kaapo Kamu

Cottage culture

The emphasis on Scandinavian design usually revolves around Sweden, but Finland is catching up. Finns, one of the happiest countries in the world, get it right. It could be their deep connection to nature, their delicious but simplistic diets, or, if you ask us, it definitely has to do with “artisanal culture.”

Helsinki-based designer Linda Bergroth created the KOTI (Finnish for home) pop-up hotel to “immerse yourself in Finnish hospitality and cottage culture,” she said in a statement.That means shared dining and living spaces, innolux fixtures that simulate natural daylight and minimalist tableware. “Instead of famous design products, I think we should highlight Finnish ways of exchanging,” Bergroth said.

Christopher Jonesso

Whimsical Lighting

These gigantic paper lanterns have an unearthly atmosphere, both an interpretation of Asian lamps and a traditional chandelier. In the home of calligrapher Ylva Scarp, as seen by Nordic Design, four huge lanterns hang over her kitchen table, creating a whimsical hanging installation.


Get a glance

This bubble-shaped pendant light illuminates with a soft diffused glow similar to a high-volume candle (also very flexible).


Starting at $ 395, Design Within Reach

Patrick Rastenberger

Minimalist wood slats

The lattice walls have something as serene as the Finnish Dream Hotel; as if you are hiding in a cabin or about to spend the most relaxing hour in the sauna.


Get a glance

Not suitable for wall cladding? The smooth lattice screen can add a similar spa effect without upgrading.


99 USD, Ikea

Susanna Vento

Playful tents

What child would not like to fall asleep under these lovely wooden tents? Here Finnish interior designer Suzanne Vento has created a monochrome bed complete with a charming canopy awning, as seen from ELLE Decoration Sweden.This trend has already begun to manifest itself in the United States, as in the playroom of Lucy’s son Liu Rockwell. Children all over the world will be very happy about this.


Get a glance

Cozy play tent ideal for families with children or as a fun, comfortable option for toddlers moving into a large cot.


Starting at $ 193, Etsy

Northern leaves

Graphic calendars

What’s the best benefit of these huge Helvetica calendars? You will always know the date .Why do we all stick to our tiny iPhone agendas and calendars when we can hang this on our wall? Inspirational interior design website Nordic Leaves claims that massive monthly calendars are becoming more popular.


Get a glance

Instead of hiding your calendar, place the large graphic version on the wall like a piece of modernist art.


$ 20 Need Supply Co.


Monochrome art

Unsurprisingly, Swedes are turning to monochrome art like this house in Gothenburg, given that the rest of their house usually remains in a black and white world. Not that America has ever become strictly minimalistic (we’re too obsessed with antiques and collecting, well, everything), but we’d like to see this simple graphic artwork interspersed with colorful rooms.Layer them down for a casual yet stylish effect.


Get a glance

Part of a continuous line gives a lot of personality without worrying about colliding colors.


Starting at $ 48, Society6


Blogger An Magritt used scotch tape (black, of course) to hang this poster in her kitchen. This is ideal: fickle, so you can change your graphics frequently, and yet graphically enough to make a statement.Scandis is all about their chic DIY projects and we expect the US to come soon too!

Nina Canvas

Stripes Strike Back

After years of chevron, we strive for the return of stripes – especially if they are simple and black and white, like this H&M Home pillow seen at the Norwegian home of artist Nina Holst.

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