5 ways to embrace friluftsliv – the Nordic love of outdoor living

July 5, 2021

Ubuntu is over (the Zulu way of saying ‘we are all one family’). We’ve gone past gezellig (the Dutch term for ‘a cozy atmosphere, which allows good times to happen’). And the cosy, comfortable and convivial hygge? It’s had its day for now.

The lighter, brighter and warmer weeks are here, and that calls for friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) – the Nordic word for open air living.  Even if you’re not a fan of following interior fads, Covid has forced many of us to entertain outside, and friluftsliv can also reduce stress and boost wellbeing, so why stay inside? 

It’s already common across Scandinavia to get together and socialise outside, whatever the weather. While we’re not suggesting that a hike in the pouring rain with friends is the fast track to contentment, friluftsliv is about shifting your mindset and being ready to head outdoors at the end of the working day, rather than loafing on the sofa or being glued to a screen.

Setting the scene in your own back garden or on your balcony will contribute to the success of friluftsliv, especially if you can create an all-weather area. Here are our top 5 tips for those looking to embrace outdoor living:- 

  1.     Provide somewhere to cook: this could be a pizza oven, a BBQ or even an open fire with a tripod set over the flames. Pre-plan a weekly dinner menu that can be cooked outside without an oven or microwave and you’ll find you stay in the fresh air to eat, rather than scuttle back inside.
  1.     Make sure you can see: once we’re past the summer solstice, the nights start drawing in but that’s no excuse. Lights that run off the mains, solar alternatives or even battery-powered lamps can create an alluring atmosphere after dusk and allow you to see what you’re doing.
  1.     Keep your furniture on standby: if the rigmarole of uncovering and arranging your garden furniture is a barrier to sitting outside, opt for weatherproof tables, chairs and outside sofas that are always out and ready for use. Look for metal, pre-treated wood and plastic rattan options.
  1.     Create a sheltered area: it rains alot in the UK, although summer can bring tropical downpours where the temperature remains high and the atmosphere humid. Opt for a sail shade, gazebo, pergola or awning to create a dry corner where you can watch the weather roll in.
  1.   Ensure there’s a source of heat: chilly, clear-sky nights often follow searing hot, cloudless days and when the sun sets, the temperature can drop sharply. A firepit, chiminea, gas-fired patio heater or open fire will provide a welcome social focal point as well as warmth.

If your appreciation of outside space is growing in importance, talk to us about moving home for more friluftsliv. We can show you a list of available properties with gardens, patios, balconies and terraces.

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