10 Nov Fall In Love With Scandinavian Living with Ingrid Opstad
When you meet your sister from another mother? That is how I felt when I talked with Ingrid Opstad from That Scandinavian Feeling. Ingrid is journalist, blogger who runs very successful website where she shares her love to Scandinavian life. Her website caught my eye as she was talking about the happy healthy living Scandinavian way which is really the core of my website. Ingrid lives in Italy with her boyfriend and her house is full of Hygge and all things Scandinavian.
How Did You End up to Italy?
Ingrid laughs, that her life is a bit of crazy journey. She grew up in Norway in a smaller town and I never really pictured myself living in Italy. “I had never been to Italy before I met my now boyfriend. For start, I ended up moving to England first to study so I did a bachelor and the master in England. And after that, I ended up moving to London where I was living many years.”
“I met my boyfriend and after London we were after something calmer, so we decided to move to Italy. I’m very happy to be here and it’s a very relaxed lifestyle here that fits me perfectly. Even though it’s quite different from Scandinavia, it’s still a nice place to be. It reminds me also Scandinavia in some ways, the way of life and the relaxed atmosphere.”
I agreed with Ingrid as I have lived in London and moved to Australia because wanting some space, more calmer environment as London can get pretty hectic and demanding as a way of life.
Tell Us About Your Life and What You do?
Ingrid is a freelance journalist for a magazine, UK based magazine called Scan Magazine. The magazine talk about everything relating to Scandinavia, fashion, travel, lifestyle and design. Ingrid says it’s quite interesting for her because she is still so connected to her home, Norway. She is living in Italy and interviewing people in Norway and writing about Norwegians and Scandinavians on the blog and also in the magazine.
“You might be like, thousands kilometres apart, but you’re still actually so close to each other, and close to your home because digital world we live in. We can be like us at the moment, we are worlds apart, but we actually, are from the same continent and we from the same cultural place.”
What Are the Similarities Between Italy and Norway Way of Life?
Ingrid says that Italians they’re very relaxed and they like to have a glass of wine and just enjoy themselves. She thinks that relates a lot to our Scandinavian way of life of being together also in the group with friends or with family. Like just, enjoying yourself and making sure that those moments when we are not working, when we’re not busy that we take time to have a break and slow down and really appreciate everything around us.
The importance of family is very strong. Ingrid thinks this is also something that we have in Scandinavian living. We are very centred around our culture that the family is very important to us.
“I started a blog when I was living in the UK. And in the beginning it was because I’m a graphic designer and that’s where I started. It started as a blog for me to talk about design and things I saw around me and things that inspired me. After I moved to Italy I decided that I wanted to focus on something that was a bit closer to my heart. The Scandinavian life is something that has always been with me and something that I discovered more when I moved abroad. I got more perspective as I was a bit further away from my home country.”
“Scandinavian Feeling is a place where I could show my heritage, show things that I was important to me and talk about all the great things from Scandinavia. It also helps people to define that Scandinavian feeling no matter where they are in the world. So it doesn’t matter if you are in Scandinavia or outside, you can still find that feeling and find Scandinavian Life.”
Ingrid says that she sees that Scandinavian design is becoming quite popular in Italy. The Italian style is also evolving a bit to becoming a bit more similar to Scandinavian design. Italian style is more into stronger bolder colours and patterns and it’s a bit more out there whereas in Scandinavian design we are more relaxed and calm and neutral tone.
“For me, like I mentioned before it is about minimalism. It’s about functionality. It’s about neutral, calm and it’s about creating an atmosphere and a space that is enjoyable for you.”
I agree with Ingrid and I talked about this in Episode Number 68 where I talked about how to have Hygge With The budget.
“It’s more about the feeling and the little moments and the little things in life. And for me, it is about having a walk with my dog, enjoying your coffee, sitting in my home and just appreciate the things I have around me.”“ It is not about those big things in life. It's about the small things that matters.” Click To Tweet
Favourite Design Pieces You Have in Your Home?
“Yes, so my house where we recently moved into and we renovated it totally as and I wanted to make it exactly how I wanted it to be.”
“It was important to me to have a few pieces that connects me with my home in my past and one of the things that I cherish the most it’s a lamp that I have in the kitchen. The Lamp is actually the one that my parents had in their kitchen when I was growing up. So it brings back a lot of nice memories for me from my childhood and It was really nice to get that piece from Norway to Italy to connect with my family there.”
I said to Ingrid that “I love those old pieces. I was in my grandmother’s house in July in Finland. And I was like Trigger Happy taking pictures of all these pieces that I remember from my childhood. As every time I went to visit my grandmother, because she collects Finnish design and Finnish art and antiques, and all these pieces, they just felt so familiar and touching them and taking pictures was just a treat. “
Ingrid says that there is so many great designs from all the Scandinavian countries. Hence it’s really nice because you canCreate an atmosphere in your home with these pieces and things that that remind you of growing up in the country Click To Tweet
you’re from when we’re living abroad.
“I think maybe it’s more the lifestyle-based things but I try and kind of connect them in a way so if I talk about interior I’m also talking about a bit about lifestyle about creating a calm atmosphere or how to get it at your home.”
Tips to get Minimalistic Scandi Life to Your Home
Ingrid’s tips are
- Find a few pieces that are precious to you that reminds you of maybe a very happy time in your life.
- Some nice pillows and blankets that are very cozy that you can wrap yourself up in and enjoy yourself when you’re on the sofa
- A lot of candles to create a really nice atmosphere Scandinavians are all about candles
- You should be happy with what you have and not always think about the future.
- Live in the now and enjoy the moment that you’re in instead of always thinking tomorrow, the day after what is going to happen then.
Ingrid adds that it’s like the shiny object syndrome that we seem to forgot to live the moment. We are just looking at the next thing, and not appreciating what we have and just getting those moments sit down and chill out and relax and enjoy. Taking just a book or the music, having that meal and just letting it all go and not to have iPhones and iPads and whatever else to distract you from just being you and being on the moment.
This also relates to the interior with minimalism so as not to try and have too many things in your house. You do not need million of candles or a millions of pillows you can choose from. Keep it minimal, keep it simple and just select like carefully select those pieces that you know that you will enjoy.
Where You See Yourself in Five Years’ Time?
“I’ve been thinking about that. I think in five years I will still be here. But like I said earlier, you never know what’s going to happen in life. So suddenly, you can end up somewhere else. I’m really happy where I am right now. I’m enjoy being here in Italy. And maybe in five years, I would be happy to do something more in regards to Scandinavian feeling. So like one of my dreams have always been to open a shop or a cafe or something related to Scandinavia here in Italy. So yeah, it’s years is a long time but who knows what happens?
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