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Amiya Baratan

"Kaffeepause" is the Latest Scandi Trend to Influence Design — Here's How to Embrace The Wholesome Idea in Your Home

Olive green living room with brown leather coffee table.

There's nothing like a cozy coffee break to calm our nerves and soothe our minds. The smell of toasty coffee wafting through your home as your thoughts settle down and you find yourself basking in the moment... the thought of it alone makes us yearn for our next little caffeine re-up.

If you're like us and find this concept totally appealing, then this interior design trend is made for you. 'Kaffeepause' is a Norwegian concept that's all about curating spaces with a welcoming ambiance to enjoy in the presence of your loved ones - but you can also embrace the idea on your own for a more reflective moment's respite. Here's what the experts have to say about bringing this wholesome Scandinavian habit into your home to create a space that oozes tranquility.

What is 'Kaffeepause'?

(Image credit: Laure Joliet. Design by Electric Bowery)

Adapted from the Norwegian tradition of welcoming people together with intention against an inviting backdrop, kaffeepause literally translates to 'coffee break'. Don't get us wrong, we love a little alone time playing at home barista by your coffee bar and curling up in silence. But we can't help but take a page from the Norwegians and attempt to create a familial coffee break of our own.

Scandi designer Niki Brantmark, founder of My Scandinavian Home and author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life, (available at Amazon), tells us that there's a coffee break, and then there's a Scandinavian-style coffee break. 'The former might involve pressing a button on a machine and plopping down in the nearest chair for a minute - or maybe even grabbing a takeaway and strolling along, cup in hand,' she says. 'The latter, on the other hand, is an entire ritual centered around slowing down and spending time with others in a cozy and warm environment.'

Niki explains that the kaffeepause is all about the ambiance. 'Think freshly brewed coffee made from the finest ground beans and a sweet Norwegian 'bolle' (bun) such as a cinnamon bun and you're well on your way,' she explains. 'It's also important to set a 'koselig' (cozy) scene for absolute comfort - after all, it's hard to appreciate the moment on a hard plastic chair under glaring lights.'

(Image credit: Catherine Tighe)

Isy Jackson, founder of Cheltenham Interiors, tells us that the kaffeepause is a trend that will move swiftly as it's much-needed amongst our busy schedules and constant hustle. 'In today's fast-paced world, the art of slowing down is often forgotten,' she says. 'But a delightful "kaffeepause" trend rooted in Norwegian tradition reminds us of the age-old secrets of togetherness and warmth.'

Isy explains that this concept invites us to reimagine our spaces by taking a coffee break as an intentional moment to gather, reflect, and connect. She informs us that it's connected to other similar Scandi decor principles.

'One is “fika” which is to take a break in the day to reset one’s mind and thus be more efficient and purposeful once having taken the break,' notes Isy. 'Another is “lagom” meaning balance and the most well-known is “hygge” meaning cozy togetherness.' As an interior designer, Isy finds that it's her task to create spaces that embody this spirit of communal relaxation and warmth in order to provide a feeling of sanctuary in modern homes.

How to adopt the Kaffeepause look into your own home?

According to Isy, in order to achieve a kaffeepause inspired interior, we must carefully choose furniture, lighting, and colors that promote comfort and a welcoming ambiance. Curating your living space while imbibing the spirit of the kaffeepause trend is as easy as concocting your go-to coffee beverage. All you need to do is get into the kaffeepause mindset and let this chic and comforting design trend take the wheel.

1. Introduce Cozy Furniture

(Image credit: Photography: Jeanne Canto / Design: Studio RODA)

Isy's first piece of advice is to choose furniture that promotes comfort and togetherness. 'Opt for large, neutral-colored cozy sofas and soft, natural cotton, linen, or wool or boucle armchairs,' she says. 'These pieces should make people feel relaxed and welcome to stay a while.'

And if you're looking to go the extra mile, Isy tells us that you simply can't go wrong with a couple of ottomans and floor cushions. 'This is ideal for extra comfort and flexible, modular seating to accommodate larger groups while maintaining a cozy atmosphere.' Essentially, this is a great outlet for any and all of your cozy living room ideas to take life in a kaffeepause nook.

2. Bring in soft lighting

Interior designer Sarah Storms tells us that there's something to be said for taking a break and physically moving to a new space. And according to her, natural light plays a big part in changing your energy and mood. 'I love having a corner or room that can be flooded with natural light through windows and light-colored walls to bounce around the brightness.'

So if you have beautiful large windows that can bring in heaps of natural light, then try positioning your kaffeepause nook around that area. However, if you happen to have a small living room or even if your windows just don't bring in enough light, don't worry - the kaffeepause look is still attainable.

Isy points out that good lighting creates the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing coffee break. 'The aim is to recreate candlelight's gentle, natural glow to make the space feel welcoming and peaceful,' she says. 'So choose warm, adjustable lights like floor lamps, table lamps, pendant lights, and wall sconces to create light layers.' She finds that a layered approach celebrates natural lighting levels during the day and creates a soft and comforting environment in the evening.

She also recommends introducing oversized candles or battery-lit alternatives to bring a flickering, relaxing presence into the room at dusk or nighttime. If you're looking for artificial alternatives, we love these flameless LED candles from Amazon.

3. Experiment with layered textures

(Image credit: Norm Architects)

A blend of varied textures and fabrics sets the ambiance perfectly. It gives off a professionally designed impression and can seamlessly bring a space together.

Isy explains that creating an inviting space is just as much about the atmosphere it makes as it is about the design. 'To achieve a soothing vibe, add different textures like ivory bouclé, woven or knit blankets, soft rugs, and soft linen duvet covers or throws to give the space depth,' she says.

4. Accessorize with earthy tones

When it comes to decorating with color, Isy urges homeowners to choose warm, earthy tones that reflect the natural landscapes of Norway. 'Use soft neutrals like cream, beige, and gray, along with rich colors like rust, terracotta, mustard yellow, coffee, and forest green,' she says. 'These colors create a cozy and inviting atmosphere and work well with the natural wood and fabric textures commonly found in Scandinavian design.'

The essence of a coffee nook lies in its ability to ground the atmosphere and root people together in the most organic of ways. So using environmentally connective colors and textures makes for the perfect finishing touch to a kaffeepause-inspired space.

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