This year, we have invited the renowned and award-winning journalist and author Maria Soxbo to work with us to raise the issue of sustainability in a modern and interesting manner. We believe that raising awareness is the first step, because awareness matures into thought patterns and actions that become more long-term. Through Maria’s words on the this subject, we hope to reach people’s thoughts and actions.
“How do you approach the question of sustainability as a brand without making it overly complicated and detailed, or too abstract and elusive? How do you turn an idea or a vision into an everyday routine, something people will do without even thinking about it? For LINUM, it is about developing products from natural resources with as much thought and care as possible, products which can be passed down through the generations. We want to encourage people to make good use of their tablecloths or curtains and, after years of use, give them a new lease on life by passing them onto a younger family member, acquaintance or friend. We believe in creating timeless, premium-quality products that retain their quality and appearance over time. Our cushion covers, bedspreads and seat cushions should be as popular tomorrow as they are today.
With help from renowned author Maria Soxbo and a regular series of articles published throughout the year, we invite readers to an open discussion on sustainability, with space and encouragement to think long-term. Happy reading!”
Charlotta Dahlqvist, COO LINUM
What is a home?
Is it really the neatly designed kitchen chairs, the crisp white sheets on the bed, or the perfect shade on the living room walls that determine whether your house is merely a roof over your head, or a place to feel at home? I don’t think so. If feeling home depended on how right, trendy and Instagram-friendly your interior décor is, many hotel rooms, cafés and fashion boutiques would also have qualified.
A home is nothing without its inhabitants. A home is a place that needs to accommodate a number of needs – cooking, relaxation, sleep and hygiene. A home could be located on an island, a mountain top or in the middle of a bustling city. It could be tiny, huge, ancient or recently built, with an open floor plan or with many little nooks and crannies. But it’s only when people start to live their lives in it, that a dwelling truly becomes a home. The kitchen is not the heart of the house, but rather the people living in it. They also create the soul, comfort, care, love and life.
The same dwelling can be perceived as soulless, stylish, boastful or beautiful, depending on who moves in. A life lived in misery will leave a tragic mark on a home, in the same way that a life lived in abundance will leave a different impression. And the rest of us will fit somewhere in between the two. Those of us with ordinary incomes and ordinary lives. Some of us decorate as much for the eye as for the soul, others place greater value on what takes place in the home than what colors and nuances frame everyday life, or what design language is spoken there. Stains, messiness and discarded socks are offset by laughter, board games and relaxing Sundays on the couch. One is no better nor worse than the other, as long as the occupants and the lives they live are the main focus. Perhaps we tend to forget this sometimes?
A home will ultimately not make us happier just because it measures up to other people’s homes. A home will make us happy when we enjoy our lives in it, rather than constantly critically scrutinizing it. And to be able to do so, we have to dare to trust that what we once carefully chose will be just as right in ten, twenty or fifty years’ time. We have to resist the compulsion to constantly update and be up to date, and instead view a beloved armchair as a life partner that deserves to be taken care of – not replaced. A home is shaped during an entire lifetime, not once every season.
Sustainability is a word on everyone’s lips these days, with an infinite number of interpretations of its meaning. If a home is a place where its occupant is the key element, then what is a sustainable home? I would say that in many ways, they are one and the same thing. A home where heirlooms can live on, where flea market finds are abundant, where the patina of life can be seen and where the passage of time is clearly visible. Where need takes precedence over desire, and desire is satisfied through creativity and recycling, instead of through new acquisitions. Where there is love that encompasses not only the people but also the material things, which are cared for, mended and cherished. Where a lamp remains just as beautiful as it was before, regardless of new trends or algorithms on social media, and where what the lamp illuminates is more important than its appearance, its cost or how many likes it renders. Where we can trust our own taste and where we enjoy life instead of worrying about how others live theirs.
A home can have designer kitchen chairs, fluffy blankets and perfect color combinations on the walls, as long as it also contains people, love, food, laughter, sorrow and messiness. A home may lack designer chairs, fluff and the right colors, but still feel cozy and like a home. Put the person in focus, trust your gut instincts and replace renewal and change with comfort and pleasure. Then you have created a home. Welcome!
Maria Soxbo is a journalist, author and co-founder of Klimatklubben. She switched from being an interior design blogger to become a greenfluencer, seeking to inspire more people to see the benefits of living sustainably. She is convinced that most of us would feel better by living a life within the boundaries of the planet rather than at the limits of our income and mental health, as in the treadmill of a society we live in. Together with Emma Sundh she also runs the podcast Plan B which focuses on the good life after the transition. On her own and together with others, Maria has written a total of six books about the climate and sustainability, and in 2021 she was 25th on the list of Sweden’s 101 biggest sustainability influencers.