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How to Decorate Your Home with ‘Umage’ in Mind

May 8, 2019

Décor and design are often born out philosophical concepts or ideas. For instance, in the past few years, we have been introduced to the likes of 'hygge' (comfort and cosy), 'ikigai' (happiness and meaningfulness), and 'lagom' (balance or optimal).

Now a relatively new trend is making its way: 'umage'. Pronounced oo-may, this Danish term promotes a seemingly simple message – make the effort.

A New Way to Decorate

Zenia Desa ParkCity, KL by PINS Studio
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In design terms, making the effort is rather broad but still incredibly necessary – especially when it comes to the maintenance and upkeep of a home.

Decorating with umage in mind requires mindfulness, both in the planning stages, as well as the aftercare that is involved post-renovations, etc. Here are four ways to incorporate umage into your home décor and life in general!

1. Neglect is a no-no

63 Residence, Sungai Pelek by Lequen Construction And Renovation Group
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With increasingly busy schedules, it’s not difficult to neglect certain areas of your home that desperately require your attention.

It could be overgrown grass in your garden; a messy, disorganised wardrobe; or something more severe like a leaky roof.

If you make the effort to attend to these problems now, you’ll very likely benefit from greater functionality and satisfaction. Just think of how much time a well-organized wardrobe could save you – and how easy it would be choosing your #ootd.

USJ Heights, Subang by Jade Kitchen Design
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More importantly, making the effort with your home maintenance can prevent more serious issues down the line i.e. a roof leak that leads to major and costly damage.

2. Focus on improvement and functionality

Instead of going with the ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it' mentality, consider the areas of your home that could be made even better with just a little effort.

For instance, if you have a storeroom that keeps your excesses out of sight – perhaps it can be optimized to store more meaningful belongings if you declutter the space and organize with shelves and labels.

Victoria Cottage, Perak by PINS Studio
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Another example would be the utilization of dead spaces – can it be improved visually with potted greens or even utilized for more storage with the help of creative carpentry?

If yes, make the effort and choose a plant from your local nursery or call up a carpenter.

3. Think ahead

Planning is a key part of umage as it requires you to be mindful of the decisions you make about your home.

As it relates to décor – do plan before you buy anything for the home. Shopping for furniture, hardware and fittings, soft furnishings, and other décor pieces should never be done on a whim or because of a discount.

Glenmarie, Shah Alam by Meridian Interior Design
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View this project by Meridian Interior Design

Instead, make the effort to plan before you buy. Consider functionality, practicality, and cost rather than mere aesthetics instead of jumping on the trend wagon.

For instance, think long and hard before choosing a material like marble for your renovations – it is expensive, requires special care and maintenance, and can damage easily.

4. Do your chores

While this can be infuriatingly simple, it’s still true! Just keeping a clean house can make a major difference to the appearance, functionality, and ambience of the home.

Make the effort (and the time) to vacuum, mop, wash, scrub, and organise your home regularly. Or if you are unable to do it yourself but do have the budget; consider hiring help for cleaning.

Bandar Botanic, Klang by Buenos Kitchen & Wardrobe
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View this project by Buenos Kitchen & Wardrobe

In addition to sticking with your chores, it’s also necessary to make the effort to create systems/routines that will help maintain the home before the next clean-up.

For example, ensure that there are proper garbage disposal outlets, laundry baskets are in place, and do make the effort to clean as you go!

Have fun decorating with umage!

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