Nunchi - a new lifestyle trend

Lagom, Hygge and Nunchi. All are words from other cultures – Swedish, Danish and Korean – which have made their way into our everyday lives. They are all lifestyle concepts that shape our daily existence, bringing balance (Lagom), simplicity (Hygge) and now Nunchi: still in the early stages of conquering the world, Nunchi signifies the ability to change the atmosphere in a room by being completely aware of your surroundings. There’s nothing new about Nunchi, in fact it’s an age-old tradition. The ability to gauge the mood of people in a room and to perceive the room as a whole has always been really important to Korean parents and it’s something they’ve taught their children from a very young age, just as they are taught how to safely cross the road.


Every room changes from one minute to the next. People’s states of mind are in permanent flux and objects never seem to stay in the same place either. All this has an influence on the bigger picture. The important thing about Nunchi is being able to perceive all of this new information as each minute goes by. 

Trends like Nunchi tend to set their own pace. They start by slowly seeping in – a post on social media, a new publication in the book store – then they get swept up in the momentum and all of a sudden they’re everywhere. In cities, businesses and in messages from friends: “Have you heard about Nunchi?” But Nunchi is about more than just a new kind of lifestyle. It’s a cultural concept of living, which has made its way to us from Korea to teach us something that is really quite primitive. That is, noticing our surroundings with all our senses, focussing not on ourselves but on the room as a whole. Nunchi is the concept of emotional intelligence, signifying the ability to register the thoughts and feelings of others, gauge the room as a whole and recognise the appropriate way to behave. Let’s take a look at two rooms and change them using Nunchi. 


Two introductions to “having a good Nunchi!” and what role is played by the decors and colors can be read in our Design Story.