We can finally stop arguing about how to actually pronounce "hygge" — the Scandinavian concept of coziness — and lean into some new Nordic vocab that perfectly captures the zeitgiest. I just got an email from BoConcept informing me that it's time to start thinking intentionally about designing an "alrum": a Danish word defining an intentionally all-purpose space.

Another day, another word for a way of living we hadn't ever bothered to articulate.

Learning about "alrum" could not have come at a better time. Almost a year into the pandemic, many of us have reconfigured our living rooms into a new, hybrid beast that serves us for working, for schooling, for relaxing and for virtual-exercise-class-ing. It's probably about time we stopped thinking of this as a makeshift solution and started being more intentional about making our "alrum" look and function for its multiple uses.

Four Ways to Create an Effective Alrum

Source multi-functional furniture

For rooms that do it all, multi-functional furniture pieces that make the most of the space are vital. Think: cabinets that transform into workspaces during the day, but fold out of sight at night, or coffee tables that expand into dining-table size.

Get serious about storage

Stock up on smart storage to tucks workout gear away or stows the kids' school supplies. By visually tucking away the tools or accessories you're not using, you'll create clear transitions between activities or functions.

Maximize flexibility

Reconfiguration is a constant in a multi-use space, so seek out furniture that's lightweight or on castors to quickly and easily rearrange the living room to make work for your at-home HIIT class. 

Level your lighting

Different types of lighting can subconsciously signal the transition from work hours to leisure time. Throw on the pot-lights for your 9-to-5, but after hours, pop on your statement lamps. 

Have we found any Danes to officially confirm this is a real thing? No. But there's something about it that just feels right to us, so we're going with it — a concept that's so cozy, homey and just-right that, really, it's downright hygge.