Real Estate

Forget Hygge. This New NoMa Luxury Apartment Building Is All About the Swedish Concept of “Lagom.”

Resa celebrates its grand opening this week.

All photographs by Ray Cavicchio.

Pet spas and beer tastings and heated rooftop pools are so ubiquitous within DC’s luxury apartment buildings that they’re almost, well, boring.

What’s a high-end building to do in order to attract a millennial tenant these days? Well, if you’re anything like Resa, the new NoMa development celebrating its grand opening this week, you could try shaping an entire building around a cultural ethos.

Resa, which is the first residential project in DC by Scandinavian developer Skanska and began taking tenants in July, is built with the Swedish concept of lagom in mind. No, this is not hygge—that Danish word for “coziness” that’s like, so passé by now—but rather a concept that encourages living one’s life with a peaceful sense of balance and moderation.

(For more context, just examine the Resa homepage. Above an image of a fog-laden hill that looks as if it could have been inhabited by Vikings centuries ago, phrases embodying the Resa mission float specter-like. “Your home should be more than a place to rest your head,” reads one. “It’s a sanctuary where you can be at peace with yourself, relax in well-kept shared spaces and reconnect with nature.”)

Said Scandinavian influences are apparent in the aesthetics of the 12-story, 326-unit building, whose interiors were designed by Danish firm Space Copenhagen. In the lobby, light wood floors and earth tones abound. The clean lines of the tall windows and mid-century modern furniture evoke a lagom-like sense of easy practicality.

With the balance component of the lagom approach in mind, there’s a business center and conference room, but there are also lots of plants, artwork, and indoor and outdoor seating areas and spaces for relaxing.

“The vibe of this property and the calming nature of it are very unique,” says Resa property manager Joe Krisch. “A lot of the new buildings are very nice, but they’re also cookie-cutter.”

While living in a community that exudes a relaxing simplicity is an added perk on top of an already long list of perks (Resa has the classic luxury apartment line-up of pet spa, in-house dry cleaning service, heated plunge pool, and high-end gym), Krisch is aware that the lagom effect also serves as a marketing tool.

“Yeah, I think the level of competition now is almost leveling out to where the baseline expectations are so high, it’s the small details that set properties apart from each other,” says Krisch. (Well, if you can call embracing a Scandinavian style of living a small detail, that is.)

The Swedish goodness will abound at Resa’s grand opening party September 12, which will feature samples of Scandinavian-influenced food and lessons in using all things lagom and hygge in interior design. Although the get-together is not open to the public, you can still schedule a tour through the leasing office. Skål! 

Resa; 22 M St. NE

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Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.