If you haven’t yet come across Hygge (pronounced hue-gah, sort of), it’s a Danish concept encompassing all things cosy. There’s no direct English translation, but it loosely translates to the art of cherishing oneself and others. It’s a state of mind and something Danes strive for by enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Hygge can mean something different to everyone. It could mean listening to the rain hit the window while you’re inside curled up on the sofa drinking a cup of tea, the simple act of lighting a candle or sitting in a country pub by the fire with some friends.
In preparation for the winter months ahead, now’s the time to make like the Danes and embrace hygge by celebrating cosiness.
Here are a few simple ways to make your home more hyggelig:
1. Invest in candles
From scattered tea lights to candle-lit dinners, candles in all shapes help hygge immensely. Danes really embrace candles, burning through a staggering six kilos of candles a year – each!
Skandinavisk has a dedicated hygge fragrance (echoes of tea, baked strawberry cake, rose petals and wild mint).
Similarly, the addition of twinkling fairy lights also helps to make everything feel a little more magical and cosy indoors.
2. A hygge-friendly colour scheme
Typical Danish style combines contemporary, blond wood furniture with a soft, cosy colour palette. Make way for lots of natural light and splashes of gentle, harmonious shades. Check out the Colour of the Year 2017, Denim Drift for a new take on an understated and calming scheme.
3. Keep it simple
Hygge is all about enjoying life’s little pleasures. So don't overdo it. The idea is to create a calm, serene space that is peaceful and free of clutter. Have a big clear out, donate unwanted things to charity and make room for the things you really love to take pride of place. Notice how seeing your treasured things every day boosts your mood.
4. Add textures
Soft textures and comforting materials to nestle around create the perfect relaxing and snug environment to hibernate in. Think thick fluffy rugs, cashmere throws, lots of woollen cushions and accessories – and of course, the comfiest slippers.
5. Human-centred design
When you're looking at the layout of your rooms, think small. Create ‘zones’ in your rooms with a couple of chairs for intimate chats for example. For book-worms, create a cosy little nook or reading corner, preferably with a window seat looking out onto your garden, or some nature. Pile on cushions and throws for added comfort and snugness – don’t forget the hot chocolate.
6. Find a hygge-inducing hobby
Whether you try a new craft or learning a new skill – or even return to an old hobby like knitting or cooking, slowing down and focusing your attention on something different will give you a little dose of a hygge in your home. So turn the TV off and nurture a new project. We love the We Make Collective's monthly subscription service.
7. Master the art of fika
Treat your daily dose of tea or coffee as a reason to take a restorative break, rather than sipping it on the go or at your desk. The Swedes call this time to sit, ponder and refuel fika. That’s something we can definitely get on board with.
For more cold-weather-ready ideas for your home, check out 8 Winter Warmer Spaces.