Tricky to explain and even trickier to say, the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga”) is now immensely popular worldwide. The term comes from a Norwegian word meaning "wellbeing”. There is no direct translation into English, but it encompasses a feeling of cosy contentment and well-being by enjoying the simple things in life.
Hygge means creating a warm, cosy atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. If you’ve ever enjoyed sitting by a fire on a winter’s night, under a duvet, wearing slippers, while drinking a warm mug of hot chocolate and surrounded by candles, you’ve probably experienced hygge without even realising. Hygge is entrenched in Danish society and helps to explain why Danish people are some of the happiest in the world.
While the word encompasses the Danish way of life, it also embodies home decor. The main idea of hygge decor is to create a peaceful, serene space to live. Here, we explore how to hygge, tips to hygge your home and the do’s and don’ts of hygge decor. So without further ado, fix a warm drink, put on warm jumper, and check out the below tips.
Warm things up
A flickering fire can instantly make any space feel cosy. If you have a fireplace in your home you’re well on your way to mastering hygge in the home. If you haven’t got a fire place, create a warm cosy feeling by arranging a mixture of candles of different shapes and sizes into a cluster.
Dim the lights
The harsh light of an overhead lamp can quickly take away a cosy feeling, however comfortable the room is. Place lamps where they’re needed, ensuring they’re sufficient for your needs (think reading lamp, table centrepieces) without being overbearing. The Danish are thought to buy more candles than anywhere else in the world, so take a lesson and light some in your house – cosy and energy saving!
Textures are an important part of mastering hygge. Avoid plastics and acrylics; fill your home with candles, cashmere throws, faux fur, woods and soft, natural coloured rugs. Cover your sofa or bed with textured, cosy blankets, cushions and fluffy pillows to give you a warm welcoming place to curl up with your favourite book.
The colour scheme for your home should contribute to an atmosphere of harmony and peace. Creating a neutral colour palette is important when striving to create a relaxing space. Using pastel colours like light greys, browns and creams will create a comfortable area for you and your guests to enjoy. Avoid sterile whites or metallic tones.
Shift the purpose of your bathroom from somewhere you have a quick shower in in the morning, to a place you go to rest and rejuvenate. Make the time to enjoy a bath, light a few candles and add essential oils and bath products with relaxing scents into your routine. Thick, fluffy towels and a quality bathmat are also great additions.
Taking it further
Creating your own reading nook or a window seat, otherwise known as a hyggekrog, could bring you to a new level of cosiness and the ultimate hygge centrepiece is a log fire!
If you’re looking to take the concept of “hygge” further and need a craftsman, contact a Master Builder.