What Is Hygge?
You can thank Denmark for this year’s most talked-about home lifestyle trend. Think of “hygge” (pronounced “HOO-guh”) as a softer, cozier counterpart to Feng Shui.
Instead of rearranging furniture to find harmony between nature and the environment, hygge is more about embracing life’s simple pleasures, like a steaming cup of coffee, toasty blankets, soft lighting, and nights spent around the dinner table with friends.
Say hello to the Danish concept of living calmly, slowing down, and experiencing the moment. Although it’s primarily considered to be a state of mind, you can embrace hygge by tailoring your home with cozy furnishings and creature comforts.
Hygge is an intrinsic part of Danish culture, centering on the relaxed attitude that is so highly valued in the Scandinavian lifestyle. The word itself is derived from “hugga,” the 16th-century Norwegian term that means “to comfort.”
Go for comfort when choosing furniture and accessories. Opt for inviting decor that encourages hunkering down with a good book—think couches framed by soft blankets and lots of pillows.
“Add lush, furry rugs to make sure you feel hygge down to your toes,” says Brentnie Daggett, a design writer.
Decorate with meaningful found objects. Hygge doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy every cable-knit blanket and cashmere pillow you see. You should also fill your home with objects you love. In fact, the perfect hygge decor could be hiding in your attic: family heirlooms or a knickknack that invokes happy memories of friends or family.
Amp up natural light in common areas. For Danes facing a long winter, hygge involves bringing the fleeting daylight indoors.
Avoid light-blocking curtains or blinds, instead, opt for sheer, white curtains. And when the sun sets, light candles and a crackling fire for an extra dose of hygge. “Candlelight emits the sense of calm that equates to hygge.”
If you don’t have a fireplace, consider springing for a ventless fireplace with a real flame.
Plan evening gatherings with friends and family. Another translation of hygge is “kinship.” Invite your favorite people over for an intimate dinner or a cup of coffee.
Jessica Dowling, head of Wayfair Trade for interior designers, suggests adding artisan touches and tactile dinnerware to your table. She likes hand-poured candles, vintage wine glasses (which are great for serving “glogg,” a Danish mulled wine), and pottery coffee mugs. These sensory extras set the stage for a beautiful dining experience and encourage guests to linger at the table.
Unplug from technology. Hygge is counter to our digital, flat-screen lives. Give yourself permission to tune out and unplug from the stresses of a constantly connected lifestyle by creating at least one screen-free room in your home.
Beyond decor, hygge is about continually gathering with loved ones to bond over a familiar and recurring ritual. Try carving out moments of comfort and calm every day.
Categories: Home + Entertainment