Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word, or perhaps more accurately, a feeling you get when you’re experiencing a moment that’s out of the ordinary, cozy, charming or just plain special. It’s been said that hygge was born out of a desire to survive the boring, sometimes monotonous moments of everyday life, and celebrate the small things that lift spirits, like enjoying a cup of tea in the natural sunlight the morning brings into your home, real fires in the fireplace, soft plush blankets and flickering candles (lots of them).
According to The New York Times, the Collins Dictionary has already proclaimed hygge as one of the top 10 words of 2016 in Britain. Along with wondering how to pronounce this Scandinavian trend, everyone wants to know how they too can capture the happy feelings the Danish harbor about their homes and the little things in life. From Denmark to the UK and all over the world, this movement is also sweeping the U.S., and the constant pursuit of homespun pleasures may be here to stay.
So how does hygge apply to your home? Experts suggest it’s not about major changes or decorative overhauls, but about embracing and accentuating the details that create a warm and inviting environment that you and your visitors simply won’t want to leave.
How to Harness Hygge
Consider rebranding a corner of your home as hygge headquarters, or as the Danish call it, a "hyggekrog" or cozy nook where you can curl up in a chair with a warm beverage and enjoy the nature view outside your window. When the light starts to fade, make sure you’ve got plenty of candles nearby to create a soft and comfy glow.
Hygge is best enjoyed with friends, so focus on creating spaces that are conducive to group gatherings, like a cozy sectional couch or a long dining table that encourages sharing and simplicity. Outdoor areas can be hygge too, so consider a scenic door that creates a seamless connection to an outdoor eating area, complete with twinkling cafe lights and a fire pit or an al fresco dining room to enjoy with friends under a ceiling of stars.
It’s all about texture, and natural materials. Lusciously soft textures like fluffy woolen rugs, chunky cable knit blankets and faux fur all evoke warm and comfortable thoughts. Think about creating a balance between hard surfaces like wood floors and marble countertops and plush accents that encourage relaxation.
Don’t forget to simply celebrate the space around you. A key to a "hyggeligt" home is creating a sanctuary you truly want to spend time in, so create the space in a way that will make you happy for many years to come. If you’re building or remodeling a home, consider large picture windows that can help frame the beautiful nature that surrounds you, or if you’re not making any large changes, consider investing in antique or heirloom furniture that invites a nostalgic feeling.
If you don’t have the luxury of a wood burning fireplace and stacked firewood to create ambiance, look to wooden furnishings, finishes and decorations to re-create the warm, earthy feeling of a Nordic log cabin. Natural woods remind us of nature and bring instant warmth to any home.
Embracing the hygge life can help create the special moments of comfort, warmth and togetherness that make a home feel like a true haven. So, perhaps we can all benefit from doing as the Danes do and making small changes, celebrating the spaces around us and cultivating cozy feelings that help keep us cheerful all year long.
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