What is Hygge?
Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh,” is a Danish word and concept that loosely translates to “comfort” or “coziness.” It is most often used when acknowledging life’s simple pleasures. Hygge is all about recognizing and enjoying the present—creating small moments of joy wherever you are. Have you ever settled into your couch with a mug of coffee and a good book or movie and rejoiced? Or spent an extra hour lying in bed on a Saturday morning, just because? That’s hygge!
The Danes have incorporated this idea of hygge into almost every aspect of their lives, including their home decor, using neutral colors and cozy accessories to create peaceful and serene spaces! And because Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world—we think they might be onto something. That’s why today, we are outlining a few ways you can add this cozy, happy feeling into your home.
How to Incorporate Hygge Into Your Home:
1. Use a Neutral Color Palette
The goal of any hygge space is to contribute to an atmosphere of harmony, peace and comfort. Colors are scientifically proven to influence your mood. Bright, primary colors can raise your blood pressure and cause stress while neutral colors like grays, browns and creams are known to put you at ease. Using a neutral color palette in your decor encourages a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere perfect for creating that feeling of hygge.
2. Decorate with Candles
While a true definition of hygge is difficult to put into English words, the calming, happy glow of a flickering candle is exactly what we picture when thinking about this exceptional lifestyle. So when trying to add a little hygge to your home, candles are an absolute must. The soft, warm light created by candles is one-of-a-kind and is essential when creating cozy spaces perfect for relaxing and socializing. Just make sure that the candles that you choose don’t have an overwhelming scent, which could put a damper on your soothing space.
3. Incorporate Nostalgia
Danes believe that household objects should be more than just things. That they should hold an emotional value or tell a story. If you want to turn your home into a true hygge paradise, you’ll definitely want to incorporate a little nostalgia. Pull out any knick-knacks or furniture that has been passed down to you and incorporate it into your decor. And, if you don’t have any hand-me-downs, head to a local flea market and pick out a few items that cause long-forgotten memories to resurface. That warm, happy feeling you’ll get every time you see it in your home is what hygge is all about.
4. Don’t Forget to Add Layers
Pillows, blankets, rugs—the more layers the better when it comes to hygge! Not only will they help you stay warm during cold nights, but they also add a layer of texture and comfort to your home that just can’t be replicated by anything else.
5. Introduce Natural Materials
A huge part of hygge is being mindful and present. One of the best ways to do that is to head to nature. And, when it comes to decorating, bring a little of that nature back inside with you—that means as many plants as possible. But if you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry! You can also add nature in the form of leather, stone and wood throughout your home.
6. Feature the Fireplace
The fireplace is the ultimate hygge sanctuary. It just doesn’t get much cozier than lighting a fire on a cold afternoon. So, instead of featuring the TV in your living room—like many of us so often do—try making your fireplace the focal point. This will help you incorporate hygge into your life by helping to turn the focus away from media and onto intimate moments with friends and family.
7. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
Lighting plays a vital role in creating hygge in your home. Soft, warm lighting, like a fireplace or candles, is ideal at night. However, natural lighting is imperative during the day. Not only is it better for your electric bill and the environment, but natural lighting has been proven to help our bodies produce Vitamin D, improves our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, enables us to get more done and even makes us happier. So make sure to keep those blinds open as often as possible or to incorporate soft-colored, opaque curtains that let in more light throughout your home.
8. Create a “Hyggekrog” or a Cozy Nook
Every hygge home needs that perfect place to curl up with a blanket and a warm beverage. Danes refer to this nook as their hyggrekrok and it’s a space where they can feel safe, be at peace and read a book. The best nooks are situated near a window, letting in natural light and providing views of nature and can be as simple as a tucked away armchair. Just make sure to include plenty of blankets and pillows for maximum comfort!
9. Keep It Simple
To live Danishly is all about simplifying. Hygge is, at its core, about only surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. It’s not about extravagance, but instead the small things that make life worth living. Look around your home and take stock of all the things in your living space that no longer bring you joy. This season might just be the perfect time to purge away extra clutter that causes you stress or unhappiness.
How will you hygge?
While the hygge mindset of simplicity and comfort can definitely be incorporated into your home, it is, essentially, a whole way of life! It celebrates health and happiness and can be accomplished in many other ways besides just decor, like surrounding yourself with loved ones (even on Zoom!), staying an extra hour in bed, recycling, appreciating your surroundings, and by simply being present and thankful.
Do you plan to incorporate hygge into your lifestyle and home? Let us know in the comments below!