There has been a lot of talk recently about a Danish way of living known as hygge. It’s not easy to pronounce (it’s hoo-ga) and there is no direct translation of the Danish word—so why has the UK been embracing the hygge lifestyle so much?
Hygge encompasses the Scandinavian way of life and incorporates mindfulness, living in the present and creating a peaceful, serene home that is cosy and filled with warmth and comfort.
With the winter nights drawing in, the thought of contented comfort while snuggled under a fluffy blanket sounds very appealing. So, if you like the idea of bringing a little hygge to your home, here are some simple, low-cost ways to make your lounge or bedroom feel more homely.
Get cosy by candlelight
Ask a Dane what they most associate with hygge and the chances are they will say candles.
Candlelight creates a cosy atmosphere after closing the curtains on a cold winter evening. A collection of candles in the fireplace or on the mantelpiece cast a warm radiance throughout the room. Used as a centrepiece on the dining table, candles create a romantic feel for a dinner for two or add elegance to a dinner party.
We love the scent of the hygge candle by Skandinavisk. Its homely scent has notes of black tea, wild mint, dried apple and a festive touch of baked cinnamon. It’s calming glow is guaranteed to create the perfect environment for comfort, reflection and lazy evenings on the sofa.
Close the curtains on winter
Shutting out the cold dark nights can go a long way to make you feel cosier during the winter months. Curtains play an important part in the hygge philosophy of crafting a serene and sumptuous space.
The beauty of hygge is that furniture and furnishings do not have to be perfectly co-ordinated, making it easy to upgrade one or two elements of the living room or bedroom without it feeling out of place.
Textiles such as twill, brushed cotton and velvet add a luxury feel to a room. This pair of petrol blue velvet curtains will keep out the cold and keep your room feeling homely. If you are purchasing curtains for the bedroom, add a blackout layer, so you can continue the hygge lifestyle with a lazy Sunday morning lie-in.
Tie the room together with textiles
Cushions, blankets and rugs all add to the ambience of a room and since the key to the hygge look is comfort, there are plenty of options.
Mix and match plump woollen cushions with a fleecy throw to make your sofa or bed even more enticing. Or if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, place a fluffy sheepskin rug on the hearth and curl up with some toasted marshmallows and a mug of cocoa.
Create a neutral vibe
Hygge décor is made up of neutral colours—think beige, grey, creams and browns. Keep the colour palette of your walls restrained for a truly relaxing vibe. The Graham & Brown website has a spectrum of natural paint colours to make any room feel warm and inviting.
Neutral walls also make an excellent backdrop upon which to display your favourite family photos or artwork piece. Choose rustic wooden frames to add texture to your walls – we love these frames from Not On The High Street.
Bring the winter inside
As nature moves from autumn to winter, there is an opportunity to bring natural branches, pinecones and dried berries into the home to introduce the great outdoors to your living space.
A foraged branch wrapped with twinkly fairy lights placed along the mantelpiece or leaning in the corner of the bedroom, adds a little magic to the room. Or collect leaves and flowers and dry them for a unique arrangement or centrepiece for the Christmas dinner table. If you have young children, they will enjoy a winter walk to gather inspiration—and a messy art afternoon creating masterpieces from their foraged finds.
Build your hyggekrog
Every home needs a cosy place to curl up with a blanket and a good book. The Danish call this comforting space a ‘hyggekrog’—which roughly translates as a ‘nook’.
Create your own hyggekrog, using cushions and blankets and invest in a pile of riveting reads to while away the wet weekends. The Greenglass House series of books by Kate Milford provides a perfect winter read. The stories are set in an old smuggler’s inn, where the guests are not always what they seem.
An afternoon in a hyggekrog wouldn’t be complete without a steaming mug of tea. We love this Portuguese oversized mug from Habitat – it’s quirky, natural-looking and holds enough tea to keep you going as your turn the pages of your book.
Hygge your bathroom
The hygge lifestyle can be extended beyond the lounge or bedroom to include the bathroom. With the addition of a soft bath sheet, low lighting, and some calming lavender-scented bubbles, you can transform the smallest room in the house into a spa experience.
Then, instead of a quick shower, indulge in a deep, warm bath. Place some candles around the tub, put on some relaxing music and let the rigours of the day wash away. Afterwards, make sure you have some fluffy pyjamas to slip into, before retreating to your hyggekrog.
You deserve a little hygge…
The Dane’s obsession with cosiness is just one of the reasons why Denmark often tops of the list of the world’s happiest countries. The rest of the world has begun to catch on to this wonderful way of living—and after a year that has been unsettling and uncertain, we all deserve a little hygge in our lives.