The Danish life philosophy called hygge is sweeping over the nation and taking over home decor. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, here’s what it’s all about and how it can transform your life.
So what is hygge?
Hygge, pronounced as hyoo-gah, is a quality of coziness that creates a sense of contentment and well-being. It is central to Danish culture and lifestyle and spills over many aspects of life. If you want to embrace the hygge lifestyle, the best place to start is your home.
How to Harness Hygge in Your Home
1. Keep It Simple
Simplicity is the most important element of the hygge, but not in a minimalist, bare-essentials way. Simple in hygge means surrounding yourself with things that allow you to enjoy the moment and appreciate the simple, mundane aspects of life, such as the soft morning light flooding through your window, a good cup of coffee, a book, or just good old peace. It’s the antithesis to the mainstream lifestyle of accumulating stuff.
2. Start with a Neutral Base
A hygge home starts with neutral colors such as pastels, coral shades, monochromatic palettes. Tones for walls, floors, and furniture are typically earthy, calming, and airy. Avoid vibrant and cool shades as much as possible, unless it’s just for small accessories or accent pieces. But try not to overdo it, as too many neutral colors can result in a monotonous, lifeless look. For example, if your palette is composed of subtle grays and coral pinks, throw in an accent chair with a darker color, a vibrant Persian rug, or dark gray or black fixtures.
3. Combine Comfort & Togetherness
Anyone wants warmth and coziness in their homes, so it’s not really exclusive to the hygge lifestyle. But if you want to harness hygge, create a cozy space conducive to sharing and gathering. You can do this by getting a large, sectional sofa, a long dining table, or an outdoor dining area under twinkling lights or lanterns.
4. Use Candles & Mood Lighting
Subtle mood lighting is essential in a hygge home. Install cove lights or place lamps in your living spaces, and scatter candles throughout spaces where you spend time the most. In your personal bathroom, create a spa-like experience with scented candles or even a smaller hearth to melt your stress away during long baths.
5. Create a Nook Around a Fire
A ‘hyggkrog’ is a cozy nook where you can curl up and read a book or enjoy a cup of tea in the warmth of a real fire. Having a hearth or fireplace with actual firewood is essential and makes the hygge experience more authentic. But it wouldn’t make sense to have a fireplace in hot, humid places. For lovely homes where winters can be harsh, the hyggekrog will be the perfect spot to stay warm and cozy. But if you live in a tropical area, an Eames lounge chair or any plush, reclining chair beside a small window, a few scented candles, and a fluffy blanket will do the trick. Ideally, your nook should be placed by the window with nature views. But if you live in the city, you can add hanging plants and place pots on the window sill.
6. Add Lots of Comfy Seating
The hygge philosophy centers on ‘togetherness’ and ‘coziness,’ and you can achieve that by providing plenty of comfortable seating in your main living area. On top of the main sofa, you can add recliners, poufs, and even bean bags. Then, fluff up your seats with pillows and blankets in a variety of high-quality fabrics to create different experiences.
7. Layer your Decor
A hygge home has plenty of interesting textures and layers, but not the tacky kind. A layered look can help create a more “lived in” environment, which differs from homes with showroom-like interior designs. It’s important to note, however, that layering does not equate to adding clutter. You can create texture by adding a thick, plush rug, matching window treatments, greenery, wall art, lighting fixtures, and pillows that don’t necessarily have the same theme but blend well with each other. It’s also a good idea to mix up elements from different styles, periods, and continents to add dimension to your space. But to still keep it hygge, use elements that personally make you happy.
A beautiful home can be any size and in any location so long as it allows you to enjoy the ordinariness of life and share moments of joy with friends and family. And you can harness all these with a hygge-inspired home.