What is Hygge is a Danish concept, and the word could roughly be translated as ‘cosiness’ or ‘wellbeing’. Hygge is about appreciating small things, feeling warm and safe, being connected in the moment. It’s about slow, comfortable firelit evenings and intimate gatherings with friends. If that sounds good to you, here’s our guide to hygge living
How to hygge: general tips
- Dress comfortably in the home. It may not be the season for that Christmas jumper, but, if it’s a cold day and it’s the cosiest thing you own, why not wear it? If you’re warm and comfortable, it’ll be easier to absorb yourself in good books, good food and good company.
- Find time to switch off. The constant stream of new information from the Internet makes it difficult to appreciate where you are right now. Set aside your phone for a moment, cuddle up under a blanket, and enjoy some hot chocolate by candlelight. The world will still be there when you return to it.
- Do the things you love. What really absorbs you? What takes up your focus so completely that you barely notice the time passing? Perhaps it’s painting, knitting, writing short stories. If you pursue a creative hobby, you can pass a few hours very contentedly, and you’ll have a tangible souvenir of that time at the end.
- Talk to the people you care about. Togetherness is a big part of hygge. No matter how much you love the people you live with, it can be easy to fall into routines that don’t leave much time for conversation. Turn off the television for a while and talk. Sit down for a meal together. This doesn’t have to be high-pressure; just a nice time to connect with those around you.
Hygge at home: having a hygge bedroom
Now that you’ve got the basics under your belt, let’s look at how to apply it in your bedroom.
- Dress with fabrics. Thick knitted blankets, deep rugs and warm duvets will help to create the cosy atmosphere you need.
- Add artwork. If your walls are bare, put up a few paintings or photographs that mean something to you. Surrounding yourself with things you enjoy can help you feel better.
- Make your own style. Don’t worry too much about making everything match or keeping the bed neatly made. Your room doesn’t need to come out of a catalogue, it just needs to be a comfortable place where a human being lives.
Use candles responsibly to reduce the risk of fire. Never leave a lit candle unattended and place candles on sturdy platforms away from flammable materials including fabrics.
Hygge at home: having a hygge kitchen
Now the bedroom’s sorted, let’s move to the kitchen.
- Opt for wood. Wooden touches, such as wooden cupboard doors and chopping boards, can add a natural sense of warmth to your kitchen.
- Keep recipe books on show. Books are great for making a space feel more lived-in and welcoming. If you have a lot of cookbooks, set up a small bookshelf for them in the kitchen.
- Create a drinking station. When it’s cold, one of the simplest pleasures is curling up with a hot drink. Setting up a dedicated station for hot drinks can bring more hygge into your kitchen.
- Indulge a little. Allow yourself times when you make your favourite comfort food; there are some days when all you want is a bowl of macaroni cheese. Have some biscuits. Bake brownies for the whole family. Healthy eating is important, but pleasures like these are important too. All good things in moderation.
Hygge at home: having a hygge living room
Finally, let’s look at the living room.
- Add mood lighting. The feel of a room can change hugely depending on how it’s lit. A room lit by table lamps will often feel warmer than one lit by strong overhead lighting. You could also consider investing in dimmable lighting or fairy lights.
- Add candles. Candles are popular in Denmark, and they’re a great way of creating a cosy atmosphere. Light a few after the sun goes down, but always keep them supervised while they’re lit.
- Add warmth. If you have a fireplace, a fire is a great way to keep the lights low and the room cosy on wintry evenings. Fake fires can give you the impression of traditional fires if you can’t have a real one.
- Get cosy. Soft furnishings, soft blankets, soft cushions. Sometimes you need to sink into a sofa and pull a knitted throw around your shoulders.
Hygge living is a way of finding relaxation, contentment and warmth in the midst of a fast-paced society. Take the time to enjoy your cosy home, without checking work e-mails or racing ahead in your mind. Sometimes, tomorrow can wait.
If you’re in pursuit of hygge at home:
- Surround yourself with warm lighting, soft seating and cosy blankets. Settle in and make yourself comfortable.
- Books, paintings and wooden details can make your home a more welcoming, calming place to be.
- Slow down. When you have a few hours to spare, take the time to read a good book or chat with a friend rather than trying to get ahead of your work.