An increasingly popular Danish living philosophy, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. Want more hygge in your life? Read on!
Soft textures, warmth and intimacy all form the basis of hygge. But the connection created between our environment and our loved ones is so much more than a stylish coffee mug perched on the windowsill. Hygge is not something you can force: it eases itself into our lives during moments of relaxation, where the pleasure of being together in a welcoming setting is the only thing that matters.
Hygge is a feeling, an art of living. Although it’s not something you create, like when decorating a room, there are a number of ways of incorporating hygge at home. So, turn the kettle on, put on a woolly sweater and read on.
1. Organic touches
Decorate your coffee table with plants. Set your miniature cactus next to your reading corner. Place a single flower in a vase on the dining table. These green accents will add an organic element to the moment.
2. Soft and comforting textures
Choose simple, comfortable clothing made from natural fibres. Slip on your softest woollen reading socks. Prepare a piping hot mug of latte and feel the caress of the ceramic. Enjoy the tactile textures around you.
3. A well-organized space
No need to polish until everything’s sparkling clean. It’s more about a quick tidy up so that everything’s in its place. Create a sense of bright calm. Stow magazines in a basket, pick up the dog’s toys, fluff up the cushions and place the throw on the sofa. Enjoy your home at its best!
4. Soft lighting
During the day, open the curtains and let in the natural light. Install dimmer switches. Come nightfall, they will help soften the light to create a warm comforting hygge glow. Certain light bulbs connected to a home automation system will also allow you to control the intensity of a room’s lighting by means of a phone device.
5. White candles
Opt for soft lighting along with white candles. Choose unscented candles, preferably, to prevent the air from becoming heavy. If you prefer not to use candles, try using strings of small white lights, or simply turn on your natural gas fireplace if you’re lucky enough to have one in your home.
6. A comforting scent
Choosing scentless candles means that you can enjoy those fresh aromas wafting throughout your tidy home: hot soup simmering on the natural gas range! Of course, you can always add a touch of fragrance with an essential oil diffuser. In suitable Scandinavian style, I would choose a cedarwood or pine essential oil. Or even better, place some fresh cut Eucalyptus leaves in a vase on the kitchen table and in the bathroom.
7. Laughter and conversation
Now it’s time for secrets, big and small. Bring out the board games, relive childhood memories and try to be present in the moment. If you’re by yourself, listen to some of your favourite music, taking advantage of this alone time to write in your travel journal or to meditate.
8. Hot beverages and sweet treats
Central to hygge conversations: a good coffee, a steaming mug of mulled wine or some homemade lemonade. Pair these with something sweet and comforting, like a piece of lemon cake or some delicious homemade pancakes. Simple is best! Just a small gesture to make everyone feel special.
9. Peace and tranquility
You should only be able to hear the sound of a dog snoring, music playing or rain rolling down the window. And, do I really need to tell you that phones and other electronic gadgets are a no-no?
10. Family and friends
We have hygge when we realize that time spent with our loved ones are the most precious and treasured moments of our lives. This is a state of mind that we can put into practice at any time—while washing dishes together or while sharing a hot chocolate by the fire!
Content creator for her blog Tellement Swell and her YouTube channel, Eve Martel has a boundless passion for interior décor and organization. The daughter of an architect, she grew up surrounded by her father’s Danish design magazines and blueprints. Just like that friend who always has the best tips, she shares ideas for turning your home into a stunning, peaceful haven.