In Denmark, hygge has been a way of life as long as anyone can remember. For the rest of the world, the word erupted as a huge cultural phenomenon around 2016. It was seen on every blog, magazine, in books and even made it into the Collins English Dictionary. Since then, hygge shows no sign of disappearing from the global stage and looks to be sticking around for the long run.
But what is hygge? In this post, courtesy of our friends over at Icon Wall Stickers, we’ll be looking at the trend and discussing how you can incorporate it into your home’s interior decor.
Meaning of hygge
Before we get into how you can bring hygge into your home, we need to look at what the concept is and why it can be beneficial.
Firstly, hygge is pronounced “hoo-gah” according to VisitDenmark. In loose terms, it translates to ‘cosiness’, however, there’s much more to it than that. The term encompasses feelings of calm, simplicity, family, togetherness and more. No wonder Denmark is thought to be one of the happiest countries on the planet!
In interior design, hygge packs in its associated values with comfort at its centre. It helps improve the way we live by celebrating socialising, nature and calm.
So, now you have a better understanding of what hygge is, let’s take a look at our top ten tips on how you can create a hygge home.
Get the right lighting
First thing’s first, in the daylight hours, let in as much natural light as possible. Tuck away the window dressings and let the sun shine through your windows; especially on dull days.
To create a hygge vibe with artificial lighting, you need to ditch the cold and harsh ceiling lights in favour of softer table and free-standing lamps. This will help bring a cosy and calming atmosphere to your home. A perfect hygge light is the Oda Small Lamp as it has a soothing and atmospheric glow.
If you are using an overhead ceiling light, choose bulbs with a dimmer hue rather than bright surgical lights as this will instantly transform your room and add to its warmth.
Candles are thought to be one of the most hygge accessories you can use in your home. They give a room a feeling of warmth and comfort, especially in a small and cosy space.
Not only do they have a cool look, but scented candles can make your room smell great. Cultivate a collection of candles with natural scents to fit in with the Danes and choose organic where you can.
If you have several candles burning, they can also offer a source of soft lighting, fitting in with our previous point. Turn out the lights and just use a few candles to light the room, especially when socialising.
As the word hygge’s closest translation into English is ‘cosiness’, it’s clear that you should try to incorporate comfortable and homey furniture in your homestead. For your living room, overstuffed chairs and big sofas that you can sink into covered in cushions, like this like this Duresta Boulevard Corner Unit are best.
In the bedroom, a small and intimate bed with luxurious bedding and cushions will help you create a hygge hideaway that you won’t want to leave.
With all of your furniture, add in chunky knit or faux fur blankets and cushions to increase comfort and style - a draped look is preferable to maximise the hygge theme.
Create a reading nook or hyggekrog
A hyggekrog is a cosy spot where you can cuddle up with a good book in the warmth with a hot cup of tea or coffee. A hyggekrog can be wherever you like; in the living room, bedroom, or even in the kitchen.
Create somewhere you can sit and snuggle up in, like a beanbag or oversized cushion with some throws around it. Add a bookshelf with some of your favourites and you can stay there all day, tucked up with your nose in a book, ensuring you only have to leave to top up your beverage of choice.
Bring the outdoors in
A huge part of Scandinavian life is based around nature and natural living. Decorating with houseplants and flowers brings elements of the outdoors into your home. Not only do plants have a great look, but they also help to purify the air, removing pollutants and toxins.
Plants aren’t the only way you can use nature in your home - you should choose furniture and decor made from natural components. Furniture made from real wood, a wicker basket or a bowl full of pinecones will easily fit in with your hygge-style space.
Keep it toasty
Especially during the autumn and winter months, keep your house nice and warm to help maintain that cosy feeling. Put the heating on, close the curtains and shut out the world in hidden away in your home.
Fires are a perfect way to heat and create a hygge atmosphere. Whether you have a real open fire or an artificial one, use it to get your home feeling toasty and cosy. Additionally, you can also use the scattered throws we mentioned earlier to add to your home’s warmth.
Decorate with what you love
In terms of decorating your home, use what you love as your decor. Photos of your family and friends, art that you or a loved one has created or a reminder of a fond memory like a trip abroad will all suffice.
Avoid generic decor without character in favour of things that give you a feeling of happiness. Try to only use something that has a personal meaning to you, whether that’s a memory or reminder of a time, place or person.
Like with other types of Scandinavian design, hygge has an inner core of minimalism. It strips away the excess leaving only the essential aspects behind. So, we suggest trying to keep your decor free from clutter by limiting your furniture and avoiding accumulating junk.
Whenever you choose to make a new purchase for your home, take your time and think about it before buying - make sure it’s both necessary and fits in with the style of your hygge home.
For most people, there’s nothing more soothing for the body and soul than having a long soak in a warm bath. You can light some candles, read a good book, listen to music and just escape for 45 minutes with some of the most simple things in life. So, to create your spa-style bathroom, use small features like a bath caddy, scented bubble bath and a comfy robe to upgrade your bathroom experience.
Take hygge outdoors
With the fast approaching summer months, why not take the opportunity to create an outdoor hygge haven? Create an outside space you can stay in late into the night with friends and family.
Get a comfortable seating area where you can enjoy some home cooked BBQ food. Surround the area with outdoor candles for when it gets darker, a fire pit for warmth and atmosphere and some throws for comfort.
Final thoughts on hygge
Not only is hygge a great way to decorate your home but it’s also a way of life. Socialise with family and friends often, take some time to relax and generally enjoy the simple things. The Danes are happy for a reason and it may just be hygge, so embrace it in every way you can.