We have officially reached the point in winter when even Mango La Croix doesn’t lift my spirits and all I want to do is get cozy. The Danish concept of “hygge” feels really appropriate to talk about, especially as most of the country is experiencing rollercoaster temperatures. One minute it’s tolerable, the next is frigid.
Hygge (pronounced “hue-gah”) refers to a feeling of comfort. It comes from a Danish word meaning “to give courage, comfort, and joy.” As one of the countries that experiences frigid weather for most of the year (along with Switzerland and Iceland), the Danish embrace the concept of “hygge” to help make the cold months happier and more tolerable.
I can understand. I don’t experience cold like that for very long and I can be…let’s say, less than happy about it!
Hygge is not winter-specific, though we hear about it more in the winter as it often is compared to things that bring literal and metaphorical warmth to you and your home. Generally speaking, think of rich blankets, cozy spaces to cuddle, roaring fires in the fireplace, and plenty of mulled wine to keep you warm and your spirits high!
Of course, making your space as cozy as humanly possible is one way to embrace the spirit of hygge your house. Another way is to create a warm, welcoming environment (emphasis on warm), which is exactly what we aim to do every time we guide you through these blog posts!
Here are a handful of ways to decorate your space to take advantage of this Danish concept.
Add Just a Touch of Danish
At the root of hygge decorating is minimalism. By borrowing just a dash of Danish inspiration, you’ll keep your room from feeling like it’s padded from floor to ceiling with fuzzy blankets. A new pillow or two really goes a long way!
Start small by adding just one new element into your space at a time. Small rooms are great for hygge decorating because you physically can’t add much more!
- Bring in a new, cozy throw.
- Hang heavier drapes on your windows to block out cold that may seep through your windows.
- Add a few more earthy elements (real wood, a lush plant, crystals, and so on).
The point here isn’t to go overboard, rather to keep your home cozy and inviting.
Candles and Light
The Danes, bless them, spend a lot of time in the dark. So, they understand the importance of light! When used correctly, a well-placed light instantly brightens your space and makes it feel warm and inviting.
Naturally, candles are part of the hygge look, too. They literally add warmth to your space. The ambiance and glow that candles give off are the perfect way to set the tone for an intimate gathering, or just an evening reading your favorite book!
You may also like: Casting a Glow – How Lighting Design Enhances a Room
Google “hygge” or search for it on Instagram and you’ll find thousands of pictures of warm layers. I’m talking furry blankets on top of thick duvets and pillows for miles.
Because hygge is all about being cozy, layering and textures go hand-in-hand with this design concept. Texture adds visual interest and softens the appearance of a room. Adding texture takes a room from stark to stunning.
Less (Stuff) is More
Because this Scandinavian trend is about creating a warm, welcoming environment, banishing clutter is a must for a serene space.
Take advantage of this minimalistic design by investing in storage solutions that you can tuck away in consoles or drawers. No one wants to see your cell phone charging cables and junk mail. They interrupt the clean, minimal aesthetic of the hygge look.
You may also like: Three Steps to Decluttering Your Home for the New Year
Surround Yourself With What You Love
I bet Marie Kondo loves hygge! Again, because the idea is to create a warm, welcoming environment. Usually, that means surrounding yourself with items you love. Doing so will instantly make you feel at ease and comfortable.
Even though the hygge look is focused on minimalism, the idea is to be intentional about what you surround yourself with. What makes you feel comfortable? What lights you up with warmth from within when you see it? Those important elements are what hygge is all about. Display more of that, forget the rest!
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