What is Hygge? Embrace the Danish Concept of Cosy Living
The Christmas tree is packed away. The house is looking a tad bare. A new year is dawning. And it’s cold, grey, and dreary outside. As winter sets in, you can banish the post-festive blues by exploring the cosy concept of hygge.
What is the hygge lifestyle?
Hygge is a Danish lifestyle concept and a tricky word to say. Rhyming with nougat, hygge is pronounced ‘hoo-gah’. Hygge isn’t a design style or the way a piece of furniture is made. It isn’t pigeonholed by an era.
Hygge is a feeling, a way of life, and a sense of contentment. Danes are proud of their cultural identity and hygge plays an important role in their lives. At its simplest, hygge means taking time out from the daily grind, enjoying the simple things in life, and unwinding. In 2017, hygge was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary as it began to seep into the British psyche.
What does a hygge home look like?
If you’re a fan of Netflix Scandi-Noir, chances are you’ve spied your fair share of teak-hued tripod lamps diffusing warm amber light across a room. You’ll have envied the soft faux sheepskin rug. And no doubt marvelled at the flourishes of invigorating bamboo. When it comes to Scandinavian interior design, the cosiness of hygge oozes out of lush textiles, tactile furniture, yielding leather, sumptuous furnishings, and natural materials.
So, why not embrace hygge and enjoy a more homely, snug and lived-in look this winter? Denmark was voted the second happiest country in the world in 2022. Perhaps, hygge is the reason?
Elements of a hygge home
Opting for mid-century pieces rather than run-of-the-mill high-street equivalents means that you can create a more characterful hygge-fuelled home. Take a look at some of the stalwart pieces that every hygge home should have.
1. Layer textures with throws and cushions
Whether your focusing on a bedroom or a living room, adding texture to your space will make it more cosy. Think a roaring fire, hot cocoa, lush cushions, and chinky knot throw. When layering your textiles, focus on how they feel. Veer away from rough materials, like hessian, and choose softer fabrics like velvet, silks, and wool. You can even use texture in the most unusual of places, such as lampshades and magazine racks to add to the comforting ambience of a space.
2. Add as much greenery as possible
Hygge living rooms are often reminiscent of rainforests, they have that many yucca, palms, and Swiss cheese plants. Bringing nature indoors and surrounding yourself with greenery can cultivate a calming and cosy ambience. Houseplants are a great mood booster and can cleanse your immediate airspace. Combining cosiness with mental wellbeing benefits is meget hygge.
3. Comfy seating is crucial
The essence of hygge is carving out time to relax. This means snuggling under a throw, reading a good book, and finding the comfiest seating you can to suit your lifestyle. A sofa that embodies all the elements of hygge should envelop, support, and yield to your favourite seated position. Consider a large modular sofa that wears its 1970s velour with pride. Or consider a Scandinavian modern sofa in yielding tan leather that can sit your entire brood for winter evening board game and movie nights.
4. Subtlety is key
Hygge isn’t about the grand or the ornate. This Danish lifestyle concept focuses on the joy that can be found in the most seemingly insignificant life moments. It makes sense that this is replicated in hygge interior design. The small things are important.
Forego the glitzy crystal chandelier and choose a 1960s copper pendant that accentuates the amber hues of a filament bulb. Adorn your space with candles, treasured trinkets, and mementoes that make you smile every time you see them. Hygge isn’t about fitting into a rigid design structure. Instead, focus on what gives you that unique fuzzy warm feeling.
5. Curate some hygge art
Art should make you feel something. And in a hygge home, your art should evoke feelings of contentment and happiness. Adding depth and character to your space with floral prints, faded antique tapestries, and simple abstract landscapes anchor your hygge vision. Nothing should be a stand-out piece – less is more. Your aim is to foster that personal cosy space. So, focus on the overall ambience and feel of your room and choose artwork that you love.
The hygge trend in interior design shows no sign of falling out of fashion anytime soon. While winter is the perfect time to hunker down in your hygge-inspired snug, hygge is a lifestyle concept that can be enjoyed all year round. So, what are you waiting for? Why not make 2023 the year to hygge your home?