Hygge is pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ and means cozy and comfortable, although there is much more to this popular way of living than its literal meaning. Some say it is about ‘special moments’ and making memories with loved ones, or on your own. Some say it relates to worn and preloved items. Others say it connects more to a feeling in your life and your home that is like a ‘content sigh’. We really like the explanation given on this Vice News feature on Youtube.
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“Hygge is about having less, enjoying more; the pleasure of simply being.
It is generous and celebratory, a way to remember the importance of the simple act of living itself.” – Louisa Thomsen Brits, The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well
Whichever meanings you wish to take from Hygge, the popular term definitely has a place in your home in winter. Cozy, special moments in the place you love the most? Yes please! Especially when the weather is blustery and wet outside.
During these months of hibernation when we all spend so much more times in our homes, Hygge is a really great way to enhance the warm, cozy, comfortable feeling you get indoors.
Here are five tips to help you Hygge your home this winter:
Is there any decor article about improving the home that doesn’t mention decluttering? Clutter is never a good thing and Hygge is all about simplicity so, decluttering should be your first port of call when preparing your home for nicer decor. You don’t have to get rid of everything, but you should be selective about what you surround yourself with. It should enhance your environment, not busy it without meaning.
2. Let The Light in
Candles and low light are very cozy, but in reality, we all desire the sun and natural light in winter. With Hygge, natural light plays a major feature because Scandinavia, where Hygge originates, doesn’t see much sun over winter. In fact, the lack of sun in Scandinavia has caused a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) epidemic, where many people require therapy and help with feeling particularly low in winter because of the lack of light.
In the UK, one in every fifteen people is affected by SAD, so even with more light hours than Scandinavia, it can be a struggle for some. The key to working against feeling down about a lack of light is to let in as much natural light as possible. Consider clearing your window ledges, opening the curtains and blinds, cleaning your windows and cutting back any large trees or shrub outside so that you’re making the most of the current natural light sources in your home. If you still find it is dark, it could be worthwhile adding some glass internal bifold doors or skylights to enable more light to get into your home.
3. Make It Feel Cosy
A home can look cozy, but does it feel cozy? Hygge is all about how things feel, and that can mean touch, smell, sound or sight – it is multi-sensory. Do add sumptuous faux fur throws, warming knitted blankets and soft cushions. Do add your favorite scented candles, areas for books and hot chocolate. Do multi-layer all the elements so that there is a cozy ‘feeling’ that goes beyond the visual. The key is to make your home ‘inviting’.
4. Bring The Outdoors In
The beauty of nature is a huge part of the Scandinavian decor and forms a part of Hygge too. You can add natural fibers, plants, and accessories to bring nature in. It is also a great idea to ‘nest’ near the outdoors. Perhaps you have a sheltered, heated outdoor space to read in, or a window seat perfect for watching films. You can’t feel cozy unless you can see how cold and blustery it is outside. Just think about when you’ve had the coziest hot chocolates in coffee shops, it is always after coming in from the cold, or when sitting by the window seeing passers-by pull their coats closer, or battle with umbrellas from the wind and the rain. Embracing nature really does enhance your Hygge feeling when it comes to home decor and living.
5. Spend Time With Those You Love
5% of people in the UK feel lonely often or always, and loneliness always seems to be in the news these days as social media and the internet connect us in some ways, but create a huge disconnect in other ways. Hygge is all about entertaining and enjoying special time with those you love. So, as well as making your home inviting to you, it has to be inviting to others so that you can entertain, and often. Make your home more entertaining-friendly by:
- Always having biscuits, drinks, and snacks in your cupboard to offer unexpected guests/ for impromptu gatherings
- Having cushions, blankets, and throws for everybody to feel comfortable and warm as it gets more chilly
- Enhancing central areas like fireplaces which provide a natural cozy backdrop for social events
- Providing lots of seating options
- Keeping the clutter down because less clutter means more room for people!
Just living isn’t enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
Having a Hygge home this winter is your key to ultimate coziness whilst you hide away from the wind, snow, rain and dark mornings and nights. The very fact you’re already enjoying looking into making your home feel more comfortable and cozy, suggests you’re already experiencing Hygge in its basic form. Especially if you’re reading this with your favorite hot chocolate in hand, wrapped in the coziest blanket, ideally with a candle or two lit and no plans to do anything but reading for the next hour or two.