Hygge (pronounced 'hue-gah'); cosiness, happiness, comfort, simpleness, kinship, security, reassurance, familiarity. These are some of the words used to describe the Danish term that has no direct translation in English. With the winter months fast approaching I am drawn to this concept. I used call it human hibernating but now it’s more socially acceptable (and 'on trend') to say it’s a Scandinavian way of life.
It’s not about buying any new or expensive products or furniture; it’s amazing how moving few objects you already own and a different mindset can make a difference.
Here are 6 tips to embrace hygge at home;
1. Textures. Adding natural textures to a room will create a sense of cosiness. Use an old basket for storing kindling wood or a knitted blanket as a throw on the sofa.
2. Move furniture around. Want to sit closer to the heat? Move the furniture. Experiment with moving lighting too and see the difference it makes.
3. Swap art hanging on the walls to give a new perspective on it. Sometimes it’s displayed in places you only walk past rather than where you can appreciate it.
4. Display cards, photos or art where you can see and appreciate them. Photos, special cards and children’s art work don’t always have to be framed; propped on a mantlepiece or vase can be just as effective.
5. Create intimacy with candles and low lighting. Yes, a candle only gives out a little heat but it’s very effective in creating a warm and relaxing atmosphere.
6. Food and drink. From having a simple cup of tea by yourself to sharing food in company of friends and family, each is an enjoyable moment and we should aim to be present and acknowledge these.
It’s worth remembering that Danes are often cited to be that happiest nation in the world. They make enjoyment a priority and find ways to celebrate it within daily tasks rather than seeing them as chores. This basic and uncomplicated way to be is very appealing in today’s ever busy modern lives.
Keep it simple. Happy hygge.