Hygge, what is it and how do you welcome it into your interior?
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” Robert Brault
This is what the Hygge lifestyle is all about.
Hygge, pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, comes from the Norwegian word which roughly translates to ‘well-being’ but was very quickly adopted by the Danes meaning ‘cosiness’. This concept has been around for years and has become a lifestyle that many aspire towards.
Hygge is about living in the moment, being present and taking time to notice and enjoy the small things in life. It can be anything from watching your favourite film snuggled in a beautifully fluffy duvet or listening to the rain whilst reading a book by candle light.
This way of life is something that many Scandinavians live by… it’s no coincidence they’re in the top 10 happiest countries in the world! It’s so simple to make the necessary changes to be able to achieve the Hygge lifestyle, so you too can enjoy these moments of bliss.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment and become aware of what you can hear, then open them again. Is there a lot of noise in your house? Perhaps lights and appliances that have been left on by mistake or unnecessarily? Maybe devices are only on for the comforting background noise they create in an otherwise still house once the children have gone to bed?
Now take another deep breath and start to turn off everything that is superfluous. Go into that drawer that is filled with tea lights and other calming bits and bobs that rarely get used such as an essential oil burner, and light a few. Take a step back from technology and enjoy everything at a slower pace.
At first, that might feel a bit odd – because many of us are used to fast-paced, 21st Century style lives – we are always “connected”, device in hand and rushing through chores trying to fit everything in before the day ends. The Hygge lifestyle wants you to take a step back and enjoy the every day simple luxuries. Of course this concept or way of living can be enjoyed with friends and family, as well as alone. From discussing anything from day-to-day problems to your favourite TV shows, it’s the sense of feeling good that comes from sharing which can be considered Hygge too.
By creating a warm and welcoming environment and taking a break from technology, you and your home can embody this way of life. From an interiors point of view, I would suggest a few small changes you can make to create that lovely cosy feel.
The Danes have been known to light more candles per head than anyone else in Europe and this is a very important part of achieving a Hygge environment. A simple addition of some pillar candles, or tea lights dotted around the room will help to not only rest your eyes before bed time, but also the soft light will create that tranquil space for you to be able to wind down after a long day.
Wood burning fire
Scandi living is all about natural textures, neutral colours and genuine materials. This includes burning wood, as it has a ‘back to basics’ feel, very traditional and pure. Having a wood burning fire lit, especially as the nights become longer does help to create the Hygge concept throughout your home. Watching the soft flickering of the flames and hearing the crackling of the wood will give you that sense of total relaxation that allows you to feel cosy and warm.
Other soft lights
Fairy lights are good alternatives (or additions) to tea lights, hanging them from banisters or above the television will bring more light to your room but still keeps it feeling soft. Table lamps that have light bulbs with lower wattages can also create this atmospheric glow.
Although the wood burner will be lit emitting a good few kW of heat, Hygge is about being really cosy. Adding throw blankets, fluffy throws and thick carpets in any room are simple ways of achieving Hygge.
Thicker curtains, especially in the winter months will keep the heat inside the room for a cosier space. I would recommend warm, simple colours and matching the curtains to your cushions to couple up beautifully and tie the room together. Speaking about cushions, the more the merrier in my opinion, everyone loves a cushion!
When choosing art for your home go for whatever makes you feel good and brings a sense of peace. Something “easy on the eye” in colour tones of your chosen room scheme could be hung on the walls to enhance that cosy living space.
I love this concept, and embody it as much possible, from taking a break from everything digital to enjoying life’s simple luxuries. So, as the Danes would say “Kan du hygge dig” (or have a cosy time) and enjoy your evenings as the winter sets in.
For more information on Dovre’s wood burning stoves and fires, read our next blog on the minimal environmental impact of our wood burners >>.