As the cold, dark nights are drawing in and life seems to get busier and more complicated every day, the need to take a little time, relax and contemplate the small pleasures in life has never been more needed. The Danes are a race who have become known as lovers of calm and are, along with other Scandinavians, among the happiest people on earth. Is this the hygge effect?
The idea behind hygge is one which weaves its way through every walk of Scandinavian people’s lives and this lifestyle choice is touching us right around the world.
What is Hygge?
Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ or ‘hue-gah’, the word is becoming increasingly recognisable and was originally a Norwegian term for wellbeing.
Frequently described as ‘cosiness’ or ‘togetherness’ in English, the term has no literal translation, making it almost impossible to pinpoint exactly what hygge means. Largely defined as more of a feeling or mood more than a specific word, the concept can be interpreted as a mental state rather than a physical one. Simple words like cosiness just don’t do it justice with countless moments from slipping into a hot bath, to enjoying your morning coffee with a fragrant scented candle lit nearby just two of many examples of hygge. You can hygge with a good book curled up on a sofa or with friends around the fire or dinner table, even places can be hyggeligt (hygge-like), demonstrating just how far the notion reaches.
Here's our guide to Hygge in the Home
Embrace the power of the warming glow of candlelight to cosy up your home. Whether scented or unscented, candlelight transforms the clean, fresh style of classic Scandinavian interiors into a flickering escape from winter’s chill and a simple lit candle is seen as one of the most fundamental hygge moments to achieve cosiness in your home. Fragrance with notes of brewed tea, baked strawberry cake, rose petals and wild mint for the ultimate hygge experience.
Adding lusciously soft textures which add another dimension to any interior – think chunky knit cushions, faux fur throws and fluffy woollen rugs. Made from the softest of materials from natural wool to cashmere, textured accessories are a huge trend of the moment with the layering of different tactile, cosy surfaces creating a styled look in any room and when combined with a log fire or flickering candlelight, there is no setting more hygge.
Simplicity in Life is Hygge
No major overhaul is necessary to make your home more hyggeligt, tiny additions to the home can make the difference. Drinking your favourite coffee, enjoying candlelight or surrounding yourself with beautiful cosy accessories are all instant mood lifters, so take the time to enjoy them.
Enjoy a New or old hobby.
Taking up new hobbies to enjoy in the home allows you to switch off and refocus the mind. Switch off the TV, put down your phone or tablet and enjoy doing something which will bring hygge moments into your life. Crafty hobbies such as knitting or sewing which have been gaining in popularity in recent years are perfect to teach yourself and help to relax and calm your being, or curling up and reading a good book for a few solitary hours will have you refreshed in no time.
Appreciate the Space Around You
Enjoying the environment around you is the key to being hygge, nowhere is this more essential than in the home. Each room needs to be a sanctuary to sink into at any given moment and therefore filled with key items to allow you to escape and experience true relaxation; overall wellbeing can be enhanced by making small changes to everyday environments. So whatever you are doing, take the time to savour the tiny moments that make you smile and uplift the soul.
All year round Hygge!
Whilst it's frequently associated with cosiness, it is a way of life which can be enjoyed all year round. Grab your friends and head to the local park, or take some time to sit out in the sun with your favourite magazine and a cold drink to experience hygge in the warmer months. Alfresco dining is great for summer hygge moments, enjoying the sun before winter rolls in again and it’s time to bring out the cosy knits and scented candles.