Hygge, pronounced ‘hoogah’, has become synonymous with cozy and content. However, it’s more than a decor style – it’s a feeling, a philosophy, and a lifestyle. Bringing some Hygge into your home is the first step to bringing Hygge into your life.
The word comes from an old Norwegian term that refers to well-being. It’s become important to Danish culture, and the Danes have been integrating it into their lifestyles since it appeared in 18th century texts. You can use Hygge as an adjective, noun or verb, in case you wondered.
The feeling of comfort and delight as you curl up in your favourite throw with a hot drink, basking in in the sunshine with loved ones on a Sunday, enjoying a cool beverage surrounded by family’s laughter on a hot summer evening – these are the feelings of Hygge.
Hygge can be described as ‘the art of creating an atmosphere’ or enjoying the simple pleasures. In your home, it means the art of lighting, textures, colours and comfort – inviting, cozy, and centered on appreciation and togetherness is the name of the Hygge game. Typically Hygge decor includes calming, warm neutrals and natural materials.
So, how can you get some Hygge in your home?
How to bring Hygge to your home
Throw blankets, pillows, area rugs, curtains, you name it – if it brings softness into the room, it will bring Hygge into the room. In winter, add abundant throws and blankets to corners of the room, arms of couches or over ottomans. In warmer months, replace these with thin but soft fabrics for the cool of late nights, warm evenings and summer rains.
Faux fur and sheep-skins are a good way to add natural textiles and neutral colours, which are important markers of this Danish style. Another hack is to layer rugs or carpets – in other words, placing a thicker carpet underneath. You can make this even more Hyyge by placing a woven wicker or other naturally textured area carpet underneath a softer one.
Perhaps the most important ingredient to a Hygge home is the colour palette. Warm, natural neutral colours are typical of Hygge decor, with white walls and warm tones for a calming space. Wood, bamboo, and plants are key to achieving the natural coziness this style offers, too.
“It doesn’t cost money to light a room correctly, but it does require sophistication,” said Poul Henningsen, a famous author, architect, and designer from the 20th century. Going by PH, Henningsen became a leader in designing lights that created comfortable, atmospheric lighting for home. He was the first person to scientifically attempt to perfect lighting in this sense – he is hailed as Denmark’s first expert on lighting theory.
The point is, lighting is important to the Danish, and you must consider it if you want a taste of Hygge. PH lamps, for example, are designed “to beautify the home and the who live there, to make the evening restful and relaxing.” String lights, fairy lights, lanterns, candles, salt lamps are all ways to create Hygge-like lighting.
Did you know that some people place vanilla in a baking tray in the oven just before open houses or hosting guests? It fills the house with the smell of freshly baked cookies – without you needing to do any baking, of course. Human beings are more affected by smell than we realise. Hygge requires cultivating aromas in your home with a purpose: comfort.
Scented candles with warm smells like vanilla, orange or cinnamon do this well. You can also add a diffuser into particular rooms. If you’d like a DIY option, try potpourri – a bowl of scented, dried leaves and spices.
Build a hyggekrook, or nook
Creating a dedicated corner for your hobby like reading, solving brainteasers, or even embroidering, is just as much a stylistic choice as it is a lifestyle one. Having a nook encourages you to take time to mindfully practice said leisure activities in a way that is relaxing and undisturbed. All you need is a comfy chair, the right throw, a surface for placing your beverage of choice, and – as is the Hygge way – some great lighting.
If you Hygge up your home, be sure to tag us @sagardenandhome!