Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish concept that is notoriously difficult to define in the English language. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word as: a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). Essentially, it is a cosy feeling or quality that many of us aspire to achieve in our own homes, both for ourselves and for any guests that come into our homes. So for us Brits, how can we bring this Danish phenomenon into our lives? Here I am sharing with you 10 thrifty ways that you can do just that.
Experiment with lighting
Use soft, warm lighting to create a cosy atmosphere in every room of your house. Danes are huge fans of candles, and burn more candles than any other country in Europe. You can experiment with different candle placements to create pools of warm light throughout your home- just remember to blow them out before bedtime! You can also use lamps to create a similar warm atmosphere, you could experiment with bulbs of varying wattage to create that desired soft lighting. You could use 3 or 4 lamps in a room instead of one harsh overhead light which can sometimes feel a little too bright.
Invite guests to your home
Inviting friends or family around to your home is the most popular way of socialising in Denmark rather than heading out to the pub. Take a leaf out of their book and invite friends and family round to achieve that moment of ‘hygge,’ a special warming moment between you and your loved ones. You can even bring out the candles and soft lighting to really accentuate that cosy atmosphere.
Soft furnishing and textures
Adding a variety of soft furnishings and textures to your home is the perfect way to prepare for the winter months. Get yourself a woollen throw, with some textured cushions and long plush curtains for optimum cosiness. You could also add textures in the form of wooden accents and baskets around your home to bring nature indoors and embody that special sense of hygge.
Move your furniture
Make sure that your furniture all points inwards towards a focal point in the room, this ensures that when you are relaxing with family and friends, you are all facing each other instead of the TV. This means that when socialising, your attention is on the other people around you and encourages conversation. Having your furniture pointing inwards also means that you are creating a cosier circle of space rather than having wide open spaces and angular corners within a room.
Decide what items truly bring you joy
Go through the items in your home and decide what truly brings you joy- makes sure that you have these items on display so that you can admire and appreciate them every day. If an item no longer gives you joy, donate it or sell it and someone else can find joy from it. The same goes for clothing, kitchenware, toys and tech- if it’s no longer bringing anyone joy, there is nothing to be gained from keeping it in your home. This leads us onto the next point…
It is important to embrace simplicity to avoid your home becoming cluttered and untidy- there is a reason for the saying ‘tidy house, tidy mind,’ and the same goes for clutter. Make an effort to simplify the surfaces in your home- there is always the temptation to chuck odds and ends onto a clear surface but really this only makes a house feel more chaotic. Achieving a moment of hygge should mean comfort, bliss and relaxation, and embracing simplicity will help achieve this.
We spend so much time rushing from one thing to another, but slowing down and appreciating a quiet moment is beneficial to our wellbeing. Enjoying a cup of tea whilst watching the birds outside or taking a moment to reflect on your day won’t only help you achieve mindfulness but it will help you to bring hygge into your home too.
Baking scones or bread (during the winter months especially) brings a very specific warmth to any home. The comforting smell of freshly baked goodies, is always welcoming and soothing after a cold day outdoors. It reinforces the idea that the home should be a relaxing haven after a long day.
Choose light and neutral colours
Your home should be your sanctuary, so get rid of the brightly coloured walls and loud patterned wallpaper in the room which you would like to bring hygge into and instead embrace a neutral, natural colour palette. A neutral colour scheme is much more relaxing on the eye than bright colours, and instead these can be saved for other rooms in the house where hygge is not your main priority.
Update your loungewear
If you have added all of the above touches to your home to try and achieve a sense of hygge, there is no point relaxing in your beautiful space in your tatty Eeyore pyjamas (no offence Eeyore) as you just won’t feel as good as your surroundings. Update your loungewear to something you truly love and feel comfortable and happy in, and fully embrace your new hygge-fied home.