There’s no direct English translation for the Danish word Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), but we Brits often describe it as a sense of cosiness. Visit Denmark describes hygge as ‘creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you.’ Sounds appealing to us!
Despite having up to 17 hours of darkness a day, Denmark dominates the World Happiness Report rankings year after year and we think hygge has something to do with it! So, as the days are at their shortest in the UK we thought it was the perfect moment to adopt a Scandi way of living. Here are some hygge-inspired cosy changes you can make to your home this winter.
Light Some Candles
The glow of candles creates the perfect hygge atmosphere, casting a warm light on winter evenings. Whether it’s for a dinner party with friends or a cosy night in, there’s not much more enticing than a room lit by candlelight. Search for neutral coloured candlestick holders to accentuate the Scandi look.
Take Lighting Seriously
Don’t stop at candles when lighting your home. Being surrounded by darkness means that the Danes take lighting very seriously, so turn off the brash overhead light and position small lamps through the home to create soothing pools of light help create the vibe. A hyggelig home also draws in as much natural light as possible, try plantation shutters for a flexible option that allows you to capitalise on daylight and then cosy right up and keep the heat in when the dark sets in.
Create Cosy Nooks
An essential element of any hygge home is having nooks to curl up with a blanket and relax. Known by Danes as their hyggekrog, this special space provides the perfect place to read a book and keep cosy. Layer throws and sheepskins to create a warming feel.
Don’t Forget the Books
Reading is a key winter activity when cooped up inside, so make your books a feature in your home. Display your books next to your hyggekrog for the perfect living room feature.
Think About Every Room
It’s easy to forget the bathroom when making your house cosy, but the space provides so many opportunities to bring out the hygge in your home. Make your bathroom a place for rest and rejuvenation by burning essential oils to fill the bathroom with glorious scents, or try adding a few drops to your bath. Big, fluffy towels are also great additions
Keep Things Natural
Wood accents form a key part of Scandi design, try introducing furniture and features in light ashwood into your design scheme, such as a beautiful wooden table with a live edge. Greenery may be lacking outdoors right now but bringing it into the home can help keep things hygge. Try ferns or aloe veras in wicker baskets and ceramic pots to bring your Scandi home interior to life. Natural materials like leather, stone, and wood will also help bring the outdoors in.
Light the Fire
A crucial part of Danish culture is gathering around the fireplace with family and friends, as it warms you up and provides the perfect moment to be thankful for the important people in your life. A flickering fire outdoor or indoors gives a space a sense of hygge. If you don’t have a fireplace in your home, try arranging candles of different sizes and shapes into clusters to create a similarly cosy feel.
Layer in Texture
An important part of Danish design is having a variety of tactile textiles in the home. Think sheepskins on wood benches or layered blankets on your favourite armchair. You can also achieve this with pillows and cushions of different colours and textures, keeping the Scandi neutral palette in mind.
Less is More
Finally, remember that living Danishly is about keeping things simple. Surround yourself with things that really make you happy – hygge is not about extravagance, but enjoying the sheer simplicity of your immediate surroundings, and appreciating items of sentimental value.