What’s with all the hoo-hah about Hygge?
Would you like to find out our take on the new the Danish craze for cosiness and contentment? Well, read on….
Denmark consistently comes first in global happiness rankings so it seems sensible to look to their lifestyles for inspiration. Recent thinking is that difference is caused by their practise of the art of Hygge (pronounced Hu-gah), and although the word has now officially made it into the Collins Dictionary do us Brits really know what it means?
It appears that it is difficult to translate into one word but the overall essence is that it is the Danish word for wellbeing achieved by enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Other translations describe it as ‘cosiness’ or ‘togetherness’, although this doesn’t really do the term justice as it should really be interpreted as a mental state more than a physical one. To Hygge could be spending time with loved ones, snuggling up in front of the fire with a good book or sipping a steaming hot chocolate whilst gazing at beautiful scenery. Places or even interiors can be Hyggeligt (hygge-like) demonstrating how far reaching the notion is.
Hygge in your home
The Danes take styling their homes very seriously and use the concept of hygge at the heart of the interior design choices. But actually hygge isn’t about a specific look, more about having the space that makes you feel comfortable and gives you that warm glow inside. It’s about creating a place that is your own spiritual sanctuary so personal taste is really important.
Quick fix Hygge ideas
Look at your lighting
Denmark spends a large proportion of it’s time in the dark, meaning that more than anyone the Danes understand the value in getting lighting right. And luckily for those of just discovering the concept of Hygge lighting design is also one of the quickest and easiest ways to create a warm and cosy atmosphere.
Having a variety of sources of light such as floor lamps, table lamps as well as the usual wall lights and pendants will give you more options for creating different moods and settings.
Light those candles
Danes are the biggest users of candles in the world and we all recognise that mood changing feeling that a living flame can create – we don’t use the term candlelight dinner for nothing! Using a scented candle indulges another one of the senses too and with some stunning votives and hurricane lamps now available there is no need to be as nervous about the safety aspect of using real candles in the home.
Scatter the cushions and drape the throws
Using soft furnishings with different textures all adds to the cosy feel making sofas or chairs feel like inviting places to snuggle down with a good book or to watch a listen to music. With efficient central heating in most homes now blankets are throws are no longer a necessity – but what a luxury to wrap up in a super soft fur or woollen throw!
Experiment with shape
Choose accessories which incorporate geometric shapes to provide a contrast to the abundance of soft furnishings for an authentic Danish feel which appeals to all the senses.
Clear the clutter
Make use of all the available space, corners, under the stairs behind furniture to pack the every day clutter into baskets or built in cupboards.
Like more help or advice…?
Well, very simply, pay the knowledgeable and welcoming Interior Designers Donna, Della or Steve at Furnish and Fettle, Wetherby a visit. We hope to see you soon.