Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, the Danish word ‘hygge’ (pronounced “hoo-ga”, or hue-gah), this Danish expression has no direct English translation, but roughly means a sense of coziness and warmth—Candlelight is hygge (Danes burn more candles per head than anywhere in Europe, according to the European Candle Association). Bakeries are hygge. Dinner with friends is hygge. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people, and is’s the biggest interiors trend of the new season.
According to author of The Little Book of Hygge Meik Wiking, ‘hygge’ can be defined as ‘Togetherness, relaxations, indulgence, presence and comfort. It all boils down to the pursuit of everyday happiness – the art of creating intimacy and cocoa by candlelight.’ Meik explains: ‘Danes are aware of the decoupling between wealth and wellbeing. After our basic needs are met, more money doesn’t lead to more happiness and, instead, Danes are good at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.’
Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest countries in the world, getting even fewer hours of winter light per day in the winter than we do (I know, it’s hard to believe) And with winter apparently going to hit us in a big way in just a few weeks- if you haven’t heard about hygge yet, let me give you a crash course, so you can get a douse of this Danish theory of “cozy” into your home now, ’cause you want to be happy too right?!
Get your hygge on-
1.Make interior design important to you and your family.
2. Don’t wing it or buy something just because it’s on sale. Love everything you bring into your home.
3. Instill a sense of respect in your children for the home and the things in it.
4. Enjoy what you have. Enjoy what you eat. Bake some bread. This is some slow rise, no knead bread I (and my family) love. Doesn’t last a day.
5. Invest in some good, soft lighting. Interior designers love the three point room lighting rule for a perfectly lit glow. Light some candles and a fire too (key to hygge).
6. Make a space to relax, read (and cuddle).
7. Layer up texture and get cozy!
8.Take the time to make something. Maybe arm knit that before mentioned throw?
9. Slow it down. Make some slow pour over coffee, brew some fine tea.
10. And Linger. Three is always an excuse to have friends over. Relax, don’t rush it.
Anyway you wrap it up, chunk knit or sheep skin, we all need a little hygge in our lives year round, but it is especially a great idea to nurture this idea in your home, and with family, this winter. Love the home your in. Be happy.