With Old Man Winter forcing many of us indoors, now is the perfect time to add warm and cozy touches to your home. We’re not talking about festive décor that you’ll take down after the New Year. We mean cozy décor and home improvement projects that make you want to curl up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and relax in style.
Sounds wonderful, right? By practicing the Danish concept of hygge, you can bring warmth and well-being into your home and finally make it a true escape from holiday stress.
What Is Hygge?
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word used to describe the Scandinavian concept of coziness and contentment that stems from enjoying life’s simple pleasures. This concept is an integral part of Danish lifestyle and culture, and it might just be why they’re some of the happiest people in the world.
Hygge took the world by storm around 2016 and has shown no signs of slowing down. Search for #hygge on Instagram and you’ll find millions of pictures depicting cozy atmospheres complete with fireplaces, hot beverages, wool socks and knit blankets.
According to Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge
, here are a few key tenets of hygge:
- A warm and inviting atmosphere.
- Being present in the moment.
- Finding joy in simplicity.
- Feeling comfortable and safe.
- Harmony and togetherness.
- Enjoying company.
- Being kind to yourself.
The beauty of hygge is that anyone can practice its philosophy, regardless of budget or location. From keeping emergency chocolate at work (yes, that counts as hygge!) to making your home a relaxing winter haven, there are plenty of ways to hygge it up this season.
10 Ways to Add Hygge to Your Home
While you can hygge anytime and anywhere, the easiest place to incorporate hygge into your life is in your home. So, cozy up by the fire, pour yourself some Mjød (Danish honey wine) and read on to achieve hygge in your own home:
1. Add Warm Ambiance with Lighting:
If there is one thing that can make or break the cozy atmosphere in your home, it’s your lighting. Candles are often recommended to achieve true hygge in the home because they’re simple, affordable and don’t rely on technology (remember, hygge is about enjoying the simple things in life). However, don’t be afraid to upgrade your light fixtures, especially if they’re ruining the ambiance of your space. Also, consider adding tea lights to your bedroom to give it an affordable and utterly romantic winter glow.
2. Opt for Scandinavian-Style Hardwood Floors:
Scandinavian design places an emphasis on natural elements that work to create a sense of well-being and coziness. If you’re in the market for new floors, consider installing hardwood floors
in a lighter wood design. For added coziness and a touch of Scandinavian flair, throw a sheepskin rug underneath your living room coffee table.
3. Focus on Your Fireplace:
When cold weather arrives, everyone wants to gather around a toasty fire. To enhance the hygge, choose comfy chairs and turn your living room furniture towards the hearth so that everyone can enjoy its warmth. Lay down a handwoven Scandinavian rug to add cozy style to your space.
4. Bring Nature into Your Home:
Given the amazing health benefits of being in nature
, it’s no wonder why the Danes are so passionate about bringing nature indoors. To maximize your own sense of calm and well-being, pick up a few long, trailing plants and place them in different areas of your home. You can also find some Nordic-inspired sculptures in the form of woodland animals to play up the nature theme in your home.
5. Stock Up on Cozy Blankets and Throw Pillows:
The changing of the seasons is the perfect time to update your throw pillows and pile up the blankets. Maximize the warmth and comfort of your living room by picking up wool throws and plush pillows in various patterns and prints. To ensure that you have enough blankets to go around, find a decorative wood ladder that can hold several blankets your guests can grab if needed.
6. Decorate in Soothing Neutrals: Neutral color palettes
are modern, stylish and bring a sense of relaxation to any space. The Scandinavians use a lot of grey in their color palettes, which makes sense considering that it’s the perfect neutral. To keep your grey color palette from appearing too dreary or boring, take a design tip from the Scandinavians by adding earth tones (think browns and greens) or touches of pale blues or pinks to your home.
7. Design an Inviting Dining Room:
Since gathering is a big part of hygge, you’ll want to focus on making your dining room a welcoming space for all. Play up the rustic themes with a solid wood table and consider swapping chairs for benches. Adding benches is a particularly efficient way to maximize space while giving it a homey and inviting vibe.
8. Transform Your Bathroom into a Relaxing Oasis:
Hygge is all about self-care, so why not add spa-like touches to your bathroom? Consider remodeling your bathroom for the new year by installing waterproof flooring
and picking up a fancy new showerhead for your walk-in shower. If you want to give your bathroom a Swedish touch, splurge on a sauna and reap the many health benefits
9. Rethink Your Bed Situation:
As your main area of relaxation, your bed deserves your undivided attention. If you haven’t yet swapped out your summer bedsheets and covers, upgrade to a thicker comforter and throw a couple of chunky knit blankets on top. Don’t forget to add rustic details such as a wood nightstand or wood headboard.
10. Keep Clutter at Bay:
Nothing ruins the cozy ambiance of a home like stacks of bills, old magazines and dirty clothes strewn about the room. Find ways to store your valuables in a stylish way with woven baskets and beautiful pottery bowls. Then, make it a priority to keep your home clutter-free by following the one-in, one-out rule
—a favorite of minimalists
Hygge—It’s Worth the Hype
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to follow a hygge approach to your home design. Whether you’re lighting candles for a relaxing bath or cozying up in a Scandinavian wool blanket, it’s the little things that can make you feel happy and content in your own home. A cozy space that is relaxing to both you and your guests is definitely worth the hype—or the hygge, we should say.