As snow falls and winter continues to linger on, it’s easy to miss the long, sunny days of summer. While we can’t avoid winter altogether, there are ways to make the most of the colder months. Despite having some of the most infamously harsh winters, Denmark is consistently listed as one of the world’s happiest countries. What makes them stay happy despite bitter temperatures and dreary days? The answer is hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”), a cultural phenomenon that revolves around creating a happier, healthier, and cozier lifestyle. How can you channel hygge in your home? Check out our 7 tips below!
Light it Up…
…with candles, that is. Candles—which the Danes call levende lys or “living lights”—are one of the most crucial elements for creating a hygge home.
On average, each Danish person burns 13 pounds of candle wax each year. Take a trip to Sweden and you’ll likely find candles anywhere ranging from boardrooms to living rooms, where there are often more than 5 candles lit at a time. Follow the Danish footsteps and switch out your bright overhead lights for warm candlelight every once in a while.
Surround Yourself With Books
While Kindles and other reading devices might be a present-day staple, there is still something special about holding a real, physical book that is hard to beat. Fill your shelves with books of all varieties. From fairytales to murder mysteries—any and all books add to the hygge environment.
Cozy Up By a Fire
What’s cozier than sitting by a fire? Not much. In fact, fireplaces might just be the ultimate headquarters of hygge. The combination of warmth and coziness is hard to beat anywhere else in the home.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Incorporating things made out of wood and items found in nature is an essential part of creating a hygge environment in your home. The simple aura of these natural elements can make us feel closer to nature and bring a calming feeling to any room. Consider incorporating wood—such as wood in a fireplace, timber flooring, or a wooden chair—into your living quarters. Plants, leaves, nuts, and twigs are also commonly found in Danish homes.
Create a Hyggekrog
There comes a time in all of our daily lives where we need to snuggle up and escape the outside world. The best place to do this? A hyggekrog is a nook that has been crafted with comfiness in mind. Find a place in your home—such as a windowsill or a place overlooking another room or the street—where you can see yourself cuddling up with a blanket, a good book, and perhaps a hot cup of tea.
Hygge is all about creating an atmosphere of comfort, and warmth. Blankets and cushions are a staple in every hygge household. Danish people also are strong advocates for big, cushy armchairs. Outfit your space with a cozy chair, soft blankets, and comfy cushions and you’ll be set!
Channel Vintage Nostalgia
Objects that have a history behind them are considered to be more interesting and hyggelig. When outfitting your space, choose furniture and accents that are more than just their physical properties. Look for items that hold an emotional value, have a story behind them, or are linked to a positive experience. Instead of choosing mass-produced items from a chain store, decorate your home with items that hold a rich history, were given to you as gifts, or were purchased on your travels.
How do you hygge in the home? Snap a picture of your hygge space, use the hashtag #hyggeinthehome, and tag us on social media! We’d love to see what cozy creations you come up with!