Give your rooms the Scandinavian vibe that equals cosiness, warmth and much more. Here’s how to bring the happiness of hygge to your interiors
Pic: The Swedish Wooden Horse Company
Not just a look, Danish hygge – say ‘hooga’ – is a way of living. The concept of hygge made a big impression on us Brits in 2016, and is set to be a huge and continuing trend this year. Hygge translates as something like cosiness, but it’s really about well-being. Think of an atmosphere that’s warming both literally and metaphorically. Yes, how you decorate your home and the objects and textures with which you surround yourself are important, but so too are spending time with friends and family, and making the most of everyday life. The best way to create the feeling of hygge? Check out our guide.
Pic: Oli & Grace
Hygge isn’t about elaborate entertaining, and dressed-to-the-nines table settings. Gathering round for coffee and biscuits, a home-cooked meal or a drink are all on the right lines. It’s the spirit of the welcome and the joy of spending time with nearest and dearest that are key.
Pic: Rigby & Mac
Look and feel warm
Hygge’s not a winter-only way of life, but the climate means the Danes certainly have plenty to teach us when it comes to making our homes winter-proof. Piles of wonderful wool blankets, knitted throws, sheepskin rugs for the floor and for dining chairs and benches will keep you and yours cosy. Fill your rooms with these fabulously tactile, warming pieces and they’ll look – as well as feel – cocooning when it’s cold outside.
Pic: Live Laugh Love
Soft lighting is key to a hygge ambience in your home, so bring out the candles. The gentle flicker of candlelight is relaxing whether you go for groups or put them into sconces and lanterns. The way to maintain the right vibe when candlelight’s not enough? Table and floor lamps that’ll create intimate pools of light: over an armchair when you’re reading a novel, or just large enough for a group of seating around the fire, for example. In other words, say no to overall ceiling lights for the right mood.
Pic: Grace & Glory
Consider the materials you use in your home, and opt for the natural over the artificial. We’re talking wood, wool, linen and cotton, for example. Pile up logs near a stove or even in an unused fireplace for a comforting feel. Wooden furniture seen a bit of life and has the marks to prove it? No problem. Furnishings assembled over time rather than bought as a set? Perfect. A home that’s been lived-in and loved is hygge – rooms straight from a catalogue, not so much.
Pic: California Shutters
You don’t need to be with a crowd to discover hygge – it’s perfectly possible to enjoy the mood alone. You might want to take a long soak in the tub. You could stop for a coffee before you get back to work rather than doing two things at once. Maybe curling up in an armchair with a book’s high on your simple-things-that-make-me-happy list. Go for it. Hygge’s all about taking time to enjoy life.