The word ‘Hygge’ is used extensively by the Danish. There is no one word in English that it can be accurately translated to, which makes it a little tricky to describe.
You could say that Hygge is way of living life well with an appreciation for all the simple little pleasures that sooth the soul.
These pleasures come from moments to be cherished that are created by feelings, activities, experiences, people and atmosphere to name a few. The term Hygge is much more powerful than it sounds and while it may seem a little confusing, practicing the art of Hygge is easy once you know how.
Our 10 step check list takes you through all the beautiful ways to bring Hygge to your life and to live well with happiness and love.
1. Turn your Home into a Hygge Haven
Creating a space that feels warm, welcoming and safe is the precursor to Hygge. The fastest way to Hygge up your home is to add texture and lots of it. The layering of chunky knitted blankets and cushions, along with a soft and tactile sheepskin or reindeer hides will have you feeling as snug a bug in a rug.
2. Create Ambiance with Candlelight & Lamps
Nothing beats the soft mood lighting created by the flicker of a candle. Dotting candles around your home is essential to creating a true Hygge moment. Replace stark bright lighting with small pools of soft light by introducing table lamps, a standing lamp and unscented candles. Twinkle lights make a nice finishing touch.
3. Light the Fire
Warm, wonderful and mesmerising, there’s nothing more Hygge than a crackling wood burning fireplace. However, a gas fireplace is just as lovely. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace you could always invest in a firepit for the garden to toast some marshmallows or roast chestnuts on! Alternatively, a placing a stack of wooden logs in a beautiful basket can help to create a sense of warmth.
4. Curl Up with a Good Book & Hot Drink
The Danes love a good book and who doesn’t? Having a collection of stacked books on hand, or a mini library is even better. Find your favourite spot to sit and pour a hot drink. Whether it be tea from a teapot, coffee from a cafetiere, or a mug of hot choc, (just make sure there's a couple of sneaky marshmallows floating in it). And don't forget the cinnamon scroll or some other sweet treat (we can't go past the Ministry of Chocolates Salted Caramel Bites).
5. Rug Up
Hygge is all about being comfortable so kick off your heels and grab your fluffiest pair of socks, biggest woollen jumper, thickest knitted scarf and throw rug for your lap. (It’s also okay to hang out in your trackie pants).
6. Prepare a Hearty Meal to Share
Good ol’ fashioned cook’in, a splash of wine and some quality time with loved ones is one of the nicest ways to spend an evening. Nothing fancy, just a simple, wholesome meal to share with those closest to you. Think shared nibbles and comfort food such as warm casseroles, cottage pies, or an Osso Bucco will fit the bill and don’t forget a dessert.
If your pressed for ideas or looking for some cooking inspiration, check out our delicious dinner and dessert recipes below, along with our not to be missed Mulled Wine recipe using our favourite Shiraz from Mitchelton Wines.
7. Get Sentimental
To Hygge is to celebrate the things you love most and surround yourself with what makes you the happiest. Happy memories can come from family photos, souvenirs from travel adventures, or perhaps an object your grandma gave you? All these treasured items should be displayed with pride and take centre stage on your bookcase, shelf, bedside table etc.
8. Take up a Hobbie
To Hygge is to take some personal time out where you can and do something that's just for you. It’s good to be able to focus your mind on something that interests you greatly while using your hands. This could be sketching, knitting, painting, making or baking. Do whatever excites you and gets your creative juices flowing.
9. Become One with Nature
Hygge isn’t just about spending time inside, one can get Hygge in the great outdoors too! It’s important to connect with nature all year round. It makes us feel grounded and alive to be among nature. Rugging up and taking a walk or a bike ride in the fresh, crisp air gets the circulation flowing and helps to release endorphins.
10. Interact with Friends and Family
While Hygge is about spending time indoors, it doesn’t mean doing it fixated to a TV or laptop screen. Put the mobile down, in fact hide it and leap into the art of conversation. In today’s day and age we are so consumed by technology, it’s really important to remind ourselves of the importance of communication and real togetherness. Replace electronics with board games or puzzles and have a nice chat and a good laugh instead.
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 2:08 PM
To learn more about the Danish art of happiness, discover Hygge home decorating tips and find yummy Hygge recipes, visit our series of articles below.
The team at House of Home would like to thank our sponsor Mitchelton Wines. Many thanks also to Oblica Fireplaces for the use of their stunning showroom and the following companies whose beautiful products feature in our photo shoot.
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Photography by Jonathan Ho, Styling by Sarah Radhanauth, Julia Chapman & Carlinea Williamson, Furniture & Decor selections by Sarah Radhanauth.