The Danish word ‘Hygge’ (pronounced Hyoo-guh) means to live life well by celebrating life’s simple pleasures and enjoying quality time spent with loved ones.
It’s a concept that has long been embraced by the people of Denmark and unsurprisingly has earned them a reputation for being the happiest people in the world.
Hygge is about being able to create a sense of togetherness or closeness at just a moment’s notice. It’s about comradery, appreciating all the little things and not sweating the small stuff. Whether it be through spending quality time with loved ones, cooking and entertaining, or just taking some time out alone to reflect and relax, most of the activities surrounding Hygge tend to happen in the home.
If you’re looking to bring a little more Hygge to your life, turning your house into a sanctuary that encourages social interaction, comfort and cosiness are all vital starting points. You can bring that Hygge feeling to your home just by adding a few finishing touches and choosing the right colour palette.
This article is filled with ideas on how to use colour and texture to create a cosy, welcoming space, along with all the tips and tricks you need for adding a little Hygge to all of your living spaces.
- Hygge Colour Schemes
- Hygge Dining
- Hygge Living
- Hygge Sleeping
- Hygge Bathing
- Hygge Lighting
- Hygge Decor
- Special Spaces
Hygge Colour Schemes
A Hygge colour scheme is kept pure, simple and as natural as possible. It should evoke feelings of tranquillity and a sense of peace and calm. The overall aesthetic should keep to a tight colour palette that is understated, soft and subtle.
You won’t find loud or bold colours inside a Hygge Home. Hygge schemes are generally monochromatic or neutral with mix of muted shades and accent tones such as dusty blues, chalky greens, muted greys or pale pinks.
Hygge Dining & Entertaining
The Danish love to spend time in the kitchen cooking a hearty meal or baking an indulgently sinful sweet treat. The dining room really is the centre of a Danish home and a lot of time is spent seated around the table picking at food, enjoying a glass of wine, laughing out loud and chatting for hours.
Bringing a little colour and texture to the dining table by way of table linen, cutlery and servingware adds interest and will help to make your dining experience just that little bit extra special. Natural table linen in a neutral colour will allow the food dishes to take centre stage. Food can be served on interesting platters and teamed with rose gold, brass or bronze cutlery and servingware for an added touch of warmth.
To discover more about Hygge Dining visit our article Dining the Hygge Way.
A Hygge living room needs to feel warm, cosy and inviting. This all begins with a lovely layering of tactile textures and soft mood lighting. Danes use texture to add interest rather than bold or bright colours that may detract or compete with the overall ambience. Hygge is all about using natural finishes and soft or textured materials.
Introducing chunky knit cushions and throw blankets will create a soft, snuggly place to land. These can be teamed with a sheepskin or reindeer hide for that extra layer of warmth. A beautiful area bound wool rug is a must. A rug not only helps with acoustics, it also softens a space and helps to frame a room by providing a place to anchor furniture.
Smooth materials such as warm timbers and rich leathers are used to contrast all the fluffy textural elements and can be introduced by way of decorative accents. The Danes love to bring elements of nature into their homes.
Expect to find all things that can be foraged from the forest, such as branches, twigs, leaves and pine cones dotted about a Danish home. It wouldn’t be unusual to see an antler or two highlighted by a strand of twinkle lights.
While Danish homes still have a lot of character and charm, they are clutter free. Woven storage baskets are perfect for hiding all the things you still need to access but don’t want to on show. They’re also perfect for housing and displaying logs for the fire.
In addition to the generous layering of textiles, Hygge living really does revolve around a crackling fireplace. Nothing beats the beautiful ambiance created by a fireplace. However, if you if don’t happen to have one in your home there is an alternative. Stacking firewood in a lovely log holder and placing some candles in front and around it is a nice alternative.
Creating harmony in lighting is a key component of Hygge. While nothing quite beats the glow of a roaring fireplace, soothing pools of light using a mix of table lamps, standing lamps, lanterns and candles will create a beautiful ambience. Switch off any light sources that emit harsh, bright lighting.
For lighting the home by day, try hanging a strategically placed mirror to help reflect and bounce natural light around the room. This is much nicer than artificial lighting and will help you to feel closer to nature.
One of the best things about getting Hygge is that it’s okay to sleep in! Nothing beats waking up on Sunday morning and snuggling back under the covers with a hot cup of tea and a good book.
The bedroom is a personal sanctuary and should be filled with soft, snuggle worthy materials and warm finishes. Again it’s all about the layering, the mixing of textures and the blending of subtle colours.
Natural linens are perfect for bedding and cushions and look beautiful with a throw blanket draped casually over the end of the bed. An oversized doona or quilt that touches the floor can look lovely on a lower bed as they offer a cosier, more casual feel.
Hygge is about allowing yourself to relax and unwind. It’s considered important to take time out on one’s own to reflect and renew. One of the easiest places to sneak off to catch some personal time is the bathroom! Plus, after a long day what could be better than melting into a soothing bubble bath?
Creating a spa like environment in the bathroom has become increasingly popular as it doesn’t have to take much work to transform it. It’s really about setting the tone by introducing a few key Hygge elements.
First, clear away any visual clutter or mess by incorporating come storage solutions such as woven baskets and boxes that have a lovely tactile texture. The next step is to introduce candle light, fluffy towels, some beautiful body products and relaxing mood music for the ultimate bathing experience.
It's nice to have a stool or a side table beside the bath to place a book and a big glass of wine. Don't forget to have a big soft, snuggly robe on standby.
Special Spaces & Cosy Nooks
Creating a cosy nook is the ultimate way to practice Hygge. Why shouldn’t every home have a special little space to enjoy? Whether it be to read, play card games, or to just sit and enjoy a hot drink, creating a nook is the most Hygge you can get alone.
Find an area of you home that offers either a view or a cosy corner somewhere. Beside the fireplace is a great spot! Place a comfy armchair, a soft ottoman or a plush bean bag and layer it with cushions and throws. Then just sit back, relax with a cuppa and a sneaky slice of cake!
Hygge is a beautiful way to live and suggests that happiness levels can be greatly enhanced by making small changes to the home. Hygge is not about creating perfection, it’s very much about crafting a look that is casual and inviting and most importantly a space that you love.
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.
- What is Hygge
- The A-Z of Hygge
- Hygge 10 Step Checklist
- Dining the Hygge Way
- Hygge Hearty Lamb Casserole Recipe
- Hygge Rhubarb and Custard Cake Recipe
- Slow Cooked Mulled Wine Recipe
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.