Have you ever wondered what it means to “Live Hygge”? I sure have. The more I read about it, the more I want it. So what exactly is it, you might ask? For starters, Hygge is a Danish word that loosely translated, means a feeling of coziness. You can certainly understand its popularity, on that basis alone. But the more you dive into it, the better it gets. So let’s take a look at some ways you can get started on a happy Hygge lifestyle.
Hygge and coziness can mean different things to different people. Some people picture curling up under a hand-knitted blanket, sipping tea and reading a book. Others will think of entertaining a group of family and friends, enjoying a leisurely home-cooked meal, good wine and great company. And some others will imagine spending a night with their spouse and/or their children, playing board games and laughing. In fact, all of these are elements of Hygge. Whether you choose to be cozy alone, with family or with friends, there’s not really a wrong way to do it if it brings you peace and joy.
Elements of Hygge
When looking to bring Hygge into your life and home, there are some items and activities that truly lend themselves to this lifestyle.
Scandinavians love their natural lifestyle. A typical day will see at least 30 minutes spent outdoors, enjoying nature. And this is in the sun, rain or snow. As the old saying goes – “There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.” It’s sunny? Great! Enjoy it. Raining? Put on your rubber boots and grab an umbrella. And snow – skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating … the list goes on! Even if you live in the city, be sure to find the closest local park and eat your lunch or take your coffee break on a bench. Feel the fresh air on your face.
At home, look to bring more natural elements indoors. Houseplants are a great way to green up your home, and plants offer so many benefits to your space. Use green plants in your decorating for a calming aesthetic, as well as a way to cleanse your air. Mix in the occasional flowering plant for some colour and contrast.
Think of chunky throw blankets, large enough for two. Cushions on your couches and chairs, soft footstools to rest your tired feet, warm area rugs on the floor. Focus on layering items to create a nest-like feeling. After all, if one or two blankets are cozy, think how amazing you’ll feel with three! Keep extra throws in large baskets and bins made of natural materials, such as felted wool or bamboo. Simple wooden furniture in the Scandinavian style lends itself to the simplicity and warmth of the Hygge style. You may find that breaking the “rules” of traditional decorating will allow you to find your cozy and enjoy your space even more than before.
I absolutely love the look of this Chunky Knit Throw Blanket! I may have to learn to knit for myself!
Lighting is a key piece to pay attention to. Whether you choose candles, soft shades on your lamps or natural light, it helps to set the stage for comfort. Sitting next to a window, in any season, is wonderful. Especially if that window overlooks scenery that speaks to your soul. Soft lighting in the evenings not only helps you to relax at the end of the day, but it also creates a sense of intimacy and privacy. If you love the look of candlelight but don’t want the risk or the residue, consider using these Flameless Flickering LED Votive Tealight Candles in beautiful holders. As a bonus – they have built-in timers so that you will know each evening when it’s time to sit down and relax!
Instead of the open-concept furniture placement that we all know and love, try focusing on creating small zones of coziness – put your armchair next to a window and a lamp, with a small table to hold your books, a journal and an ever-present cup of coffee (or tea, if you prefer). When considering the placement of larger pieces of furniture, such as your couch, don’t be too quick to use your TV as the focal point. Think about how you could entertain in the space, and how to set up areas for intimate conversations. Take the time to understand how you will use your rooms, and be fearless when it comes to arranging items. If you’re not nailing it to the floor, it can be changed if it isn’t suiting your purpose or making you feel good.
Food and Drink
When cooking, the Danish prefer to cook well and eat less. Meaning, they’ll cook using butter, or heavy cream, or basically anything that is a whole food and tastes amazing. BUT – they work for their supper. Their active lifestyles allow for a heavier diet than what we might choose in North America. It’s all about balance. I don’t know about you, but I’d walk around the block a couple of extra times if it means having a delicious homemade coffee cake on my break! In order to appreciate the work that goes into preparing these wonderful meals, you must slow down. Set the table. Light the candles. Enjoy the moment.
However you choose to add the elements of Hygge into your home and into your life, one thing is certain – once you adopt this lifestyle, you’ll not want to go back. Embrace the simplicity, the warmth and the mindset and get started on a happy Hygge lifestyle.
If you are looking for some inspiration on how to spend your time at home, check out my post on 37 Things to Do at Home When You’re Bored.
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