In today’s world, where we’re constantly bombarded with distractions and ever-evolving technologies, our craving for comfort, tranquility, and simplicity is more pronounced than ever.
But the Scandinavians have been way ahead of the curve in mitigating the harmful effects of fast-paced living before they cause long-term damage. Central to their approach is the Danish design philosophy which emphasizes coziness, contentment, and a genuine sense of well-being in our living spaces.
Here, we’ll dive into hygge-based design and show you how to bring more warmth, comfort, and Scandinavian charm into your home. We’ll discuss the essence of hygge and its origins, and provide 5 practical, actionable ways to embrace it in your home.
Let’s get designing.
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”) is a Danish concept that encapsulates the art of living in the moment, finding comfort in simple pleasures, and fostering an atmosphere of cozy contentment.
You can find and feel hygge anywhere. At its core, hygge is about creating an environment that radiates warmth, connection, and well-being. It can be as simple as lighting a few candles and cozying up in a chunky blanket with a cup of tea in your hand. Or, it can constitute a lifestyle where you intentionally put aside time to spend with family and pets or do things that bring you joy.
Although hygge has no direct English translation, its essence is universally felt. It’s been recognized in the Oxford English Dictionary since 2017, signifying its integration into broader culture. You’ve likely felt it at some point in your life as well, particularly around festive times like Christmas or during cozy nights in.
Hygge originated in Denmark, a country often ranked as one of the happiest in the world. It evolved as a response to the harsh winters plaguing the Danes, with short days and long nights, as a means to combat the glom and bring about a sense of warmth.
If you’ve now gotten the itch to create a hygge-inspired interior, there are a few key elements you can use to craft comfort.
But remember that coziness looks different for everyone, so if we’re missing something that’s hygge for you, add it to your decorating.
To get things started, here are 5 elements that play a crucial role in shaping a home brimming with tranquility and contentment:
If you’re up for a comprehensive renovation, stick to using natural materials like wood and stone. Hygge emphasizes connection, and that’s often one with nature. Woodgrain furniture, stone accents, and soft, tactile textiles like wool and cotton will contribute to a surrounding sense of grounding.
The reason why hygge design incorporates furniture made from natural materials is that these elements contribute to a better sensory experience and invite you to engage with the environment on a physical level. This way, you’re connected to nature and surrounded by an inviting, cozy ambiance all at once.
Every interior designer recommends adding greenery to your home. But in the context of hygge, plants can help brighten dull corners in your room and offer a visual delight you shouldn’t go without. If you’re not a plant caretaker, artificial hanging garlands can be a practical means to incorporate your connection to nature without ongoing maintenance.
Green accents (even faux ones) offer the same appeal as their live counterparts and easily create a living environment that allows you to reconnect with nature’s soothing qualities. This will provide you with a breath of fresh air and guide you toward relaxation.
Candles are a pivotal element of hygge. They contribute to the serenity and comfort and engage your sense of smell. Beyond the soft, flickering glow, scented candles, or the barely audible crackling of a flame, candles provide a multisensory experience that can transport you to a state of mindfulness.
The good thing about including candles in your design is that they’re very non-committal. You can move them around wherever and whenever you like and create intimate spaces around your home so you can fully enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Hygge emphasizes comfort. So, hygge-based interior design isn’t just about the aesthetics of your furniture and furnishings, but about fashioning spaces where you truly feel at home. The best way to do this on a tighter budget is by investing in a plush sofa and stocking up on oversized cushions, and soft, chunky blankets to nestle in.
Comfortable furnishings allow you to sink into a cozy armchair with a good book while sipping a hot chocolate and letting your mind go blank. These are the moments that make hygge living so appealing, while cozy accessories will help you put your well-being first.
Last but not least, we’d be remiss to ignore the role good lighting plays in hygge design. Warm lighting creates an intimate space and fosters connection and bonding. Soft glows from sconces or candles will envelop your space and beckon you and your loved ones to relax.
As a golden glow bathes your space, it will encourage you to linger, whether it’s over a nice dinner with family or a quiet evening curled up with a book. Here, life eases and every corner of your home is a sanctuary of peace and tranquility.
The concept of hygge offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of our lives, homes, and minds. Through careful selection of materials and elements, you too can create a living space that radiates comfort.
Hygge isn’t just about decorating; it’s a feeling and a lifestyle that calls for you to slow down, savor the moment, and prioritize yourself. With these elements in place, you can fully embrace the true meaning of hygge – a life well lived.