If, like us, you’re a follower of home and lifestyle trends, you may have come across the Danish concept of hygge in the last year or so. But where did it come from, what’s all the fuss about and how can it make a difference to both your life and your home décor?
To start things off, hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is the Danish concept or state of mind whereby one takes pleasure in creating a lifestyle of cosiness, warmth and wellbeing through the enjoyment of the simple things in life. Due to the attractive simplicity of this approach, it spread fast and wide, becoming a popular lifestyle trend in the UK in 2016. A year later, the USA caught on and it started trending there, thanks to the number of books and articles published on it as well as to the publicity garnered through social media. It has since become the inspiration behind many a lifestyle change, including a range of home décor improvements to help one achieve this practice more and more in their everyday lives. With this in mind, here are our top tips on how you can best live and experience hygge for yourself.
- Start by creating an inviting living space
There are very few things that promote the concept of hygge more than creating an inviting living space for you and all that enter into it. Opting for an open plan design is an incredibly effective way to achieve this as it promotes a sense of inclusion, accessibility and flow in any home. This is especially the case when the living space is centred around the kitchen area. Be sure to include plenty of seating space so that you can keep guests and loved ones cosy and close at hand! That all said, an added bonus to an open plan style is its popularity. Being a sought-after style, it will certainly go a long way to boosting the value of your home (and even your state of wellbeing!) when it comes time to sell.
- Keep it simple
Simplicity is one of the hallmarks of the hygge lifestyle and this can easily be reflected in your home décor choices. Anything from a room’s paint colour, to the choice of accessories and furniture pieces contribute to the overall sense of calm and simple elegance that it has to offer. This sense of simplicity, which can be hugely attractive to potential buyers later on, is easy to achieve through the use of neutral or earth tones, like soft greys, whites or taupes as well as natural woods so be sure to consider these when redecorating or designing your space from scratch.
- Create a cozy space for relaxation
Finding a spot to escape the busyness and chaos of everyday life is an imperative part of paying attention to one’s mental state and overall sense of personal wellbeing. Where possible, look to include a designated “time out” or relaxation space in your home, such as a cosy window seat or comfy nook, or even just invest in a decent bath for maximum soak time. Not only will this go a long way in benefiting your mental state, it will add to the overall appeal and value of your home later on.
- Introduce fire
While not every home is suited to or can afford its own fireplace, it’s a fantastic creator of hygge to have in your home’s design. The flickering warmth and light created by a lit fire does a great job of creating a strong hygge sense of cosiness and intimacy in any room, particularly in winter. If, however, a fireplace is out of the question, candles are the easiest answer so be sure to include candles of all shapes and sizes wherever you can!
- Bring in a sense of softness
Being surrounded by soft textures is another great way of promoting the concept of hygge in your home. Not only do they serve as attractive additions to the overall décor of your home, but throws, blankets, scatter cushions, carpets and rugs all contribute to the sense of coziness, warmth and softness that a room has to offer those using it.
- Include nature
Adding some greenery to your home in the form of pot plants, indoor rockeries or even just flowers in a vase is well known to vastly increase one’s overall state of wellbeing and provide a simplistic sense of pleasure and even stress-relief! Nature is a known soother so by incorporating it into your space as much as possible, you are sure to feel its calming and hygge-promoting presence and effects in no time.
- Turn off the lights
Overhead lighting is never friendly and can often detract from the intimate and homey nature of a room or space. With this in mind, opt for lighting options such as standing or table lamps or even install dimmer switches if you are able to create a cozy, warm and inviting atmosphere. Make a note of this particularly when considering the décor choices for rooms where you spend large amounts of time either alone or with loved ones.
As with most home décor tips, decluttering is an absolute must especially if you are trying to instil a sense of coziness within a space. Clutter can be the enemy of coziness, relaxation and simplicity so before going after hygge, be sure to go through each room and throw out anything you don’t need or doesn’t spark a sense of joy within you. Marie Kondo’s practice of decluttering, known as the KonMari method, (see our article here) is an excellent resource in helping you in this regard so be sure to take the time to wrap your mind around the decluttering process before getting started.
At the end of the day, hygge is all about embracing the pleasures of the simple life wherever possible. By being mindful of your home décor choices and how these affect your sense of wellbeing and inner joy, you can promote a healthier and happier lifestyle for yourself and a greater sense of warmth, intimacy and connection to all those who step foot through your front door.