Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga)
when I first started talking about hygge and sharing it here and on instagram, I read a few comments that made me take a pause. One comment from a reader in the UK read something like…”enough with the hygge already…” But here’s the thing, hygge is a feeling more than anything and it means togetherness, cozy and community. And don’t we all want that? Hygge began as a way to break the boredom of long winter days and nights in places like Denmark and Sweden. But wherever we live, the winter or really any time of year is a good time for hygge.
The top 5 things to keep in mind for a hygge afternoon or evening with friends
The top 5 things to make a hygge home for an evening or an afternoon is to gather some friends and share a warm drink, a meal or just a piece of cake. The Danes love their cake. I’ll be making this one in February for a few friends and maybe this drink. It’s so beautiful. You should also have an activity planned. It can be as simple as looking at new design books together if you have that in common. I’ve ordered a few new design books, which is always a fun thing to do with a group of girlfriends. This one has everyone talking. I ordered it because long before Diane Keaton came out with her beautiful book, I started a Pinterest board titled: “The Little House Inspired by Pinterest” for our next house!
In the United States we use lot of overhead lighting and I don’t like it one bit. It’s impossible to achieve a cozy atmosphere with overhead lighting, unless of course we are talking about a beautiful pendant. I’ve always been a fan of warm lighting and Edison bulbs. Early on I wrote about it here. As you can see, my views on the subject haven’t changed. Lighting day or night is so important for hygge.
4. Cozy Pillows & Throws
A lot of cafes in Copenhagen have bench seating which makes it cozy and gives that sense of togetherness. I feel like a bench says, “there’s always room for more…” Benches were covered in sheepskins and pillows all through out the cafes in Copenhagen. I finally added cushions to my built-in kitchen nook and it has made a big difference. It now looks and feels cozy –and finished!
On that trip to Copenhagen last March the one thing I kept marveling at was the amount of candles. When we went for coffee in the morning, candles were lit on every table, on every windowsill…all throughout shops and cafes. They light candles all day long.
When displaying candles, use small plates, trays, and saucers — things that you probably already have. You can also find mismatched plates at flea markets or on the sale shelves at places like west elm or anthropologie. I’m currently burning this candle from Terrain. It’s called Midwinter Fire…I may have been swayed by the name, not to mention the beautiful pink glass.
The front room in our house is pretty bare most of the time and I kind of like it that way. Living in a smallish house spread out on three floors makes it cozy by design. So it’s nice to have one area of our main floor that’s a bit open. But after talking all about hygge and then seeing it from that perspective, I took my own advice and added a bit of hygge to this room as well. Stay cozy and send me a pic of your hygge home or a cozy corner. I would love to feature it on my facebook page.