Hygge decor, the Danish way to get through the winter


Rooms / Saturday, January 13th, 2018

What is Hygge?

Hygge is the secret of the happiness of the Danes. Often hygge is translated as “cozy”,  “kind”, “warm”.

They call it Hygge and it’s a 100% Danish concept: it’s said that it makes homes warmer and people happier. But what exactly is the hygge? and is it possible to export it to other countries?

Hygge is about surrounding yourself with the things and people who make you happy.

If we ask a Danish what hygge is, he will answer that “it is sitting in front of the fireplace on a cold night, dressed in a wool sweater while you drink a hot wine with sugar and spices and caress your dog lying next to you”.

The hygge is a Danish way of life in which simplicity and small things are key to achieving happiness. Hygge  is pronounced “hoo-ga” and is often translated as “cozy”. This way of seeing things has its pillars in the tranquility, peace, and comfort that we can also meet through decoration.

“Hygge has to do with being good with yourself: indulging yourself, having a nice time, not punishing yourself or denying you anything”

Hygge is also eating homemade cinnamon cookies, watching TV under a duvet, drinking tea in a china cup at the family gathering at Christmas.

“Hygge can be families and friends gathered to eat, with the dining room in the dimmed light, or it can be the time you spend just reading a good book”

The adjective of hygge is “hyggeligt”, and it is a word that you offer as a compliment to your hosts after having spent a pleasant night in your home.

Hygge: How to decorate your house to be happier in winter

This Danish concept has as basic pillars the comfort, peace, and tranquility at home.

Some people attribute to the practice of hygge the fact that Denmark has once again become the happiest country in the world according to the UN report on world happiness. And there is more: anyone who knows anything about the history of design and architecture of the twentieth century will know of the great ideas in both fields that have been born in Scandinavia.

“The Scandinavian countries have developed societies oriented towards the welfare of people, which they consider their most valuable asset; its design reflects this fact”

When choosing this style, the important thing is that you feel that each room in your home is a sanctuary where you can be alone with yourself in a relaxed atmosphere that makes you smile.

Time with friends happens more often at home, which is perfectly equipped for it: an open kitchen, endless tables and, of course, a fireplace.

Nordic Minimalism: The perfect match for a Hygge home

The minimalist trend has always been one of the keys of the Nordic style, so it could not be missing in the hygge. As in the day-to-day, the Danes have learned to value the small things of life even in decoration, giving priority to simplicity and avoiding overloading the rooms (either with furniture or with personal items).

Hygge Lightning

In the hygge style, natural light prevails over the artificial. It is essential to let the biggest possible amount of light through the windows. Winter is long and dark in the Nordic countries, that is why in they use no blinds.

When the night comes, a fire will comfort the house. Light up the fireplace or use candles all around the room to create that warm and welcoming atmosphere that the light bulbs cannot provide. If you need to get a lamp, be sure of picking one with a dimmer.

The perfect materials for a Hygge decoration

Wood is the main material of hygge style. With it, you get more rustic, harmonious and welcoming environments. As for textiles, it is advisable that they are made of warm, furry, pleasant and soft materials to add texture to the decoration.

Creating a color palette inspired in Hygge 

On the walls, it is important to follow the same minimalist Hygge guideline. We want to feel peace and serenity through the house. The best choice is painting the walls in white, with warm accents that help you get a super cozy room.

White remains the most important color of Nordic minimalism. Hygge color palettes include all the shades of white, beige and gray, If it still feels cold and impersonal, add some accent color.

Hygge is Cozy

Being able to enjoy a moment of tranquility for you, whether reading or simply thinking, is one of the keys of the hygge. This is where the hyggekrog comes into play, or what is the same, a corner where you can enjoy the hygge, either in a small armchair next to the window or on a couch full of cushions.

Hygge is not only for the winter.

The hygge not only has to be linked to winter but has much to do with the long and cold nights of this season. In the middle of winter, when the Danes only have four hours of sun a day and the average temperatures are around 0 ° C, people spend more time indoors, and gathering around the fireplace is one of their favorites activities.

When it comes to Hygge, plants are also important

Flowers and plants are often present in Danish style. It is essential to keep a touch of nature indoors, especially in the winter months, when we spend so much time inside. But why not also take advantage of the warmer months to fill the house with plants? With a few simple flowers near the window, you will create a more welcoming atmosphere.

Hygge in the United States

In the United States, there is a textile and wallpaper company, called Hygge West, whose main goal is to bring the Danish concept through its cheerful designs.

And there’s also a bakery in Los Angeles, called Hygge, that sells traditional Danish bread and sweets. In Hygge there are not forced deprivations, what you try to do is be kind to yourself and to others. Yummy!

The rest of the world seems to be realizing what the Danes have known for generations: that spending a relaxed and cozy time with friends and family, drinking coffee with cake, can be good for the soul. These are very useful tips mainly in January when everyone is working on their new year’s resolutions.

Hygge Checklist for a cozy experience at home

The author Louisa Thomsen Brits says “Hygge is an experience of selfhood and communion with people and places that anchors and affirms us, and gives us courage and consolation”
  1. Calm color scheme
  2. A fireplace or candles
  3. Warm throw blankets
  4. Hearty food
  5. A hot beverage like chocolate or tea.
  6. Comfy knitt socks
  7. A bunch of loved ones around