Think of the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-guh) as more of a way of life, than a style of decorating. We don’t have a direct translation in English, but when we combine the concepts of wellbeing, cosiness, comfort and serenity, we come close. No wonder the Danes consistently rank amongst the happiest people in the world! Hygge isn’t something that can be bought; in fact quite the opposite is true. Hygge is about adopting a slower, simpler lifestyle in which small moments of peace or joy are not only acknowledged, but also greeted with gratitude. Below, our expert contributor Ash of Adore Décor DXB, explains how the concept of Hygge can be applied to our own homes.
Think Sentimentality & Texture
While hygge is categorized more as a feeling than anything else, there are some things you can do to make your home more ‘hyggeligt’ (hygge-like). A palette of muted neutrals, along with furniture crafted from natural materials, epitomizes the stylish simplicity of Danish design. Vintage or upcycled furniture is very much in keeping with the notion of hygge; Danes believe that household objects should be more than just ‘things’ and instead should tell a story, invoke nostalgia or hold some sentimental value. Another important, yet often overlooked element is texture. There is nothing quite like layer-upon-layer of tactile fabrics for raising a room’s comfort factor. Think sheepskin rugs, chunky knit throws and feather filled cushions – anything that makes you feel enveloped in comfort.
Contentment in Moderation
Hygge isn’t about decorating for show, the areas of your home that aren’t seen by visitors are just as worthy of attention as those in which you entertain. Invest in inviting soft towels and robes for your bathroom and bed linens to coax you in at the end of a long day. A home with hygge rests purely upon the aspect of your personal contentment; there’s no pressure to decorate a particular way, rather the space should reflect the lives and love of the people within it. Feel free to display whatever art, photos or accessories make you smile, however this should be balanced by stream-lining possessions so that you don’t find yourself surrounded with meaningless clutter.
Fresh flowers, herb pots and candles can each add delicate fragrances to your home whilst appealing to all the senses. Layering your lighting with dimmer switches on ceiling lights and lamps will allow atmospheric pools to be created around your home. Every day is a special one when you embrace the hygge life, so whether you’re home alone or welcoming friends, now is the time to use your favourite crockery, table linen and glassware. Again, think tactile, handmade pieces that are valued because of their imperfections, not in spite of them. Combine with wholesome and delicious food and hygge will surely have been invited into your home!