A lifestyle website for all things
A lifestyle website for all things
“A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture):”
The Danish concept – said to make homes nicer and people happier.
Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, this is the Danish coined phrase that can be translated simply as ‘cosiness’ in English. But it’s much more than that, say its aficionados – it’s an entire attitude to life that helps Denmark to be the world’s happiest country.
Sitting by the fire on a cold night, wearing a wooly jumper, whist drinking mulled wine – probably surrounded by candles. That’s most certainly “hygge”.
Eating home-made pastries. Watching TV under a duvet. Family get-togethers at Christmas, they are too.
It was never meant to be translated, but to be felt! (Latest post)
Zero to HYGGE in 5 simple steps!
1 – Slow Down
That’s correct, the first step is to slow down. If you clicked on this link in hope of a shortcut to embracing HYGGE, then I’m afraid to tell you that’s not how it works. HYGGE is about getting back to basics. We are always rushing, we always have somewhere to be and we are always thinking about the next thing we have to do whilst doing the thing before. To truly Hygge you need to slow down and take it all in, there will always be something else to think or worry about but this concept teaches you to take each moment as it is without rushing onto the next. Take time to really enjoy your coffee, stay an extra ten minutes in the bath indulging in new bubble bath for long dips by candlelight to ensure daily stresses have melted away and definitely savour that cake! Putting your favourite photographs on the wall are all instant mood lifters whenever you use/see them, so take the time to enjoy them.
2 – Enjoy The Space Around You
The key idea behind hygge is to enjoy the environment around you and nowhere is this more essential than in the home. Scandinavian design is often about clean spaces, whitewashed walls, signature lights and lamps and bringing old, traditional pieces with history together. Hygge is about homeliness, a space that feels good to be in and pieces around you that make you feel happy. Each room needs to be a sanctuary to sink into at any given moment and therefore filled with key items to allow you to do this. Due to increasingly stressful lives an emphasis is placed on the need to ‘escape’ the everyday to experience true relaxation. Hygge fights against this notion demonstrating that wellbeing can be enhanced by making small changes to everyday environments, relieving the need to escape at all. So whatever you are doing, take the time to revel in the tiny moments that make you smile and uplift the soul.
3 – Create a Hygge ambience – Invest in candles
Danes seek solace in candlelight and conversation. And the lower the lighting, the greater the hygge. You’ll need candles and tealights a plenty to create the requisite soft glow without banging into the furniture. A yellow/orange tinge warm light creates the perfect hygge atmosphere for most Danes. A survey for Meik Wiking’s The Little Book Of Hygge found 31 per cent of Danes light more than five candles at a time. Whether scented or unscented, candlelight transforms the clean, fresh style of classic Scandinavian interiors into a flickering escape and a simple lit candle is seen as one of the most fundamental hygge moments to achieve.
4 – Take Up a New Hobby or Practice an Old One
Taking up new hobbies to enjoy in the home allows you to switch off and refocus the mind. Turn off the TV and grow to love something new that you can nurture during your hygge moments in the home or pick up something you used to love to do but don’t have time for anymore. Crafty hobbies such as knitting or sewing which have been gaining in popularity in recent years are perfect to teach yourself and help to relax and calm your being, or curling up and reading a good book for a few solitary hours will have you refreshed in no time.