The Danes know a thing or two about long, cold winters, having to cope with up to 17 hours of darkness per day. Yet Denmark is officially the world’s happiest country - and Hygge is the key.
Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, roughly translated it means ‘cosiness’ and it’s all about creating a relaxing atmosphere. Here’s how to make your home ‘hyggeligt’ this season.
Getting started with hygge
Start by turning your living area into a warm and welcoming haven. Make sure you have a defined focal point in the room, preferably a fireplace. An open fire or wood-burning stove is ideal but any type of fire would work. Choose a well-upholstered sofa in classic leather or your favourite fabric and position the seating around the fireplace. For a really snug feel, go for a corner sofa.
Being supremely comfortable and relaxed at home is an important part of hygge, so pile the sofa high with cushions and add sumptuous throws in autumn berry colours. Add armchairs, footstools and floor cushions so there’s a space for everyone and don’t forget luxuriously soft rugs for extra comfort underfoot.
Giving your windows the hyggeligt treatment
We love the different ways you can dress your windows in a ‘hyggeligt’ way. They will all help to cut out the draughts and make your rooms warm and homely. You could go for heavy, lined curtains in a gorgeous fabric; if your curtains aren’t lined, you can fit detachable linings to most standard curtains.
Thermal energy-saving blinds make an excellent alternative to curtains as they’re stylish as well as insulating; they also keep rooms at a cool temperature in the summer. They can even be used in conservatories so you can have hygge all year round! Don’t forget blackout blinds for your bedrooms and nursery to ensure everyone has a restful night’s sleep.
Beautiful hand-made shutters are another option to dress your windows; these have been used for centuries to keep out draughts. They provide instant privacy and shade, and they’re perfect for shutting out the cold and wintry weather.
Take control of the light and mood
Good lighting is important for a ‘hyggeligt’ atmosphere because it has the power to change the mood of a room in an instant. Take a tip from the Danes and use candlelight for an intimate feel, whatever the occasion.
For the best effect, group candles together and choose different shapes and scents. It’s easy to create inviting pools of light around the room if you place floor lamps in cosy corners and position task lights so that they’re perfect for reading. Put a welcome light in the window and dim the lights in the evening for a cosy ambience.
Hygge is centred on spending time with the people you love the most, your family and friends, and creating memories with them. It’s also about finding joy in the simple things in life and doing whatever makes you truly happy. That could be getting back to nature on an autumn walk, indulging in a good book, listening to your favourite music, or making your own jam or cakes. So feed your soul this winter – sit back, relax and enjoy hygge, the best thing to come out of Denmark since LEGO and pastries!