You may have heard of the Danish and Norwegian word Hygge (pronounced Hoo-Ga). I just heard about it earlier this year myself. From what I could tell I felt like I already embraced the feeling but was on a quest to learn and feel even more hygge. I bought The Little Book Of Hygge Danish Secrets To Happy Living and I’ve been a little obsessed with it since. I’m going to share 9 ways to feel hygge at home, but first I want to do my best to describe the feeling.
It’s that warm, feel-good feeling you get inside. The feeling of comfort, coziness, contentment, wellness, and being connected to your loved ones. The feeling you get when you are sitting around a dinner table together and enjoying a good meal. Being cozy on the couch with a blanket enjoying a hot cup of something. Enjoying a movie night together. Being present. It’s about being grateful for the most simple things in life.
This hygge feeling according to the Danes is most often experienced at home. The Danish love interior design and it’s because they spend a good amount of time in their homes. They set up their atmosphere to experience the most hyggelig (hoo-ga-like) feelings. Since Fall and Winter is the time they are in their homes the most, as we are right now, it is the most hygge time of year.
9 Ways To Feel Hygge At Home:
- Make a home cooked meal and enjoy it slowly around the dining table.
Make a delicious meal, set the table, dim the lights (if it’s at night), and enjoy a meal over long conversation. Between the smells of good food, enjoying the ambiance, and most importantly connecting with your significant other, friends or family, you’ll feel hygge.
- Good lighting, candles and a fireplace.
Lighting is so important to the Danish (me too). It sets up your atmosphere. Have a mix of overhead lighting, lamps, different wattage light bulbs depending on where and when the lamps are used, dimmers on light switches, and candles. Turn down and dim those lights for dinner. Set up that cozier, more intimate atmosphere. It is not hygge if you are eating dinner with bright light. During the daytime however, open those blinds and curtains and let the natural light pour in. If it’s darker outside, which it tends to be this time of year, turn on the lamps or overhead lighting during the day.
Candles also enhance the mood. I just opt for battery operated candles with some beeswax candles on occasion to avoid more toxins in my home. A fireplace is also very hygge. I have a gas one that I can’t handle the smell, so we rarely turn it on, but I do put the fireplace channel on the TV this time of year. Although it’s not natural so it would not be what the Danes consider hygge, it still adds to the overall cozy feeling in the house. I am a big believer in working with what you have.
- Turn on the music.
Music in the background adds to the ambiance. Find a good relaxing, soothing station to play all day or opt for some more themed music for a dinner party. Having Italian for dinner? Opt for some soft Italian dinner music. Working from home? Play some soft background music. I am currently listening to Crisp Fall Air Rides on Pandora while I write this.
- Grab a good book, a hot cup of something, and curl up in something comfortable.
Whether you sit in a chair, on the couch, or even in your bed, make it comfy. Put on something comfortable, maybe some cozy socks, grab a blanket or pillow or two, make yourself a hot drink and pick a book to read for pure pleasure. If you don’t feel like reading, that’s ok too. Just relish in the moment of just being. If there is a snowstorm, rainstorm or thunderstorm happening meanwhile, that’s even more Hygge.
- Add wood and nature to your home.
Real wood flooring, wood paneling, crackling wood in the fireplace, a wood table, wood chairs, wood serving and cutting boards all bring in added warmth. Whatever you can bring in from the outdoors, add that too. Fresh greenery, plants, flowers, sticks, branches, rocks, whatever calls to you. The closer you feel to nature the better. Sticking to a soothing, more natural color palette in your home is very hygge.
- Layer in the textures.
Layer in throws, pillows, rugs, clay pots, ceramic mugs or candlestick holders, and wood. Mix up the materials. It’s all about touch. How does that cup you are holding feel in your hands, or that wooden surface you are touching.
- Add vintage or nostalgic items.
Something that has patina, history, and/or is repurposed is very hygge. Remember that hygge is a feeling more than anything. Vintage pieces add to the feeling. The vintage pieces I have are also paired with the memories of the adventures I got them on and the person/people I was with. If vintage isn’t your thing, add in some nostalgic items. Whether they are from your relatives or maybe even a piece you made, it all adds to the hygge feeling. A tray of old family pictures on your coffee table is hygge.
- Get out the puzzles and board games.
Puzzles and board games make us slow down and be fully in the present. It’s a time of togetherness and connecting. It reminds us that the simple things in life bring us the most pleasure. It’s usually when we feel the most at peace. Turn on some soft music in the background, sip on a hot drink, have the lights just right, and embrace the hygge feeling.
- Embrace the holidays.
The most hygge time of year for the Danes is the month of Christmas. The twinkle lights, the decorations, the meals, holiday drinks and baked goods, and the traditions and time with your loved ones. The majority of it takes place in the home. Whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday, you can embrace much hygge during this time. If old traditions feel less hyggelig, why not start new traditions as well. Families change, friends change, dynamics change, and that is all part of life. If it doesn’t look the same year to year, and that is OK. It can even be wonderful.
Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life-or just be comfortable in each other’s silent company- or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.Meik Wiking – The Little Book of Hygge
Although I have just shared 9 ways to feel hygge at home, The Little Book of Hygge dives into more than this. It focuses on why the Danes are the happiest people in the world and this hygge cornerstone they embrace. It’s an easy read and one I have been paging through often. The Danes put their relationships at the forefront of everything. The author, Meik Wiking, says if he cannot directly ask how happy someone is, he asks how happy they are in their relationship(s) and that gives him the answer. I highly recommend reading The Little Book Of Hygge.
So grateful you are reading and following along,
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LOVE this! I think hygge came out more than ever these last 18+ months in our home. It really is the small things and that feeling of being cozy that is so comforting and joyful. Can’t wait to read this book!
her healthy style
It really is the small things! You will love this book Britt! It makes a great gift too! A fun little book to have on the coffee table to page through even after reading through it once. xoxo