Hygge (adjective form: hyggeligt) is the Danish word used to describe a sensation, a moment, or a mood that is special, that lifts the spirits, and makes you feel good. It's about feeling warm, joyful, comfortable, and safe. Hygge is for all seasons, but during the darker, colder months of the year it comes into its own. No doubt this is why the Danes, whose winters are chilly, dark, and dreary, hold hygge so dear. They have become the masters and mistresses of the art of cozy living. Here are seven ways you can create a hyggeligt home.
1. Warmth and light
Candles produce an intimate atmosphere, but they're not just for romantic occasions. Whether you favor tapered, pillar, or tealight candles, use them generously around your rooms for that homely comfort they bring. For safety, place them securely in holders on level surfaces, away from children and pets.
For those who would rather not use candles, there is a plethora of electric lighting styles to suits your needs. Table lamps, floor lamps, spotlights, and lamps that emulate the flickering flame of a candle--take your pick, but keep the light levels low for a cozier ambience. Twinkling fairy lights deployed inside or festooned around bushes and trees outside provide a magical touch, and they come in all manner of colors.
Of course, an open fire is the ultimate way to invoke hygge, bringing both light and warmth into your living room. If you don't have a chimney, there is always the option of a real flame-effect electric fire.
2. Family and Friends
The company of people you love and people who make you feel loved is very hyggeligt. Laughing, hugging, and sharing time with others nourishes the soul. Don't make your social events too formal, however. Stressful gatherings are the very opposite of hyggeligt.
You don't have to be in company to experience hygge, of course. Sitting before the fire with a good book or a life-affirming film on TV is hyggeligt too. To be warm and snug, put on some thick slipper socks and wrap yourself in a soft blanket.
3. Good Food and Drink
Good food feeds both the body and the spirit and sharing it with family and friends adds an extra dose of hygge. Invite people to your home to enjoy foods that provide both sustenance and cheer, such as wholesome soups, warming casseroles, sticky desserts, and hot mulled wine. Gather round the table, share a hot tub, or sit around a fire under the stars.
Pets offer so much to us without even trying. They not only give love unconditionally, but also help us stay healthy by reducing stress. Spending quality time with your cat, dog, or whatever type of pet you may have is a calming, enjoyable experience. Even watching fish swimming around a tank can have a positive effect on well-being by alleviating anxiety and stress.
There is nothing like music to create and sustain a mood. Classical offers such a wide variety of options for every season and every disposition, as does non-orchestral and popular music. Really, it's about what you like and what makes you feel good. Choose music that allows you to relax or else to celebrate the best of life. For the definitive hyggeligt experience, join with others to sing and make your own music.
For those who love them, books provide a chance to explore new worlds and new ideas in an entertaining way. Fiction can be enchanting, captivating, and thrilling, taking the reader away from the stresses and concerns of modern life. Sitting with your feet up on the sofa, a mug of cocoa or tea to hand, enjoying a great read is hyggeligt. It's simple and inexpensive too, especially if you buy second hand books. A bonus is that walls lined with books have both esthetic and practical qualities: books add some old-fashioned charm in these days of e-books and can help insulate your home too.
If you have wooden or laminate flooring, or even if you don't, a few plush rugs provide a little luxury and warmth. A fluffy or woolen blanket to curl up under and snug cushions add extra comfort. Choose plaids, faux fur, and soft woolen fabrics in the colors that you love. Nordic designs are always popular and are evocative of the country that provided a simple word to describe the comfort, contentment, and conviviality that most people strive for to relax and wind down after the rigors of a busy day.
It's easy to create a hyggeligt home and you needn't spend much money doing it either. Almost instant hygge can be achieved with a few candles, a comfortable sofa, and a mug of steaming tea. However, hygge is not only a moment, but a lifestyle choice. A hyggeligt life is one that grasps every opportunity to appreciate and enjoy good times with friends, family, pets, or even when you are alone. There is no better place to experience this, especially when the weather turns cold, but under your own roof. Take stock today and invite hygge into your home.