As the nights draw in and the mercury drops, it’s time to take a little inspiration from our Nordic neighbours. The stylish Danes have mastered the art of dealing with long, dark winters by embracing what they call hygge (pronounced hoo-gah).
Hygge is a sense of cosy contentment brought about by enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Imagine yourself, warm drink in hand, sitting in a comfy chair in front of a crackling fire, and you’re on the right track. The idea of hygge is to create a comforting nest (it can be indoors or outside) and to enjoy it with family and friends.
As we’re all likely to be spending a lot of time at home over the next few months, here are a few ways to bring a little hygge into your life.
Lighting – Nothing is less relaxing than mortuary-style clinical blue/white lighting. Create a subdued, laid back vibe by opting for light fittings with warmer tones. Candles, tealights and lanterns are also great, but (get ready for a very British health and safety warning) always be careful, especially if little ones are around.
Soft furnishings and furniture – Comfort is key so go for faux fur cushions, fluffy blankets and hand-dyed fabrics preferably in muted or natural tones. When it comes to furniture, natural products such as wood, are a must.
Indoor plants – Indoor pot plants promote better air quality in the home, a must when you’ve got the windows closed to keep the warmth in and the cold out.
Comfort food and drink – Hygge’s not just about interiors and furnishings, it’s also about food and drink. Think hearty stews, tasty soups and cinnamon rolls. If you don’t fancy cooking, try sipping glogg (wine heated with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg) or smorgasbord eggnog, a blend of cream, sugar, brandy, rum and whipped egg. If you’re after a non-alcoholic beverage, indulge in a decadent hot chocolate (some people sum up hygge as “cocoa by candlelight”).
Spend time outdoors – Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up. Wrap up in warm clothing – it’s no fun shivering in the cold – and spend time in a welcoming outdoor space. Outdoor heaters, heater-barbeques, fire pits and chimineas mean it’s possible to enjoy the great outdoors all year round. Add touches like fairy lights and lanterns to create even more atmosphere.
Turn off the screens – Switch off from the outside world – for a short time at least. Many of us spend our waking hours plugged in (especially if we work from home) but spending too much time in front of a screen can impact our sleep, posture, and vision.
If you think you’ve mastered the art of hygge, share a few of your stylish snaps with us on social media. We’d love to see them!