You may have heard everyone talking about “Hoo-gah” (actually spelled Hygge) this holiday season. Since there is so much out there, we thought we'd put together a brief guide at this Hyggelic (yes, it's an actual word) time of the year. With the use of the word Hygge becoming increasing popular pretty much everywhere, and a major trend in the UK interior design scene, we decided to highlight the basics of Hygge, and how to best create the feeling in your home this holiday season.
In short, Hygge is the Danish art of living well. As with most things Scandi, it is not just about one particular thing, but an all-encompassing lifestyle. Some other words you may have heard that essentially mean the same thing are Mysigt & Koseligt - but unfortunately for them, “Hygge”, is the word of the moment. So why is Hygge trending so much when it comes to styling your life and home? That’s easy - because Danes have been rated the happiest people in the world.* And who doesn’t want to be happy?The reason Danes are credited for being so happy, despite the lack of sunlight, and relatively cold temperatures is (believe it or not) attributable to Hygge. This Danish lifestyle is all about wellness. It is about focusing on little things that make a positive difference: making a good cup of coffee, sitting by the fire with friends, creating cosy familiarity within your home. It is being present in the moment, and conscious of the details that make you feel fulfilled. Naturally, as healthy trends tend to be, it doesn’t require a lot of “things”. It is minimalist in nature, but very specific as to the elements that contribute to its success.
At Claribel we embrace the Hygge lifestyle in our design and ethos of our brand, and as such have put together 5 simple ways that we invoke Hygge in our homes, hoping it helps inspire yours.
- Candles. Light candles. Nothing builds serenity and conjures simple pleasures like the warm glow of a candle. In Denmark, more candles are burned per person than any other country in Europe. (Fact). Unwinding at the end of the day lighting a few candles is an accessible and easy way to instantly Hygge your home.
- Take 5. Set aside a short amount of time at the end of each day to unwind and reflect. Block all distractions; turn the television off, turn your mobile off, and shut your laptop. This is your time to reset and to let the hectic day fall behind you, leaving your mind open and refreshed to a good night’s sleep and the coming day.
- Enjoy your space. It doesn't have to be Spring to spark a deep clean. Take time to declutter your home. Recycle old magazines, send clothes you no longer wear to the charity shop, share books you've read a million times with a good friend… Having a calm and serene space does wonders to relax and clear your mind. Once you have done this, light a candle, curl up under a blanket, read a book or write in a journal – and peace of mind will surely follow.
- Invite Friends. Crucial to the notion of Hygge are friends and loved ones, and the quality of the time spent with them. Set aside an evening to spend in the company of close friends or family at home. Drink something warm and delicious (mulled wine, spiced coffee, hot chocolate), and pair it with simple, but good quality food to enjoy while revelling in the company of your close circle (and if you have a fireplace make sure to light it).
- Quality Over Quantity. Less is more, and gratitude for what we have is essential. Not surprising this is a Hygge element if you look at Scandinavian decorating styles in general. Selecting products that will last for years and help tell the story of who you are, over an impulsive 'throwaway fashion' purchase, is vital to creating your Hygge home. Whether it is wine and cheese, or throws for your fireside sofa, ensuring the quality is exceptional will lead you to create a space where your state of mind will be calmer and more serene.
So, as the cold winter envelopes us, frost welcomes each morning, and shortened days invite hibernation, make your home a sanctuary and create a respite from the craziness of modern living. A New Year is starting, why not try to embrace Hygge for a well lived 2017? Worst-case scenario, it will just make you a little happier.