Hygge - it's the Danish word on everybody's lips at the moment. It's pronounced "hoo-gah" but the word is basically just used as a description; it's actually all about creating a feeling and atmosphere of cosiness and comfort. Since being named as one of the happiest countries in the world, a lot of interest has been buzzing around the Danish way of living and their sense of well-being. There's no big secret around this concept and it's by no means unachievable. In fact, what we love is that by channeling your inner Dane you can soon bring the all-embracing and feeling of hygge into your own home.

 

Here are six easy ways you can achieve this…

 

1. Light candles
The Danes have always had a particular forté for lighting, from beautifully designed pendants such as the Panton VP Globe to decorating a room beautifully with plenty of candles. This comes from a desire to make the best out of very chilly and gloomy winter days and we can certainly take note from this. Do you ever get that envious feeling when you're walking past other people's homes of an evening and you can see the lights are on and you can tell it's warm and welcoming? You can create this ambience with the right choice of lighting, just make sure you don't go for anything too harsh and a good tip is to go for several smaller lamps rather than one main ceiling light. For the true essence of hyggelig lighting, bring out the candles. According to 'The Little Book of Hygge' by Meik Wiking, 'Each Dane burns around six kilos of candle wax each year.' It's the perfect excuse to enjoy intimate candlelit dinners more often.

 

(Just remember to be sensible and take safety precautions when burning candles in your home).

 

Hygge 1

 

2. Add layers of comfort
When you think about winter, it's all about feeling snuggly in woolly jumpers as well as wearing thick hats and scarves to shield you from the blustery winds and bitter cold. At home, it's all about making sure you're well-stocked up with luxurious blankets, throws and cushions, change your duvet to a higher tog to keep you warm over night, and keep a pair of slippers by your bed ready for the early morning starts. A very hygge thing to do would be to offer your guests a blanket and a hot drink on their arrival and make them feel just as at home as you do.

 

Hygge 3

 

3. Get baking and making
One our favourite things about hygge (and we think it'll be yours too) is that there's no guilt involved in enjoying good hearty food as well as confectionary. It's about being generous to yourself; having a treat and giving in to your sweet tooth isn't a bad thing. In fact, cake, chocolate, coffee, popcorn, a Danish pastry… they're all off the naughty list when it comes to hygge living. This is just one example of how it's the simple things that can make you happy and give you some enjoyment in your day. You'll find an abundance of cafés and bakeries in Denmark which will be filled with content people but what's even more hygge than this is the enjoyment of making your delicious food at home. Try your hand at baking a loaf of bread and reap the benefits of not just some fresh bread to eat with a hot bowl of soup but also the amazing aroma that will fill your kitchen. Try this easy to follow recipe by Sophie Conran.

 

Hygge 2

 

4. Create a reading corner
Who doesn't love the sight of a shelf filled with well-loved books? Another aspect of hygge is finding pleasure and happiness in the simplest things such as being inside all wrapped up in a warm blanket by a crackling fire while there's a storm or gale blowing outside. When arranging your room, turn a cosy corner into a reading spot or add a window seat to make a place where you can sit and reflect and have a quiet moment to yourself. Gaining a sense of mindfulness and putting everything into perspective can help you appreciate what you have. Keep all of your favourite books, be they thrillers, love stories or cookbooks, close by so you can pick one up as and when you fancy it.

 

5. Make happy memories and surround yourself with them
They say that the best things are life are free and this motto is one to hold on to. You don't have to spend a fortune to embrace hygge as you can tell from everything we've mentioned on this list so far. Ultimately it seems that what makes us happiest is surrounding ourselves with people and things we love and not putting emphasis on materialistic things. The Danes aren't wasteful people, hence why a lot of design products that come out of this country are minimalistic and well-thought out so that it's designed to last. Take from their inspirational and stylish interiors and only buy products that have a meaning to you. Whether it's a rug you picked up on a fun and spontaneous shopping trip with your friend or a chair you've inherited from your parents, will mean that your home is filled with items that each have an emotional value to you.
Our top tip would be to not over-buy and create unnecessary clutter.

 

Hygge 4

 

6. Spend quality time with your loved ones
Last but by no means least, taking time out of your busy schedule to catch up with friends and family is really important if you want to feel happy. Sometimes all you need to wash away the stresses of your work or worries is a chat with someone who knows you well and you'll instantly feel like a weight has been lifted. There are so many ways to make the most of your free time, however some of the most hyggelig ways include hosting regular board game nights, starting a book club, crafting with friends and also spending a weekend in a cottage in the woods, a great way to connect with nature and escape for a while too.

 

From top to bottom and left to right:
Main image: Acorn pendant in polished steel, £55, Vita Copenhagen
Byrne table planter, £32, Rowen & Wren
Palea candle holder, £37, Be&Liv
Sandrine mug, £17, and plate, £23, Bloomingville
Morsø 6843 stove, £1,600, Morsø
Grey Belle throw in cashmere and merino wool, £140, Loaf
Blankets and throws, from a selection, Amara
Abstract marble illustration and accessories, all House Doctor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by: EKBB