Confession: I went to Denmark this summer because I wanted to know what their secret was. They’re often named the happiest country in the world and after visiting I learned one big reason why – hygge. Pronounced, “hoo-ga”, the word is used to describe a mood of coziness and a feeling of contentment. It’s the intimacy you create in all aspects of life that help you stay in the present.
I experienced hygge within hours of arriving in Copenhagen. I nestled into an Airbnb complete with cozy nooks draped in faux fur and dripping wax candlesticks on every table. After heading out for my first dinner in the city, I found a dimly lit spot that offered blankets to stay cozy on the patio while sipping warmly spiced punch. Every detail seemed to favour comfort and suddenly, in the middle of June, it felt like Christmas.
Since that summer trip, recreating hygge has been a major desire of mine. Luckily, the easiest way to capture hygge is at home. Here are 5 ways to experience more hygge in your home:
Let there be light
The Danish are obsessed with lighting and for good reason – soft lighting easily sets a relaxing and cozy ambiance. If you have a garish light in your house you’ve been ignoring, swap it out for something a little more soothing. There are plenty of different lighting features out there that you can incorporate within your home, and the more abstract they are, the better. Of course, you may need to head to Aardvark Electric, Inc., or somewhere like this if you need a hand when it comes to installing your lights. The Danish, like everyone else, wants to make sure that this has been done right the first time of trying. But what else can you do with your lighting? Add fairy twinkle lights to your bedroom just because. Or turn off the lights completely and light those soy candles you’ve been stocking up on. Keep the light in your house soft, warm and inviting and you’ll find your evenings have a lot more hygge than before.
Hygge is all about comfort so when it comes to cooking, favors tastes that are familiar and soothing – and maybe even a touch sweet. Call your mom for her famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to bake yourself or make a brothy soup from scratch. Whatever you do, the food should be crafted with intention and savoured until the last bite.
Create a cozy reading nook
A hygge home needs a cozy nook for reading, sipping tea and curling up with plenty of blankets. No nook is complete without layers of throws, pillows and your favourite seasonal books. Used books and faux fur throws are very much encouraged.
Bring in elements from nature
You know that wonderful feeling when you’re in nature and it suddenly feels so easy to focus on the present? Bring that feeling indoors with a little greenery. A leafy potted plant on the window seal or a fresh bouquet of eucalyptus can help you feel closer to nature and a lot more zen. Bonus: In addition to creating a lush ambiance, many plants can also help purify the air indoors.
Get cozy with a hot beverage
While we might not be in Europe to sip mugs of Glögg at Christmas markets, it’s easy to recreate at home. Simmer your red wine with spices over the stove or cozy up to a mug of hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream. Add a spoonful of honey to your herbal tea. Whatever warms up your body and calms your mind – add it to your mug and snuggle up.
Hygge doesn’t have any strict rules; it’s about whatever makes you feel content. Invite hygge into your home by looking around each room of your house to see how you can make things cozier. Even the smallest details can help you create a dreamy hygge experience you’ll love coming home to.