What is Hygge?
That was the question I asked just over a year ago, after browsing through Pinterest and seeing image after image promoting Hygge.
For the past few years it seems, the Danish practice of Hygge has been blazing across the internet. And while there is no direct translation for Hygge in English, the term loosely refers to "creating a warm coziness during the long, cold winter months". But, it is so much more than that. Hygge is an experience; or perhaps, an understanding of the important things and moments, in life. It is an attitude; a feeling of well being. It is the mindset of being truly present in each and every moment.
Is it any wonder, though? As I mentioned in a previous post, Embracing A Heritage Of Hygge,
"We, here in North America, are a culture caught up in busyness. We have filled our lives to the utmost brim. We live in a land of opportunity and thus, we have taken advantage of every one. In addition to our heavy work day, we are pressed with further, extensive engagements and responsibilities, running from one pledge to another. Pressed between all of our meetings, commitments, and extra curricular activities, many of us have filled almost every waking moment with busyness. We are caught in a vise of ambition. We loathe it, and yet we cannot seem to escape it."
This gentle concept of Hygge is encouraging us to throw off our chaotic schedules and more intentionally, curate a cozy, warm environment in our homes and lives.
My hope is that through these 10 ideas, you will find a little more inspiration to easily and more effectively embrace the beautiful, comforting attributes in your own home.
1. Let the sunshine in.
During the day, throw back the curtains and let in all the natural light you can. Winter can be dark and dreary, so every opportunity to bask in it's glorious sunshine should be embraced.
2. Cozy up hard surfaces.
My favorite purchase this past year is this luxurious sheepskin I discovered at Costco for only 40 dollars. I wasn't sure how I was going to use it, and honestly, when my daughter suggested I drape it over my coffee table I was a little skeptical. But, I tried it, and it's been there ever since. It looks absolutely luscious!
Don't you just love those two darling brass deer? I saw them in a little vintage shop that I frequent, on a shopping trip with my mom and my daughter just before Christmas. I was desperate for them, but they weren't on my list so I let them go. Much to my delight, my beautiful daughter surprised me with them Christmas morning! Which brings me to my next thought.
3. Incorporate a little vintage in your home.
Consider using vintage books.....
4......and vintage bowls.
I have a mixture of old and new bowls that I group and stack together, and I use them to practically display edible hygge items like fruits and nuts.
5. Vintage pitchers are another pretty, creative way to contain everyday items like pens and notepads, and bills that need to be paid.
6. Natural elements like wood add texture and charm.
Whether it be driftwood collected from a favorite family vacation, simple wood disks, or any kind of rustic wooden creation, wood is a lovely, in-expensive way to add a hygge touch.
7. Candle light.
I've said it before but it's worth saying again. Nothing conveys hygge like a beautiful, flickering candle.
8. Layer cozy throws in an easy to grab, sumptuous display.
9. Use everyday items in an extraordinary way.
I've draped this scarf that used to belong to my grandmother, over this glorious set of elk antlers my father-in-law gifted me. I love the lavish look it lends to the space.
I don't prefer cluttered spaces but, if you the have an out of the way area,
10. consider keeping a favorite game at the ready.
My daughter loves to play checkers right now and because we have an area next to the fireplace that is tucked away from daily traffic, I chose to keep the game handy for when she wants to challenge her dad. (I'd say challenge me as well but, let's be honest here; playing me at checkers isn't much of a challenge!)
Adding cozy hygge ambiance to your home doesn't require you to purchase a large volume of new stuff. Search your home for ordinary things that you can use in
extraordinary ways. Then, if you feel you'd still like to purchase a few special items, consider investing in vintage goods. I love the touch of nostalgia antique treasures add, and I also appreciate the opportunity to reuse old items rather than be always contributing to the overwhelming production and replacing of cheap, manufactured goods.
My home is filled with vintage and re-purposed items that I relish. My coffee table was an old table used in a workshop that I purchased at an auction for $7. My husband sawed the legs off and now it is the most talked about piece in my home.
This side table was an old wire wheel that was left over from when we fenced our horse pasture on our previous acreage. I whitewashed it with leftover paint so it didn't cost me a dime.
Even this pretty cabinet was a piece I picked up from our local second hand store for $35. Again, I used leftover paint and gave it a simple, but lovely make-over. Hygge should never pull you into debt.
And, always remember that hygge is the culmination of investing in the people around you, the space you inhabit and the stage of life you're in. Hygge looks different for each of us. Your hygge home should look and feel unique to you. It should reflect the people you love and the season you are in.
So, I'd be thrilled if you'd like to take a little inspiration from my home, but be sure you transform it into something uniquely and beautifully you!