I've heard it said that hygge is loosely related to "creating a warm coziness during the long, cold winter months". To me though, it is so much more than that. To me, 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.
Hygge entices us to pull away from the clutches of busyness, and to slip into an atmosphere of restful content. And, it is how it should be. This is where we unwind; where we recover; where we recuperate. Hygge, in its gentle simplicity, encourages us to throw off our chaotic schedules and more intentionally, curate a cozy, warm environment in our homes and lives.
This is something I strive to do in my own home. You see, Home matters. And not just because we need a roof over our heads, or someplace to go after work. Home isn't so much about a structure that protects us from the elements, but rather, about it's walls that offer us solace.
Home is where we are at our best. It is where we feel most secure in who we are. But home is also where we're at our worst. And I'm okay with that. Actually, I'm more than okay with that. I love that our home is safe, and soft, and comfortable enough, for us to be able to let go of our composure sometimes; to allow us to experience a little turbulence in a protected environment. Sometimes life is hard, and it hurts. Home has always been our soft place to land.
There are a few things that are generally considered hygge essentials. According to the Danes, with whom hygge originated, candle light is key. Nothing adds cozy, hygge ambiance like the glow of a few (or a lot of) flickering candles. Textured throw pillows are another easy way to soften a room’s appearance, and if you’re anything like me, a cozy moment just wouldn’t be complete without a luxurious blanket or two.
But I’d really like to challenge and inspire you to think outside of the box a little bit when it comes to hygge décor, and so I’d like to share with you, with 8 unique ideas to get your own creative juices flowing.
1. Pick a cohesive color scheme.
While I prefer the calm atmosphere a neutral color scheme lends, hygge is not limited to neutral. Hygge is open to interpretation so whatever palate you're drawn to, go with it. Your hygge decor should most definitely reflect your style.
2. Cozy up hard spaces.
One of my favorite hygge accessories is this glorious sheepskin. It’s such a simple, but versatile item.
For the winter months, I kept it on my coffee table and I absolutely adored it there! It added such an easy softness without feeling cluttered of fussy. But I’ve recently moved it to a bench so that I can I switch out my winter décor to spring.
3. Think practical and simple.
I really feel that hygge is best cultivated by using and displaying ordinary items in extraordinary ways.
4. Incorporate layers into your hygge décor.
On my fireplace mantle, you’ll see how I’ve layered an old window pane, the backside of a Christmas sign, and then, placed this “LOVE” sign in front of it. And for spring, I've layered my coffee table as well. I started with a vintage pitcher of tulips, and layered it inside of a old glass battery jar, which I then placed inside a vintage wire swimming basket and placed on this large tray that I can easily pick up and slide underneath the table if needed. It’s a very practical but pretty hygge display.
5. Consider using vintage/repurposed items in your home.
I've always been drawn to antique/vintage items. I love being able to style my home with recycled, repurposed,and/or reused items. Here I have grouped together vintage bowls and pitchers and used them in a very practical way to display fruits and nuts. Notice how I’ve layered bowls inside each other? You’ll also notice that I have one of the pitchers filled with pens, notepads and even bills that need to be paid. These are things that we use or need access to every day. Hygge is best expressed through the combination of pretty and practical.
6. Don’t forget about your wall space.
For me, a gallery wall is an excellent way to express hygge texture and interest. It’s a great way to display an assortment of mismatched items in a cohesive way. It works here because, while I have quite a variety of items, they are all cohesive, neutral colors. Get creative with what you put on your walls.
7. Natural elements like wood add an easy, nature inspired atmosphere in your home. One of my favorite hygge accessories is this piece of driftwood that I picked up more than ten years ago while we were on a family vacation.
8. And, for a really quick and simple transformation, display books with the pages facing out.
I love the cohesive look the pages lend, rather than the mismatched spines.
And here's a little bonus idea..... don’t be afraid to switch things out in your home. I love moving things around and changing things up. It’s kind of like getting new things without buying new things!
Just be sure that everything you do in your home, reflects the needs of your family. Your expression of hygge should be unique to you and first and foremost, should serve your family well.
“When we practice hygge, we frame the moment, give it our full attention, savour and hold it, in an awareness that the moment will pass. We feel how one moment becomes layered on to the next; past and present mingled together - everything falling into place, into one accord.” “There is a simple fidelity to the moment that we experience through hygge. Hygge pays attention to the concerns of the human spirit, turning us towards a manner of living that priorities simple pleasure, friendship and connection above consumption.”
Louisa Thomsen Brits, The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well