Light some candles, sit down in a comfortable armchair, wrap yourself up in a warm blanket, and open your favorite book. Enjoy that pleasant feeling from head to toe. That’s what hygge is all about.
The Danish Lifestyle
As a lifestyle, hygge has its roots in Denmark, but it’s gradually spread across the entire world in recent years. Its meaning can be translated as well-being, contentment, or coziness. In short, it’s associated with all the pleasant feelings that surround you when you’re engaged in your favorite activities. You could also say it’s knowing how to create just the right atmosphere and living every moment to the fullest. It’s not a “thing” that you can buy — little Danish children learn how to live a happy, relaxed life from a young age. The roots of the hygge lifestyle run deep within them. The results speak for themselves. For many years now the Danes have topped the list of the happiest nations in the world.
A countertop in the Crystal Absolute White décor: private residence — Klára Davidová, Bruno Paul stonemasons
The Principles of the Hygge Lifestyle
On the physical level, it’s not all that hard to learn the art of hygge. Learning to apply it on the psychological level is the bigger challenge. Therefore, it’s good to know a few of the principles of hygge to help you tune in to a comfortable wavelength within yourself.
The first thing that really influences your mood is your comfort. It’s important to allow yourself to experience that to the fullest. Take a moment to stop, relax, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere around you.
It’s important to know how to please not only others but also yourself. Reward yourself with a hot cup of high-quality chocolate or a fragrant tea.
For a comfortable and happy life, it’s important to maintain good relationships and expand the circle of your acquaintances. Don’t stay in a toxic relationship, even a friendly one. Surround yourself with people who reflect your contented disposition.
This principle of hygge underlies everything else. To be conscious of the atmosphere that surrounds us, it’s important to “be here now.” So turn off your phone, attend to your face-to-face relationships, and be fully present and connected with the world around you.
Don’t worry about the things you cannot change. Be grateful for the time you spend with your loved ones and take advantage of every moment you spend together.
All these principles are united by atmosphere, which plays a key role in hygge. Do you want to feel good and start living hygge? Light some candles, dim the lights, and throw a warm blanket onto the sofa.
A countertop in the Mystery White décor: private residence by interior designer Katie Collins
A Home in the Hygge Style
The winters are very long in Denmark, so the Danes furnish their homes so that they feel comfortable. They avoid depression by spending the long dark days with their families in pleasant surroundings. It’s not that difficult to bring the Danish style into your home and you don’t have to make major changes to do it. It’s enough to take a few small steps that will promote peace and a feeling of well-being in your personal space.
Colors According to Hygge
Colors play a role, of course, because they run throughout your interior. It is good to choose neutral tones that go well together, including beige, white, cream, grey, and brown. You can complement those colors with playful accessories like pillows, which will add a touch of something different to your interior.
Materials According to Hygge
The main thing about this lifestyle is getting back to basics. That means using materials that aren’t artificial but come to us from nature itself. It’s best to surround yourself with wood, stone, leather, wool, and ceramics. Linen is also very popular, and you can make tasteful cushions, curtains, and bedcovers from it. It all depends on your own personal taste and preferences. You don’t need to use all those materials at once in an interior, you just need to know how to combine them properly.
Furniture According to Hygge
Furnish your home with quality pieces of furniture made from natural materials. The most suitable ones are wooden and upholstered, but you can also go with white or black metal. It is always important to keep the rooms airy and tidy. A modest amount of furniture and plenty of storage space will help you do that. Some must-have pieces for creating hygge are a large upholstered bed or a spacious sectional sofa.
Accessories According to Hygge
An interior in neutral colors with simple furniture and clean lines can be completed with little touches to create a snug atmosphere overall. For example, candles cast a subdued light and are perfect for making your home feel comfortable and warm. Don’t forget about fluffy blankets and cushions, framed photographs, or carpets and fleeces. Different textures that mingle freely throughout a space help to bring the hygge style into an interior. We don’t just mean a wool blanket draped over a wooden rocking chair. We’re also thinking about different types of stucco or blending different colors on one wall.
Private residence: countertop in Noble Olympos Mist. Photo courtesy of Mikołaj Dobrowski and Natalia Mielczarek
Rooms According to Hygge
We’ve put together some tips that you can easily apply in your own home. Do you want to treat yourself to joy and well-being? Change a few decorations and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in every corner of your personal space.
The Centerpiece of a Home — The Hygge Living Room
In Denmark, the living room is considered the heart of the home where families and friends gather, but also a place where you can relax alone and enjoy undisturbed peace. Its centerpiece is a fireplace or wood-burning stove, which ideally has a fire burning continuously. Such a room looks great in a combination of engineered stone and neutral colors — for example, our Glencoe decor, which is dominated by beige tones. The mantelpiece is decorated with lots of candles. Don’t forget a large and comfortable sofa on which you can sit with your loved ones and share your joyful experiences. Complete it with cushions and a warm blanket. Put a shaggy area rug next to the sofa and bring the space to perfection.
A Calm and Clean Space — The Hygge Bedroom
The bedroom is for you and you alone, so furnish it just the way you like it. The hygge lifestyle prefers muted colors in the bedroom and a minimalist style of furnishings. Of course, a large bed with an upholstered headboard and a comfortable mattress should dominate the room. Cover warm duvets in materials such as linen or cotton. Throw an extra blanket and pillows onto the bed, which will not only make the room cozy but also create a feeling of warmth. Furnish the bedroom with bedside tables, dim lighting, and plenty of candles. Put a fluffy fleece rug down next to the bed to make getting up in the morning even more pleasant.
A Home Spa — The Hygge Bathroom
Relax after a busy day. Soak in a hot bath, throw in some bath salts, and light some candles. Let the fragrant, relaxing atmosphere of your bathroom engulf you. If you don’t have a bathtub and are more comfortable in the shower, consider buying a tropical rain shower head and letting warm water stream down your body. You can cover the walls of the entire bathroom with engineered stone in muted tones, which will not only promote the hygge style, but also hygienic conditions. Soft and fragrant towels are the icing on the cake.
Full of Life and Harmony — The Hygge Kitchen
The kitchen is a place that is full of life and bustling with energy. That’s why we need to calm it down a bit and choose the right elements to help us create comfort and harmony. Use stone, wood, or ceramic for the interior furnishings to foster a hygge style. For example, green or grey in combination with hardened stone countertops in white and beige shades will look perfect. Make the most of natural light — large windows and a door that opens into the garden do that very well. Minimize clutter and opt for closed cabinets and shelving. If the size of your kitchen allows, create a dining area where you can gather with your loved ones for a good meal. Chairs should preferably be upholstered to make them soft and comfortable. Don’t forget to lay in a supply of candles to burn whenever you can. Plates, bowls, cups, and glasses should be simple, with minimal decoration at most. When you want to take a moment for yourself and read your favorite book, support the hygge atmosphere with neutral-colored cups for hot tea and stemmed glasses for a sip of wine.
A kitchen island in the Noble Ivory White décor: private residence — Klára Davidová, Bruno Paul stonemasons
A Few Rules for Achieving Hygge in Your Home
Last but not least, we’ve put together a few ideas to help you maintain a hygge lifestyle simply and easily.
Clean and Tidy
Your space should be tidy, without clutter. In short, everything should be in order at first glance. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep some small items about that promote a calm, comfortable atmosphere, like photographs and green plants.
There Are Never Enough Candles
Every year, Danes buy the largest number of candles on earth. That testifies to their importance in creating a hygge atmosphere. Burn them in the living room, in the bedroom, and even in the kitchen and bathroom. To put it simply, wherever and whenever you can.
Hygge Isn’t Just About Furnishing Your Interior
Don’t forget that living by the principles of hygge means making your home as comfortable as possible, but also you yourself. Therefore, take advantage of hygge in every moment — not only when you’re at home, but also when you’re on a simple walk through the woods. When you go out, wear comfortable clothes that don’t bind you and keep you comfortable.
Go for muted colors, not only when buying furniture and decorations, but also when painting your interior. You can make it brighter with different shades of neutral colors and interesting textures. Think: less is more.