Here’s what I just found out: “hygge,” the trendy, Scandi concept for all things cozy, is pronounced “hoo-ga.” Who knew? Well, despite saying it incorrectly all these years, I’ve been drawn to this concept since it first popped up on my social media feeds years ago.
If you haven’t caught the hygge bug, let me be the one to convince you that it really will change your life. If you've ever found yourself yearning for a winter filled with warmth, hygge is the feeling of a warm fire, a cup of cocoa, and a blanket. But it's not just a trend, it’s a way of life.
Hygge is ingrained in the Danish DNA — and one thing the Danish have is good taste. The term itself has its roots in the Old Norse word "hugga," which means to comfort. Isn’t that sweet? In the 18th century, this term expanded and people embraced hygge as a way of life, emphasizing the importance of creating a warm, cozy atmosphere and savoring life's simple pleasures. Fast forward to today, and hygge has become a global sensation, influencing everything from home decor to wellness practices. While we’ve made it a consumer-driven aesthetic as it’s crossed over to the States, it’s nice to remember its roots.
Why is Hygge so popular?
There are some ephemeral concepts that have taken the world by storm and come to personify those treasured, quiet moments that often happen in private. Think the eclectic splendor of Spotify’s Lorem playlist, or the universal appeal of the Lo-Fi study beats girl playlists — if you know, you know.
Hygge is one of these. The smell of a crackling fire? Hygge. The taste of hot cocoa and marshmallows melting on your tongue? Hygge. The feel of draping a thick, cozy blanket over your slouchy socks and sweats? Soooo hygge. These are the moments we look forward to all Spring and Summer. They’re the little things that make us happy and cozy and comfortable but rarely get a shoutout.
In a world that often feels chaotic, hygge offers a sanctuary of simplicity. It's about finding joy in life's uncomplicated moments – a celebration of the mundane where we take the time to be grateful for those uncomplicated, extraordinary moments of life.
Hygge isn’t just about our solo sanctuaries — all the coziest scenes happen with other people. That’s why this cultural phenomenon places a premium on human connections. Whether it's a quiet evening with loved ones or a gathering of friends around a fireplace, hygiene is about being present, creating bonds, and fostering a sense of community.
How to bring Hygge to your home
It’s hard to get psyched for the seasons to change. Daylight savings is already shocking me every night, when it’s dark by 4:30pm and the sun keeps setting earlier and earlier. So inviting more hygge into my life is one way to stave off seasonal depression.
Hygge isn't just a winter affair, but it certainly comes into its own during the colder months. The concept encourages us to appreciate the changing seasons, finding joy in the crisp air, the warmth of layered clothing, and the beauty of nature in hibernation. It's about making peace with winter and transforming it into a season of coziness.
As well as finding hygge in the every day, I like to infuse this spirit into my daily life by adding hygge home decor to my home. The Scandi home aesthetic has already influenced my life. Hygge is an addition that helps make my home a haven during winter, especially considering the mental health benefits of making my space cozy in the colder months.
1. Candles. Lots of them.
Hygge is synonymous with soft, warm lighting. Opt for candles, especially wax pillars and tapered candles so you don’t have to spend a fortune on scented candles — though I have plenty of those too. For less hassle, you can also add strategically placed fairy lights, and dimmable lamps around your home to create a cozy, inviting ambiance. The gentle flicker of candlelight can instantly transform a space, making it feel intimate and inviting.
2. Embrace Blanket Szn
Invest in chunky knit blankets, faux fur throws, and plump cushions. Drape them over sofas and chairs, creating inviting nooks that beckon you to snuggle in. The tactile sensation of these soft textures is essential to the hygge experience, especially if you want to invite friends over for a warm winter hang.
3. Put the kettle on
I’m British, so I know the value of always having the kettle on and a warm beverage on offer to your friends. Whether it's a steaming cup of herbal tea, rich hot cocoa, or a fragrant mulled wine, the act of savoring a warm beverage becomes a mindful ritual. Choose mugs that feel good in your hands, enhancing the sensory pleasure of your drink.
4. Create a reading nook
My favorite winter activity is snuggling up with a good book — bonus points if it’s in a dedicated reading nook. Dedicate a corner for reading, complete with a comfy chair, a soft throw, and a good book. Hygge encourages the joy of losing yourself in a captivating story, so catch up on the latest books on your TBR in the comfort of your cozy nest.
5. Bring in some greenery
The connection between us and the natural world is a cornerstone of the hygge lifestyle. Bring the outdoors in with touches of organic beauty. Think pinecones, branches, and evergreen foliage. A small vase of winter blooms or a bowl of seasonal fruits adds a refreshing, earthy vibe to your hygge haven. Even if you don’t have a green thumb (guilty!), a little greenery goes a long way.