3 Ways to Hygge Your Home

 “It’s about the small things in life. Like warm socks. A dim-lit room. A hot cup of tea in your favorite mug.”

The concept of hygge (pronounced “hue-guh”) has been making a splash for a few years now. Who’s surprised? After going through a pandemic many of us are yearning for comfort, familiarity, and connection. This is hygge. The official definition of hygge is “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).” One of the reasons why the Danes are consistently rated the happiest people in the world is because of their ability to bring hygge into their daily lives, their embrace of the mundane, and their enjoyment of simplicity and friendship.

As the nordic countries endure long, cold, dark winters, their hygge style brings in lots of light, coziness, and natural life with plants. These little simple adornments and upgrades make living through the winter a lot more bearable and enjoyable.

Here are 3 ways to bring hygge into your home.

Light

The glow of lights keep the winter darkness away

Nothing keeps a bone-chilling cold away than the glow of a candle. Most modern homes don’t have a traditional wood-burning fireplace (so lucky if you do!), but a gas fireplace will do as well. Create lots of beautiful spots in the home with little lamps, wall sconces, or even small LED candles as a sustainable alternative to real flame candles. The radiance exudes warmth and invites you to curl up under a blanket with a cup of tea or a good book. That feeling of contentment and gratitude you experience is hygge. Spread your hygge lighting into your bedroom with twinkly, fairy lights if you’d like! Keep the color of the lighting a warm white, rather than the cool white option. Cool white is VERY hygge-UNfriendly as it does not emit a natural color in the home.

Wherever you can, try to incorporate or enhance what natural lighting you have in your home. Natural light during daylight hours is essential! It can be quite difficult to achieve this during the dark days of winter, but there are a few things one can do. Keep your curtains and shades open. Place a wall mirror across a window, and this will enhance the natural light being brought in further.

Show Off Your Books

Full bookshelves invite you to stop and read

Slowing down and taking breaks is a necessity for good mental health. And no one knows how to slow down, breathe and take breaks better than the Danes. Hygge basically translates to “slow down and appreciate the moment.” One can only experience contentment and calm when one slows down and takes stock of what life has given them. Stress can stop when you breathe, slow and easy.

There is only one room in a house that can prompt you to stop in your tracks, look around, breathe, catch your breath, and chill – and that’s the Library. A library doesn’t have to be a grand fancy space with a rolling staircase (although those are pretty awesome). It’s anywhere in your home that has a cozy chair, good lighting, and books on display. When the winter keeps people inside, is when the home library/book corner shines brightest. Displaying books adds a cozy element to any room and invites you to snuggle up by the light and read that book you’ve been meaning to start. Books can also be displayed on coffee tables, along with newspapers or magazines. Books bring personality to a room and also display the personality of the readers in the home. If you have books ranging from the Bible to Harry Potter, to Tuesdays with Morrie, pretty sure you’re an interesting person! Oh, the conversations to be had! But that’s what hygge is. The invitation to connection, the conversations, and the joy of just living.

Plants

Add plants to lighten up the mood of home and health

There are so many benefits to indoor gardening for all ages. In the world of hygge, bringing in natural plants into your home environment brings stress reduction and coziness. The key is to not go overboard and try to care for difficult, high-maintenance plants that start to dry the second you “ignore” them. Bring in friendly, indoor plants that are easy to maintain and give you something to look forward to (like that special bloom).

Bringing in beautiful plants vibrant with life and color can cozy up a cold corner of the house and immediately bring hygge to the space. Greenery is known for perking up low moods and it also acts as an air purifier. Did you know that having plants in your bedroom can help you sleep better? Read the study here. If astronauts in long-term isolation and darkness can benefit from plants, so can you!

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