What is a Hygge Home?
When I first encountered the word hygge (pronounced HEW-guh), I quickly wrote it off as another complicated home fad, like feng shui. I didn’t want to create an energy map or learn my “birth element,” I just wanted to create a more cozy and inviting home. But the more I researched how to make a house feel like a home, the more that darn hygge came up. It turns out what I was actually trying to create all that time was a hygge home. Oh, the irony!
Hygge is not, in fact, a new trend. The Danish word first appeared in the written language in the early 1800s, and is considered a defining feature of Danish cultural identity…like freedom to Americans.
The concept can’t be translated to a single word, but could be described as that cozy contentment and well-being you feel when you’re enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Picture candles at the dinner table, reading by the fireplace, or enjoying a game night with friends.
So what does a hygge home look like?
A Hygge Home…
- Evokes a sense of relaxation
- Encourages indulgence in moderation
- Creates inviting spaces with candles, throw blankets, simple meals, and warm drinks
- Promotes screen-free hobbies and socializing
- Strikes a healthy balance between solitude and togetherness
- Fosters a sense of gratitude for small moments
- Inspires regular time spent outdoors
A Hygge Home Does Not…
- Center on screens as a primary source of entertainment
- Cater to eternal isolation with pastries and blankets and stretchy pants
- Call for wealth to establish a sense of well-being
- Require you to learn complicated rules or strategies
How to Create a Hygge Home
So are you ready to book your ticket to Denmark right this second?! Good news! You can create your very own hygge home wherever you live with just a few simple tweaks. (Find these and more ideas on our hygge home Amazon idea list here!)
- Incorporate soft lighting into your decor. Did you know that the average Dane burns 13 pounds of candle wax a year?! That’s more than any other country in the world. And most of them claim that candles are the most important element in creating a hygge home. They create a warm and inviting atmosphere, and provide softer lighting than overhead or table lamps. If you’re like me, and fear your 3-year-old might turn your hygge candles into a hygge house fire, you can always opt for flameless candles. I love this set that comes with a remote and timer. Need a little more light than candles can provide? Then try some warm toned lamps.
- Incorporate comfy textures. A few soft throw pillows or blankets can invite guests to cozy up on the couch. Woven rugs can warm up wood or tile flooring. Keep your favorite sweatpants or slippers easily accessible so that you can quickly change into something soft and comfortable after a long day at work.
- Designate places within your home for certain activities, and adjust accordingly. Want to make that corner armchair a reading nook? Then be sure to throw a cable knit blanket over the arm of the chair and stack your favorite books on the end table. Want your coffee table to be the place for entertaining? Add a few board games to the bottom shelf, or display them on a bookcase nearby.
- Switch off. One of the main components of hygge is connecting with simple pleasures, like reading, playing board games, and enjoying conversation with family and friends. Consider decreasing time spent in front of phones or tv screens to encourage a sense of more mindful and intentional living.
- Create simple rituals that require little to no effort. The Danish view their daily tasks as art, rather than something to hurry up and finish. Maybe you could take a short bath before bed every night, or watch a movie together as a family every Sunday afternoon, or always light a candle at dinner. These simple rituals can help to create an awareness of the moment, and turn otherwise rushed events into an opportunity to slow down, recognize, and enjoy the act.
- Keep a few comfort foods and drinks on hand for visitors. Grandma had the right idea when she always had snacks at the ready for unexpected guests. I just love these simple snack ideas from kitchn, from mixed nuts to frozen cookie dough balls ready to pop in the oven. It’s also easy enough to keep coffee, teabags, or hot chocolate packets at the ready. Too hot for warm drinks? I always try to keep lemonade and sweet tea in the fridge over the summer, because we live in Texas, ya’ll.
- Maintain an active lifestyle. Danes ride their bicycles everywhere. In fact, there are more bikes than people in Copenhagen, with nearly 400 kilometers of biking lanes running throughout the city. They know first-hand that exercise increases dopamine in your brain, which evokes a sense of happiness. Perhaps your family could create a new tradition of going for a short walk around the neighborhood, or kicking a ball in the backyard, after dinner every night.
Wrap It Up
Creating a hygge home is simple enough with the use of soft lighting, comfy textures, and a few mindful habits. But of course, the only true requirement for hygge is that you appreciate the simple things that bring joy to your life. Author Louisa Thomsen Brits calls hygge, “a practical way of creating sanctuary in the middle of very real life.”
Which tip will you try first to create your own hygge home sanctuary? Be sure to share in the comments!
P.S. Miss the link to our hygge home Amazon idea list? Check it out here!
Disclosure: While all opinions are our own, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs, designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no additional cost to you.