How to bring the ultimate comfort into your space this winter.
More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic we’ve all heard phrases related to “home” enough (especially work from home) but what we really want is easy ways to take the comfort of home to the next level.
This winter it’s time to welcome hygge (pronounced: hue-guh) in through the front door! While this Danish concept – which refers to a quality of cosiness and comfort that engenders a feeling of wellbeing, is not a new one – something that helps to create intimacy, connects us with our loved ones and celebrates the joy of every day is most welcome.
“It’s something the Danes have been practising for years and when one considers that this Scandinavian nation is often cited to be among the happiest people on the planet, there can be no harm in taking a leaf from their hygge book,” shares Elmarie Bester, principal at Leapfrog Faerie Glen, who is a keen hygge follower.
Here are some easy ways to bring comfort, cosiness and conviviality into your home. “Bear in mind though that hygge – in the traditional sense – refers to a mindset, rather than an interior design style (tempting as it may be to buy those nice but unnecessary mohair blankets!),” Bester says.
A good place to start your hygge is with the ambience in a space. Consider the lighting by switching from harsh, white light to a softer, layered light. “This is easily achieved by “layering” the light with the use of table lamps, wall sconces and even fairy lights,” Bester recommends.
Lighting a fire – if you have a fireplace – is another way to contribute to the overall mood in the room, while also offering both soft light and warmth. The glow from the fireplace is a surefire way to make a space more inviting.
Similarly, candles are an easy and cost effective way to add to the cosiness of the space. Candles are another way to create that cosy effect. Opt for a range of candles on different shapes and sizes. Together, the glow of the candles will create a wonderful atmosphere.
While simplicity is at the heart of hygge, carefully selected accessories can add to the beauty of the experience. Think soft textures in the form of blankets, cushions, throws and rugs. Not only do these enhance the sensuality of the atmosphere, the right tactical elements can help us feel calm, safe and serene.
Hygge encourages us to surround ourselves with the objects that make us happy and that tell a story about the people that inhabit the space in question. “Consider family heirlooms, travel souvenirs, special gifts or simply things you enjoy looking at and using – bring them out to be enjoyed and appreciated daily,” Bester recommends.
There are few things as comforting and intimate as spending time with your loved ones around a table, whether it’s sharing a (home cooked) meal or playing board games. Take the time to cook something delicious and wholesome. “Make an event of the cooking by including the whole family, lighting candles, switching off phones and enjoying the moment,” Bester suggests.
Dim the lights, pour the red wine and get settled around the table for a night of sharing, connecting and laughing.
Connection with others, ourselves and our environments is so much harder – sometimes even impossible – when it’s competing with our smart devices. This winter make a point of switching off your phone, your tablet, your computer and the television. Being present, in the moment, has its own rewards that far outweigh any pleasure that comes via a screen.
Hygge is, ultimately, about comfort, which is important to bear in mind. Much as the candles, the home-cooked meals, and the beautiful decorations add to the atmosphere, hygge is a state of mind. Enjoy and appreciate your home this winter. It’s where the heart is after all.