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How to Hygge Your Home

According to the World Happiness Report, three small countries are among the top ten happiest: Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Could Scandinavia’s high levels of contentedness be attributed to their fondness for all things cozy? Many Hygge converts seem to think so!


Scandinavian style living room with neutral toned furnishings and plants.

Learn all about Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) and how to incorporate the “art of enjoying the good things in life with the good people around you” into your heart and home.


What is Hygge?

To best understand Hygge, you should get your definition straight from the source. VisitDenmark explains Hygge well, saying, “the warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cozying up with a loved one for a movie — that’s hygge, too. And there’s nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life.”


Hygge is an appreciation for simplicity and comfort that extends beyond interior design. Danish people practice Hygge regularly, often using it to describe a pleasant dinner, a simple day at the beach, or an enjoyable interaction with a stranger.


Where does “Hygge” come from?

The word Hygge comes from “hugga,” a sixteenth-century Norse term meaning “to console” or “to comfort.” Interestingly, the English word “hug” has similar origins. Coziness likely became entrenched in Nordic cultures as a way to not only cope but rather look forward to the region’s incredibly dark and long winters. As more people look to Scandinavian culture for inspiration on living simpler, happier lives, it’s not surprising that “Hygge” has become an “unofficial” term in American English, too!


How can I incorporate “Hygge” into my life?

Remember, though Hygge is often used to describe cozy interiors, you can incorporate it into various areas of your life — both in and outside of the home! See page two for a few ideas to get you started.


1. If you don’t love or need it, don’t keep it.

Rather than bringing new items into your home, start by removing items you don’t need — think: junk mail, old magazines, and old craft supplies. If you can’t bring yourself to part with your things, consider hiding your clutter inside a Scandinavian-inspired chest.


2. Turn up the coziness

No matter the season, Hygge always has a place in your home. During winter months, create warmth and comfort with chunky knit blankets, fluffy pillows, a modern table lamp, and delicate fairy lights. In warmer seasons, incorporate beachy art and break out natural textiles like 100% cotton coverlets, wicker baskets, and macrame plant hangers.


3. Give your space a touch of greenery

Faux plants framed on white wall.
Faux Plant Wall

A hygge home brings natural elements indoors. In addition to natural wood decor, incorporate plants into every room of your home. Add in no-maintenance greenery, like this faux plant wall, for an extra touch of whimsy and a pop of greenery!


4. Add candles

Nothing says “welcome home,” like walking into a space filled with inviting scents and warm, glimmering candlelight. Use fragrant candles to create a comforting home environment, and opt for scents that “play well” with the season. If traditional candles are a no-go, incorporate flameless candles or fairy lights to create a warm glow.


5. Incorporate Scandinavian design and furnishings.

From dining chairs to bedroom sets, Nordic-inspired interior design prioritizes clean lines and functionality over maximalist adornment — making it the perfect fit for your hygge home. Consider steering clear from glam or ornate furnishings in favor of Modern Scandinavian furniture.



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