Have you heard of the term hygge (pronunciation: hoo-gah)? It is a Danish word that does not translate well to English, but the concept is very intriguing to design. Dictionary.com defines hygge as “a Danish cultural concept and value of warm, happy coziness and togetherness, which people make time for in everyday life.” In essence, it is a lifestyle and the pursuit of coziness and comfort throughout life. When this is put into a design, it takes on an incredible feeling that floods your atmosphere. With hygge, you are not concerned solely on aesthetics or functionality of the room, but more the “feeling” the atmosphere provides. Still confused? Let us explore a little deeper into how hygge can be used in your own home:
Hygge is affiliated with warmth. We often associate warmth with fireplaces, warm foods, and even cozy blankets. While these all help with captivating hygge, they are not solely what creates the warmth. Think of the words “warmth” and “inviting” as interchangeable concepts. Have you ever went to a friends house and the hospitality is so incredible that you feel at home? This is a warm feeling we feel when we are there; a moment of happiness we experience. Warmth is the beginning of the experience, yet so much more is in this lifestyle than just the materialistic matters.
Think to yourself, have you ever been happy to be home? Perhaps, you are just cozied up in a blanket, watching television, drinking your favorite cup of tea? Maybe, this can better help you understand hygge. That feeling of “home” and comfort is hygge. Things in your environment can all have influences on how you feel: cozy blankets, comfortable couches, soft rugs, warm slippers, and your favorite robe. However, it is not the investment in these products that create the environment. It is your actual outlook on the surrounding. It is developing this style of happiness with the little things in life. Enjoying the simple delights, and the wonders that the world has to offer. Maybe you feel most comfortable in an old pair of pajamas–this may have no value to someone else, but to you, these old linens provide the feeling of hygge.
You cannot buy hygge–this is what makes developing this kind of environment unique. It is about the experience the room has to offer. Hygge is a lifestyle! Hygge is an unforced comfort. You need to make your experience feel welcoming and inviting. It can simply be through a fireplace, blankets, teas, or just plain old hospitality that creates this atmosphere. You may already have an idea of what creates warmth and coziness in your home. Apply these characteristics to help create hygge.
Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the Netherlands are reported to be some of the happiest countries in the world from a study released in 2019. Perhaps, this found happiness is through the lifestyle choice of hygge. Find happiness in the little things. Time with your friends and family, relaxation, and comfort in your own home. Today stresses force us to comply and live a hectic lifestyle. We challenge you, enjoy the little things. Enjoy hygge.
Finally I have a word for what I would always try to describe to people….warmth…coziness…and that comfort like kind of welcoming feeling and now I can say it’s called “Hygge”.