How-To Series: Hygge

Have you heard of this word “hygge”? It’s one of those trendy design terms that we’ve been seeing everywhere lately, but not a lot of people really know what it means. We did some digging (and even talked to a Danish friend) about the real meaning of hygge — and more importantly, how to pronounce it.

Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh,” is a Danish word that refers to a feeling that is a cozy, special or charming. It’s kind of a combination of not just the vibe of your home when the fireplace is roaring or there’s a loaf of banana bread in the oven, but also when the people you love are around and you’re conscious of taking the day a bit slower than usual. Is this making you feel all warm and fuzzy yet? Good — you’re halfway to hygge!

One of our favorite things about hygge is that it’s not a design trend per se (at least not in the sense of something you can purchase). You can’t go into a store and choose a hygge sofa in the same way you can choose a mid-century modern sofa; rather, it’s a feeling that you attach to the sofa once you curl up on it with a mug of coffee and a good book in hand. With that said, here are a few of the ways that you can try to add a bit more hygge to your home this winter.

Image: autumnfever

Image: autumnfever

  • Use the things in the home rather than buying new things. From dusting off that French press that takes a bit longer than the modern coffee maker to appreciating a pair of boots with a lot of life in them instead of buying a new pair, embracing the old-yet-useful things in your home is a great way to create a feeling of hygge.
  • Invite friends over and attach memories to your home. Especially during the cold winter months, it can be easy to hole up in your home and let the weather get you down. Invite a couple friends over for a home-cooked meal or plan a brunch at your kitchen table instead of waiting in line at a restaurant to make your home feel like a warm, welcoming place.
  • Plan a night in — but really plan it. Instead of staying in simply because you have nothing better to do, plan your own night in to do all of your favorite “home” things. Light a few candles, crack open a new book, pour yourself a special drink and wrap up in a big blanket. Once you’re settled in, take a look around and appreciate all of these small comforts of home.
  • Talk to your housemates. Whether you live with a roommate, a partner or your family, many people get in the habit of orbiting their housemates rather than really interacting with them. Take some time out of your day to sit down and have a conversation with these loved ones to fill your home with an instant feeling of hygge.
  • Ignore the unfinished or underwhelming parts of your home. Sure, everyone has those corners of the home that can feel stressful to look at, but the art of hygge involves not letting these things get you down. Instead, look at your home as a long, slow project that will eventually get to where you want it to be — and more importantly, furnish it slowly with meaningful pieces that you won’t get tired of over time.