What is Hygge and how do you pronounce it?
Hygge ( pronounced Hoo-Ga) is the Danish ritual of cozy contentment and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. It has been part of the Danish culture since the early 1800’s and is a way of life for Danes. There must be something to this cultural identity as Denmark is always at the top of the list of the world’s happiest countries and Hygge has become a lifestyle trend around the world.
I have a hard time getting through the long, dark, midwest winter. I have found that bringing Hygge into my home and lifestyle can make winters more manageable and even fun and relaxing. Here are 10 ways you can bring Hygge into your home and life.
How do you bring Hygge into your home and life?
Create a cozy environment
- Lighting: Light up those long, dark winter nights.
Use dimmable light fixtures, strings, and candles to create soft light in a room. I leave white string lights up through February. If you make them part of the decor and blend them in with other items or place in clever containers they don’t look like Christmas lights. Soft lighting makes a room feel cozy. A fire (indoors or out) is another great way to add light and heat for a cozy atmosphere.
2. Texture and Sparkle
Use different fabrics and textures to create a feeling of comfort. Layer pillows and blankets so people are comfortable and can’t help but slow down and linger. Mercury glass votive holders and sequin table runners are a great way to make light sparkle in a dark room.
3. Bring nature indoors
Harvest branches from your yard or neighborhood to bring the outdoors indoors. Nature has a calming effect. Use leaves, branches and pinecones in centerpieces, vases and even to decorate wrapped gifts.
Food and Drink
4. Cake and Treats
Hygge is about taking time for the finer things and even allowing for a bit of indulgence. Go out for coffee and cake. An even better option is to allow yourself time to bake cookies and invite friends over for a special treat.
5. Coffee, Tea, and Drinks
Slow down and sip a cup of your favorite coffee or hot tea. Invite family and friends to share wine, champagne, or a cocktail with you on a cold, dark winter night. Here are tips for a winter cocktail party.
Slow down and enjoy a long, leisurely meal. Fondue is a great way to share a meal and conversation with those you love or those you would like to get to know better. Here’s a great collection of fondue recipes.
7. No phones or other distractions
Hygge is about living in the moment. Put the electronics away and enjoy time with those around you. Savor the food, beverages, sights, and sounds.
8. Time with your tribe
Life is busy and time passes too quickly. Slow down and spend quality time with those you care about. Get outdoors and hike, build a snowman, or have a snowball fight. This is especially important in winter when it can feel like we are trapped in our homes.
9. Play games
Games are a great way to live in the moment. Some are longer than others. It could be as simple as a dice or card game. We like to indulge in a long game of Monopoly, Catan, or Risk. Mystery or escape room games have become our new favorites. They really require interaction and collaboration versus friendly competition.
10. Read a book
Reading is a great way to relax and even explore new worlds. It’s easy to make excuses that you are too busy to take time to read, but reward yourself with leisure time to pick up a book and escape for a short-time or learn about an interesting subject.
Is Hygge your style?
If not, what is and how do you create an environment that is comfortable and cozy for you, your family and friends to share quality time, conversations, and laughs?