Hygge is a concept the world has got to know and adore in the recent couple of years, but it has been a cornerstone of Danish culture since forever. It is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” This makes hygge the perfect inspiration for a home makeover during the fall and winter. If this sounds like a good idea to you, here are some ways to turn your ordinary home into a hygge paradise.
Start with a Clean Slate
A fresh coat of paint is always a great way to update the appearance of your home. If you can do it, go ahead. White is the best choice because it provides the most light, and it is the best background for the details you will use later. If white is really not your color, try warm neutrals.
Less is More
Hygge, and generally the Scandinavian interior design approach, is based on the principle of simplicity. This means that you need to declutter your home of all the unnecessary things and details and refrain from the excessive use of colors. This, along with the white walls, will give you the needed backdrop for the following steps.
Use Natural Materials
Nature is your best friend when it comes to hygge, and it is also believed that natural elements improve the mood, so you’ve got a win-win situation. Light-colored wood is the most appropriate option for the furniture and the floors, but if you want to create more dynamic, you can mix it up with darker wood. Other materials you can introduce include stone (for the floors, flower pots, cookware, etc.) and clay. The last, but the most important natural element is greenery, so choose several houseplants to bring the outdoors in.
Make It Warm
We often use “hygge” as the synonym for “coziness”, which means adding warmth to the interior is a must. Now, there are different ways to create a warm ambience for each room, but usually, we’re thinking about adding texture. In the bedroom, for example, that can be a blanket or a soft and plush duvet filled with down feathers. The textured layering continues with throw pillows. These should also be used in the living room, combined with throws on the sofa and armchairs. There are various options when it comes to fabric, but think of something apparently comfy, such as faux fur or plush.
Introduce a Lot of Light
If you are not lucky enough to have large windows, there are some other tricks you can use to maximize the light indoors. First, get rid of the window treatments. Second, place a mirror across from the windows so that the light can reflect off it. The third step is to layer the artificial light sources. Apart from the ceiling fixture, include table, floor, and wall lamps. Task lights in the kitchen are both useful and visually striking. Finally, to lift the atmosphere, spread out some candles in every room (yes, even in the bathroom).
Going all-white will make your home look like an institution of some sort. To prevent that, include other colors in accents. Because of their inconspicuousness and warmth, pastel shades make a perfect choice for accent pieces such as flower pots, picture frames, vases, lamps, and throw pillows. When you’re going for that hygge feel, bronze, rose gold, and gold are welcome additions because they make the place feel comfy and enrich it with subtle elegance. Also, you can use patterns to make some pieces pop, such as throw pillows or various accessories. Black-and-white patterns make a striking impact without interrupting the natural flow, but you can also use nature-inspired patterns.
Finish up with Nostalgia-Worthy Pieces
In Denmark, it is believed that household objects are more than things. They tell a story and have an emotional background. This means a hygge home could use some old pieces, whether they belonged in your family for decades or you have found them in a thrift store somewhere. A restored vintage chair can serve as one of the focal points of a dining room. An old teapot that has been in your family for ages can be used to personalize the kitchen or the living room. Salvaged lamps can create a more dynamic space. Whatever you want can be included, as long as it doesn’t create clutter.
In short, hygge is about embracing simplicity but also enjoying everything that surrounds you. There are no specific rules for achieving it, but these guidelines could help.
About The Author: Holly Schaeffer is a long-time writer focusing on health, lifestyle, and home improvement. Originally from New Jersey, she moved to California to pursue a degree in creative writing. She now spends her days split between writing and raising her two young sons.
Photo by Stella Rose on Unsplash
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