LIVE WELL. HYGGE YOUR HOME.
Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Ginny Rose Stewart Photography For RÓ
Denmark is an authority on happiness. Since 2012, the tiny nation has been ranked as one of the top three happiest countries in the world per the United Nations World Happiness Report. For 2012, 2013 and 2016, it held the top slot. Happiness, for the Danes, is a lifestyle summed up in one word: hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”).
Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living and CEO of The Happiness Research Institute, describes hygge as the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.
You know that feeling you get when you cozy up by a popping fire with your favorite pair of chunky socks and a great book? Or the après portion of a ski day, sharing good food and drinks with friends by candlelight? How about enjoying the soft, summer morning light while sitting in your favorite outdoor living nook and drinking coffee? That’s hygge.
Pinterest and Houzz are filled with hygge style boards. But hygge is a state of mind. Know what you need to engage in rituals that allow you to enjoy life’s simple pleasures with nostalgic undercurrents. Here are some suggested features you can use to hygge your home:
Candlelight, firelight, and the natural light of sunrise and sunset are like a visual massage. They have soothing qualities. For artificial light, invest in one or two high-quality fixtures that can fill your cozy nook with calming pools of light.
You are not eschewing modern technology; rather, eliminating distracting, blinking lights, screens, and sounds. Turn off your alerts. Unplug yourself. And it may sound contradictory but home automation can hide electronic clutter and manage lighting. Also, stack some books and use candles to anchor your mood.
Natural Textures and Textiles
Think knitted throws, linens, cashmere and tea cozies; reclaimed wood tables and stone hearths.
In hygge, luxury is a seasoning, not the main event. Select a few indulgent items that bring you mindful comfort and enjoyment. Food can also be hygge: a decadent cup of hot chocolate, a sweet summer treat, or a lavish bottle of wine shared with friends.
Create spaces that encourage time with friends and family – board games, informal gatherings, an outdoor picnic in your yard – filling your home with warmth, modesty, comfort, and a hug for your soul.