Updated post from 11/14/2017
With a new year ahead of us, a new start should be considered. We can do this within our personal lives, perhaps by breaking old habits, our work lives, and we can do this in our home lives, by finding new ways to bring added comfort to our living environments. It’s with this point in mind that we would like to point you towards the benefits of the Danish trend that is hygge decor!
What is Hygge?
Firstly, you need to know that it doesn’t have to be related to your home decor.
Hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ if you want to impress your friends) has been an integral part of Danish culture since the word first originated in the early 1800s. The word can be translated as ‘coziness’ and is used to encompass the relaxed and happy Danish way of life.
Chances are, you have probably experienced hygge in your life without even knowing it. You may have been curled up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good book, or when you have been sitting in your bathtub surrounded by bubbles and bath salts.
The Danes use the word to describe all kinds of things, such as associating it with comfort food, relaxing picnics in the park, and with anything that resounds with the reassuringly familiar.
They also associate the word hygge with the ways they cozy up their homes, and it’s this that people in the states have embraced.
In an effort to live a more relaxed life, it has become common for many people to ‘hygge up their homes’ in an effort to find coziness, peace, and tranquility.
With the stress of everyday life, you might have caught onto this trend already. You may have already found time to embrace hygge in your home with calm and relaxing pieces of decor or you have heard about the term, and think that a little hygge could do your home some good.
If you relate to the latter point, the following tips will be useful to you.
Incorporating Hygge Decor into Your Home
Thankfully, it isn’t overly-difficult to incorporate hygge decor into your home. With a few tweaks here and there, and some additions that won’t break the bank, you can achieve the hygge lifestyle in no time.
Change your color scheme
When you walk into a room, how do you feel?
Do the colors around you bring about feelings of peace and contentment, or do they overwhelm your senses with their vibrant tones?
When adding colors to your hygge home, you need to concentrate on those that will create an atmosphere of serenity and peace. While you’re welcome to use whatever colors you want, you should rethink your color schemes in those rooms where you are more likely to spend your time relaxing. We are thinking of your bedroom, your living room, and even your bathroom as just a few common examples.
So, what kind of colors should you choose? Experts suggest a somewhat neutral color palette with light colors that reflect warm tones – throw in a darker color like navy to add some depth using accents.
Focus on your comfort
Considering coziness is the epitome of hygge, this has to be your focus when thinking about the time you spend at home. So, you will want to add fluffy cushions and blankets to your sofa and bed, as you would then have the opportunity to snuggle into them of an evening.
You could also create a cozy nook somewhere in your home where you can relax without the disruption and distractions of others.
Consider making additional changes where you sleep by changing the mattress to something more comfortable for your body, and by replacing the sheets with something that will give you a cozier feel when you’re in bed.
Use lighting to create an atmosphere
Harsh bright lights are not conducive to the hygge lifestyle, so on a very basic level, you will want to replace the light bulbs in your living room and bedroom.
You could also add a dimmer switch, as you would then have the option of lowering the lights in your home to achieve that hygge feel of an evening when trying to relax.
You can also use candles to create softer lighting. These are synonymous with the hygge lifestyle and have long been used by the Danes to create a warm and radiant atmosphere.
And what about twinkly lights? These can look great anywhere in your home and can be draped around fireplaces, on your mantelpiece, and around those walls that are begging for some interest.
There are all kinds of lighting options available to you, so shop around and find something that would both fit well within your home and up the ante when it comes to your rest and relaxation time.
(Recommended Read: Living Room Lighting: Creating Cozy Ambiance)
Remember that less is more
With hygge, less is quite definitely more, so if your home is overcluttered, then it’s time to get rid of the mess. After all, a tidier home leads to a calmer mind, right?
On one level, it could be time to get rid of the excess. If you have things you don’t need in your life anymore, you have the option of recycling, selling, or donating them.
However, if there are certain pieces that you can’t let go of, then you should consider replacing some of your furniture items with pieces that can double up as storage space, or by bringing in new storage items if they don’t over clutter your surroundings.
Place a focus on a minimalist design too.
Do you need every seat in your living room? Is every knick-knack required on your mantelpiece? Are your walls overladen with hangings, paintings, and other types of wall decor?
When these items don’t go together or are overstimulating, they can make your home look cluttered, no matter how attractive they are to look at individually.
To feel more relaxed in your home, you might want to focus on a few key pieces within your surroundings, and then relegate the rest to storage.
Within their minimalist home designs, the Danes use a range of patterns and styles to add both character and feelings of relaxation in certain rooms.
They do this with the textures they use, introducing warm and natural materials such as wool, leather, faux fur and wood. In your home, you might consider the flooring you use, the curtains you hang, the seats you sit on, and the decor that you place on your walls.
When choosing materials and styles for your decor, remember to place close attention to the aesthetics in the rest of your home. If you were to create clashes of color and patterns, you might not achieve the serene feelings that befit the hygge lifestyle.
Of course, we can help you with this aspect of your home. Schedule an appointment with our design consultation team, and we will guide you in choosing the right elements to grant you that hygge look and feel in your home.
Create a spa-like bathroom
Out of all the rooms in your home, your bathroom is the most private.
So, when your family is creating noise and chaos in your living room, and you are desperate to retreat to a quiet place, this can be your go-to place for some rest and relaxation.
If you have the cash to spend, you might want to invest in a new bath. With a more spacious and deeper bath to relax in, you would have the opportunity to rest both your body and mind. Add in some bath salts and candles, apply a face mask, and your experience would be almost complete.
We say almost, as there is more you can do to give you that spa-like feel.
You could introduce some plants that help purify the air. Add a painting on the wall or something akin to the neutral color schemes we suggested earlier could evoke calm feelings within you.
Be sure to have a soft and comfortable bathrobe handy to enhance your relaxed state when you then retreat to your bedroom or to the madness that waits for you in your family room!
Create opportunities for social time with your friends and family
The hygge lifestyle isn’t always about finding time to relax on your own. While this will be important, it’s also worth exploring ideas as to how you might bring about the hygge mindset to your interactions with friends and family.
After all, these are the people who can help you unwind, and they are probably craving the hygge life as much as you are.
So, you might transform a spare room into something that is fit for social purposes. It could become a games room, a room for movie nights, or a special dining area.
As we have already discussed, you should also focus on those decorative pieces and designs that can enhance the hygge experience. So, if you were to create a dining area, for example, you could use tableware with rustic designs, and light candles around the room to create a warm and homey atmosphere.
Take the hygge feel outside
There is much you can do to your home’s interior to add that hygge feel, but you don’t have to spend all of your time indoors. On a patio or deck area, you could add seats and other pieces that ramp up relaxation time.
You can also add a firepit to sit next to when the air turns chilly and you are relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate.
Do what makes you happy
Within the design choices you use for your hygge life, you should concentrate on the things that will make you happy.
You might add a creative display of photos, paintings, and other items that you love to a wall in your home. These could be centered around your personal tastes and reminders of the things that give you that glowing feeling of joy and satisfaction inside.
You can also create a room that is dedicated to one of your hobbies, especially if said hobby is one that is conducive to a stress-free and relaxed state of mind.
Think about the things that make you happy then, and then find creative ways to incorporate such things into your life and home.
We all deserve moments of rest and relaxation in our busy lives, so to ensure you get the opportunities you need to unwind, follow these suggestions, and give us a call if you need help putting the hygge lifestyle into practice.