What Is Hygge?
You may have noticed an abundance of books and articles floating around lately about a concept called “hygge.” Pronounced hue-guh, this Danish word is distantly related to our English word, “hug.” But hygge is less about literal hugs, and more about creating that hug-like feeling in your home. Hygge focuses on warmth and simplicity—slowing things down, and taking the time to savor rich sensory experiences. When people think of hygge, they think of time outdoors in the natural world, followed by a return to a cozy, candlelit haven, steaming hot drinks in sturdy mugs, and warm textiles to cuddle up in.
A simple, welcoming environment, coupled with unpretentious gatherings of close friends and family—all things that bring us comfort and shelter, and provide a much-needed balance to the more hectic, workaday moments of our lives. It’s easy to see why the Danes prize hygge so highly. Since we can’t run off to Denmark when we’re feeling overwhelmed, what steps can we take to create an atmosphere of hygge in our American homes?
Hygge Interior Design Tips & Ideas
One thing we can do is move toward more organic design elements. These are meant to echo the small natural items people commonly bring home from hikes, like beautiful stones, or branches and flowers to arrange in vases on our tables or twine into wreaths. Harmonize with the great outdoors by simplifying furniture design. Choose items that sit a bit closer to the floor, are less ornate, and are visibly made from natural materials.
Focus on Textiles
Another way to craft a sense of hygge is to rethink your textile choices…or rather, focus on the sensory experience they create. Again, the focus is on natural materials, such as wood, linen, cotton and wool. You may find yourself gravitating toward warmer tones, but if you’re in love with grey or delft blue, don’t shy away from cool colors. Rather, focus on texture. When it comes to drapes and other long-term choices, think woven textiles. For throws, go with nubby, oversized knits. You can add pops of color to create a visual sense of warmth. Wallpaper is another opportunity to create organic texture, or to emphasize a European aesthetic with Scandinavian- or folk art-inspired patterns.
Hygge favors the personal and the handmade, so your decor choices should naturally harmonize with and showcase such items. Be attentive to small details that might otherwise disrupt the experience. For example, choose a wooden drapery rod over a metal one. Select rugs with an eye to what will look cozy and feel delightful under bare feet.
When you’re considering window treatments, think about light and warmth. Ideally, your drapery choices will let in as much sun as possible. Products such as our Hunter Douglas motorized blinds and shades can help you take fullest advantage of the light in your home.
If you are going for a fully Scandinavian-inspired room, you may opt for minimal window treatments. Light will be maximized but you’ll need something to minimize solar heat and reduce ultraviolet rays to prevent fading furniture and high utility bills. Consider window treatments that recess into your ceiling or behind trim.
Creating hygge in your home will make it a space your whole family delights in, and create a welcoming haven for small, casual gatherings. The simplicity and warmth at the heart of hygge is the perfect backdrop for warm memories you’ll want to revisit again and again.
Would you like help creating hygge in your home? Book a free consultation with one of our designers.