Hygge- The Danish Concept Of Cosy Living & How To Do it Right

Hygge! Yes, a blog on this was long, long due in this part of the blogland, and I have been waiting for the perfect Friday afternoon {preferably with a cup of freshly brewed coffee} to write about this Danish lifestyle concept that talks about “cosy”. Haha, why? Ah come on! Because when you are at it- at blogging about a concept that essentially talks about comfort, warmth, conviviality and community- you gotta feel it. No? Okay, at least there should be peace and coffee, of that you’ll approve I suppose?

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know about my obsession with Hygge. Perhaps after “decor ideas inspired by beach house comfort” this is my favourite term. Or word in this case, and I’ll rank it over “french living”. It’s funny how a whole lot of my decor years I was completely unaware of the concept if not the idea or the feeling! And I am glad Mike Weiking’s “Little Book Of Hygge” happened to me that opened me up to fika, hygge, hyggelight and of course, the PH lamps! And since I chanced upon the word it seemed to grow on me like Ivy would on old walls! What a fabulous, fabulous lifestyle concept- one that demands very little and gives so much in return. As I read more about this concept that guided the Nordic countries, I could trace the region’s impeccable design heritage back to it. And suddenly, a lot of things made sense. For example? What is it in a carelessly thrown old shawl that screams home? Why a couple of candles after a busy day makes you smile? What romance is hidden in a sheer swaying in gentle breeze? Why is that cup of coffee with a good friend so very important! Really, like Nigel “Slater I too want to happily regret, “Uplifting, heart-warming, life-enriching. I wish I could have read this book years ago”.


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What is Hygge?

Hygge is a word that directly does not translate into English but encompasses a range of words on the lines of comfort, togetherness and warmth. It’s that feeling when you sit near the fireplace on a chilly day, cuddled with your dog and in your old flannel pajamas! Or the feeling of sitting by the sea and having a cup of hot coffee where a cool breeze ruffles your hair. It’s a movie night with friends at home over a few glasses of wine, it is the feeling of enjoying a good bowl of soup, or just sitting in your favourite spot and reading your favourite book while a few candles burn softly.

The Hygge Essentials in Home Decor

Ofcourse there are many ways to have a hyggeligt time but here are a few essentials of Hygge that you can incorporate in your homedecor to instill a bit of Danish cosiness.

1. Be classy not ostentitious: When it comes to Hyggeligt decor, there is no room for pretense. Natural materials like wool, leather and wood takes the center stage and comfort is brought in through layering of fabric- think crisp linen, soft woolens, knitted cushions or faux fur.

2. Simple and neutral: Honestly, Hygge is not about a specific colour theme and is more about a warm, milky glow within your space which becomes your spiritual sanctuary; a refuge. So if its pink for you, it’s pink! And yet, simple colours and neutral shades for me brings out Hygge. It reflects lights and bathes the space with a radiance that’s absolutely unmatched.

3. “Pools of lights”: If there is one thing that is characteristic of Danish or Nordic homes, it’s the clever play of light. According to the Danes, lights should never be too harsh nor be too weak, and there should be pools of light through out your home. It’s important to find the perfect intensity of light that does not distract but creates mood. And this is where the PH lamp or Poul Henningsen lights come into limelight. Henningsen designed the PH lamp in 1925 which created glare free, uniform lighting. And that itself became a cultural reference of Denmark. If you are interested, PH Artichoke and PH5 still remains as two of his most famous models.


4. Candles: Candles are an integral part of Hygge and there cannot be Hygge without a few good candles burning. You know, its all about bringing in a sense of comfort; a sense of familiarity and well being. Haha, well in India, you’d be greeted with “Diwali hai?” but don’t let them put out your hygge. And can it get even more hyggeligt? Yes. If it rains outside!

So you know, essentially, Hygge is all about, “you want to come home and chill with us over a glass of wine?” and “I want to sit on my bed, have a cup of chamomile tea and relax”. Whatever gets you this is Hygge for you. And it’s legit! Personally, for me, whites, a hammock, a few swaying ferns and a few overhead lanterns do the trick. In this urban jungle, it helps me find my Hyggeligt spot!

Oh and by the way, fika is a break for coffee and cakes that’s religiously followed in Denmark. I mean if there is a word for it, it must be so true. WOW! One must learn how to appreciate the finer things of life from these wonderful people because here Chai sutta means, “Get up and get going. There’s a 7:30 local to catch”. Hopefully we as a nation will learn to relax and value things that doesn’t cost a thing too. Soon!

Off now XO.

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