- The art of building a sanctuary and community, inviting closeness, and paying attention to what makes us feel open-hearted and alive.
- A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
What is Hygge?
Over the years, this unusual-sounding Danish word has sparked the interests of Americans and others around the world. With its simple and appealing philosophy of bringing more contentment into one’s life to achieve long-term happiness, it’s no wonder why. Above is a "definition" of Hygge, although hygge cannot truly be translated into English. At best, it is described as the feeling of being "cozy" or "homey." Meik Wiking, author of "The Little Book of Hygge," describes it as a phenomenon brought on by a combination of "coziness, warmth, and togetherness," becoming a fixed concept to demonstrate the unique cultural traits of Denmark. Hygge sounds inviting, and in its very essence, it is. If you haven’t heard the term before, you’re probably wondering by now how you can achieve hygge. Below is the "Hygge Manifesto," including all the hygge essentials to get you on your way to hygeeing your home and lifestyle.
10 Ingredients of Hygge
In a survey of what makes up "hygge," more than 85% of Danes mentioned candles as number one. Candles are important, but they lead to the overall theme of creating a cozy atmosphere through lighting. Lamps are also an integral part of hygge. So turn on those lamps, light some candles, and you’re on your way to a more hygge home.
Being in the moment is something many try to do these days, but the hustle and bustle of life make it easier said than done. If hygge is to be achieved, staying in the present and enjoying where you are in the here and now is vital. Try putting down the phone and taking in your surroundings, enjoy the company you are with, or take some calming deep breather. Perhaps creating a cozy, homely atmosphere (hygge) will help you achieve this difficult task if this seems impossible.
A pleasure to many of us seems like a luxury, but hygge makes it a necessity. It’s another concept that might be hard to accept, especially in the midst of diet crazes and restrictions. However, hygge encourages you to take the time to indulge, taking in all the sweetness life has to offer. So bring on the chocolate cake and warm cookies!
Instead of me me me, in hygge, it’s all about "we." Focus on those who are in your company, share tasks that need to be done, and allow others ample time to speak.
Another concept that is not foreign, being thankful for what you have or even don’t have, can bring so much happiness and contentment to your life. Try keeping a gratitude journal, or even better, remind yourself of all there is to be thankful for each day.
Living in harmony doesn’t just mean fighting less with family and friends. It means that you can let yourself be known and humble. There is no need for everything to be a competition, especially not with those you love. No more bragging about your achievements at the dinner table or trying to show others up. Others already like you, for you are.
Relating to the feeling of being warm and comfortable, take some time to relax, do that self-care routine, or kick back and cozy up under a blanket with a good book.
In a world where conversations seemingly revolve around our politicians’ lives and other matters we really have no control over, leave the politics behind for another time and place.
This goes hand-in-hand with others mentioned earlier – truce, harmony, and equality – but emphasizes building relationships. Try creating a conversation or bringing up fun memories of the past.
Last but surely not least, the place you live, love, and reside in. Make it a place of security and peace, where you can allow yourself time where the rest of these components can be in full force.
Adding Hygge To Your Bedroom
Light Those Candles (And Turn On The Lamps)!
Already mentioned as a main part of hygge, the lighting in your room can make or break the feeling of coziness and warmth. Maureen Calamia, a feng shui consultant, and trainer, states, "The most important thing in hygge is the lighting. Soft lighting with candles and lamps that emit warm/yellow lighting." Turn off harsh overhead lights and turn on some lamps instead. And, of course, if you really want to hygge, light some candles as well. A study done by the Happiness Research Institute found that over 70% of Danes light candles at least once a week, while 28% light candles at least once a day. Additionally, they aren’t just lighting one candle; 31% of people in Denmark typically light more than five at once! You might not be willing to leap to lighting this many right away, but here a couple of additional tips to help you start on your candle lighting, hygge journey:
- Try buying candles with different shapes and sizes – pick ones that accompany one another and will bring you happiness to look at.
- Scented or not? Most of Denmark opts for non-scented candles, but many people enjoy the scents that candles fill their room with. As a tip, try buying candles of natural scents, particularly wintry ones like pine or balsam. If you’re feeling something different, try warm, sugary scents like cookies or other baked goods.
Have Lots of Warm, Cozy Blankets
The more, the merrier when it comes to having blankets in your room. Specifically, ones that you can cuddle up under and enjoy some downtime. Think thick knit or fluffy materials that are soft to the touch. This can help you create a "cozy corner," which is a great way to add hygge. Some suggestions for placing blankets in your bedroom include buying a wooden quilt stand, throwing them over chairs, or placing plenty of throws over the foot of your bed. Jordan Zaplatosch, a former public relations specialist for LuxeDecor, calls this nook a "cornerstone" of hygge and suggests "Soft textiles, like a fur rug or blanket, with lush pillows, creates a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation." *PS. If you have access to a fireplace, this is also an excellent option for your cozy corner.
Incorporate Lots of Natural Elements
Wood and other natural materials that tie close to nature are good to include in your decor. Additionally, choosing bedroom furniture made from natural, sturdy wood will definitely help you achieve hygge. This extends beyond just furniture too. Placing natural materials in the room itself, such as natural fibers and organic mattresses, can also add hygge. Wood alone isn’t enough though, in "The Little Book of Hygge", it mentions that "Danes feel the need to bring the entire forest inside," and "Any piece of nature you might find is likely to get the hygge to greenlight." Additional pieces such as garland and pine cones, wreaths, and/or berries are good options.
Area Rugs Help Add Comfort
Area rugs will help enhance hygge in your space. Rugs add a warmer feel to your space, allowing you to feel cozier in your bedroom. Thicker, warmer area rugs are a great option for colder months as they help absorb the floor’s coldness under your feet but really look for any rug that will add that welcoming feel to your space. As you search for the perfect rug, remember this is a great chance to add some of your personal touch and style to the room.
Keep A Neutral Color Palette
Keeping your bedroom colors neutral will help a lot in adding hygge. It pairs perfectly with those natural elements mentioned above. Brighter colors can feel too busy or even stark and cold. This will distract you from the comfort and warmth meant to be felt in your bedroom when thinking neutrals. Choose beiges, wintry whites, and other soft colors.
Here at the Clean Bedroom, we want to help you find handcrafted products to create your own personal nest. We feature only natural or organic products to help you create a cozy home.
Soft blankets, handmade throws, stonewashed linen, and mattresses made of all-natural materials are some of the items we carry that can help you create the kind of harmony that hygge brings. We also have handcrafted bed frames and sofas made to your specifications from natural materials. We are available for questions via chat on our website, phone at 212-764-3232, or any one of our showroom locations.