Do you hygge? Scandinavians do and boy are they having a moment.
Recently, Norway was rated No. 1. Among 155 countries for happiness in the fifth annual United Nations’ World Happiness Report. Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands followed.
You can speculate as to why the people in these countries are so happy, but one thing they do well is embrace the concept of “hygge,” a Danish term that means “A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture),” according to the Oxford Dictionaries. (It’s also on the Dictionaries’ 2016 “word of the year” shortlist, by the way.)
The word is pronounced “hoo-guh,” and there is no direct translation in English. “Cozy” might be the best word to describe it.
So how do Scandinavians achieve a state of hygge? And since it sounds like a sublime way to live, how do the rest of us? One way to get to hygge is to incorporate elements into our decor that promote good feelings. It’s all about atmosphere and intimacy.
Hallmarks of hygge in decor:
Textures – soft cashmere, flannel, sheepskins, leather. Choose these materials for rugs, window treatments, wall hangings, pillows and throws.
Colors – pale creams, browns, grays, whites. Light colored carpeting and hardwood are the perfect backdrop for area rugs of different textures. Neutrals are the perfect backdrop for layering so everything coordinates in a minimalist, clean way.
Accessories – candles, water features, elements of wood such as in a picture frame. Anything that signifies intimacy with friends and loved ones. A warm fireplace also does the trick.
Mixed materials – brick, glass, metal, wood are materials that work well against a neutral background.
For more tips on how to incorporate hygge into your home decor, check out these images from Houzz. Do you hygge? Share your ideas!