The Scandinavians know a thing or two about enjoying Winter to the full and so it’s no surprise that the Danish have come up with the concept of hygge. Symbolizing a sense of comfort and special moments with family and friends, it has huge appeal worldwide. Here are 6 useful tips for a wonderful Winter and how to hygge, to help brighten up these dark days.
How to Hygge
Firstly, what does hygge mean? There are actually quite a few different definitions of hygge. This Danish word epitomizes a feeling of coziness, conviviality and finding joy in the everyday.
Although Denmark is the country most closely associated with hygge, this design trend is popular all over Scandinavian. According to the Danish writer and translator Tove Maren Stakkestad, “Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt”. If you’re wondering how to pronounce hygge, it’s “hoo-guh”.
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1. Enjoy the Hygge Life
In Denmark, hygge permeates every aspect of life. From candlelit suppers to a hot cup of tea, it is all about enjoying each moment. Although hygge is generally associated with the festive season, this lifestyle can be savoured throughout the year.
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living has sold over a million copies. Its author, Meik Wiking, is also CEO of the Happiness Research Institute.
According to this institute, the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are some of the happiest countries in the world. This is partly due to good healthcare and life expectancy, but it may also be in part due to hygge.
2. Create a Hygge Home
Danish style is about functional but comfortable furniture and a minimalist vibe. Scandi living should invoke a sense of warmth, with log fires and plenty of books scattered around.
For a truly hygge house, opt for tactile, natural fabrics such as sheepskin rugs, fake fur throws, wood, unadorned metal, ceramic and stone. A warm blanket and a hot drink go a long way to create the hygge home decor look, like in this lovely hotel in Verbier.
Houseplants bring nature indoors and succulents are particularly suitable thanks to their clean lines. In terms of colours, shades of white, cream, brown and grey are ideal. Consider incorporating accent colours such as red and green for their festive vibe.
Hygge lighting will ideally be fairly low, so think wall lights with dimmer switches, fairy lights and scented candles. This appropriately named Hygge candle is by Danish brand Skandinavisk.
It has a smart beechwood lid that doubles as a coaster when the candle is lit and smells absolutely divine! The scent is described as echoes of baked strawberry cake, brewed tea, wild mint and rose petals but it reminds us of freshly laundered sheets.
The candle is hand-poured from a blend of perfume and vegetable wax and will burn for at least 50 hours if you let it burn for no longer than 3 hours at a time.
Set up a hyggekrog, or little nook with a selection of hygge items such as blankets, your favorite book, photos and a notebook. This will be your sanctuary where you can switch off the outside world and take some me-time, armed with a warming cup of tea.
A hygge bedroom should have plenty of pillows, a faux-fur or quilted throw on the bed. You could also change your Summer duvet cover for a heavyweight one in a warmer Winter colour such as teal.
Try to keep tech out of the bedroom for a more relaxing sleep. Blue light from smart phones and laptops disrupts sleep patterns so it’s best to turn these devices off or remove them from the room altogether. Weighted blankets for adults will also help you to get a good night’s sleep.
3. Wear Hygge Clothing
To complement your hygge interior, choose comfy warm clothes in fabrics such as lambswool and cashmere. These cozy sheepskin slider slippers by Emu Australia are just the job for lounging at home.
The Mayberry slipper-slide are made from soft Australian sheepskin with a hard-wearing rubber outsole and can be worn inside and out. The crossover design holds your foot securely and looks very stylish. They come in 8 lovely shades including natural, shown below.
For fun Fall and Winter themed outfits, we recommend Shinesty. They have some amazing American stars and stripes dresses and suits as well as festive sweaters and onesies.
The Young Frosty Blue Snowflake Wrap Dress is super flattering, with an above the knee skirt and adjustable tie waist. There’s also an elastic cuff in the sleeve and pockets in the skirt. Guaranteed to be a hit at parties or family gatherings!
The Rake Me Ups Fall Leaves Skater Dress is another cute themed option by Shinesty. The colorful pattern features Fall leaves, pecan pie and Thanksgiving turkeys. You can wear this dress back to front for a change of necklines, and there are integrated pockets in the skirt.
Comfy nightwear like these matching family pajamas by Hanna Andersson is a must. Made from organic cotton, they feature a drawstring stretch waistband.
The fit is comfy and the pajamas are super soft. They are also certified to be free from over 100 harmful chemicals.
4. Savor Hygge Recipes
Now is the time to brew up some glogg or mulled wine and it only takes a few minutes to prepare. Just take one bottle of red wine, and heat it gently for 10 minutes with a stick of cinnamon, a couple of star anise, a few cloves and 4 tablespoons of caster sugar or honey, as well as a few slices of orange.
Take it off the heat and allow to infuse for a few minutes before serving.
Hot chocolate is another delicious Winter beverage and no one will blame you if you add a few marshmallows on top ;-). Talking of which, a melted chocolate and marshmallow fondue makes a great sweet alternative to a savoury cheese fondue. Danish poppy seed rolls, known as tebirkes and Danish pastries, aka Wienerbrod are very popular in Denmark.
Bircher muesli is a lovely Winter warmer – OK, so it’s the Swiss who actually came up with Bircher museli but it fits well with hygge. This healthy mix of nuts, dried fruit and raw oats soaked in yogurt milk will set you up for the day.
Prepare it the night before by soaking 150 g of rolled oats in 420 ml milk, 60 ml of apple juice and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. The next morning, add your favourite toppings such as blueberries, nuts and dried fruit. If you prefer, you could make it the same day using quick oats which only need to soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
Use a slow cooker to prepare delicious meals such as stew in the morning that will be ready for you when you come home from work. It’s also easy to rustle up fresh waffles if you have a waffle iron.
Simply mix together 1 and a quarter cups of flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of ground nutmeg and salt. Add 1 egg and half a cup of milk and blend until smooth.
Then spray the heated waffle iron with a non-stick spray and pour a few tablespoons of the batter in. Serve with chopped bananas for a delicious Wintertime treat.
5. Celebrate a Hygge Christmas
Nothing spells Christmas quite so much as a festive wreath and this one by National Tree Company really has the wow factor. Featuring 50 battery operated LED lights, pine cones, red berries and snowflakes, this 24 inch Christmas wreath is simply stunning.
Forage for elements of your festive decor, such as berries and pine cones. A Danish nisse or elf also makes a cute Christmas decoration. You can find a similar one here.
6. Try Hygge Beauty
Skin can get very dry at this time of year, so good quality bodycare is a must. When it looks as good as this Organic Spa Gift Basket, then it’s the perfect gift.
Containing a luxurious bubble bath, body lotion, organic shea butter, massage oil, 6 bath bombs, 2 organic coconut soaps, a plush towel and exfoliating loofah back scrubber, it comes in a stylish wooden crate.
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In Conclusion: How to Hygge
Hygge is a Danish word that means “coziness” or the feeling of comfort and happiness. It is not just about cozying up with a cup of tea on a cold winter day.
Hygge is also all about quality time with your loved ones, enjoying life’s simple pleasures like good food and great company, taking care to notice all those little things that make you happy.
In this article, you’ve learned what hygge is and how to live a more hygge lifestyle. We hope this article has helped you understand the concept of living in a cozy way so that you can start implementing these ideas in your own life!
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