By Cindy Baldhoff
Denmark has given us windmills, furniture, and Legos, but today its hottest export is hygge. Pronounced HOO-ga, this latest piece of culture has captured our fancy in a big way in recent months, inspiring everything from cookbooks to decorating guides.
In a nutshell, hygge is a concept that promotes coziness and simplicity. There is no direct translation for it in the English language, but it is all about getting comfy in your own space, whether it’s your home, apartment, or dorm room.
Because Denmark has so many cold, dark, days, the Danes found it necessary to find a way to break up the long days. They found that such things as a glowing candle or a meal shared with friends could do wonders for the soul. And thus, hygge was born.
“In Denmark, hygge is not just popular, it is truly engrained in their culture and language, and part of Danes’ everyday lives,” says Alexandra Gove of the online resource site Hygge Life.
“Hygge is attributed to be a big factor why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world, making it a very interesting concept to explore,” she says.
“In the U.S., people are generally open to new ideas and ways to add value and meaning to their lives, and hygge seems to be able to so.”
Year-Round Cozy Comfort
Typically, hygge is thought of as a cold-weather companion, conjuring up images of fuzzy socks, snuggling under a plush blanket, and drinking a cup of hot chocolate, hot tea, or other steaming beverages. But you don’t have to wait until temperatures plunge; Gove says you can incorporate hygge into your home at any time of the year. Here are three simple ways to do that:
- Make it meaningful. Gove says that by choosing to decorate with pieces that matter to you, you infuse a little joy into your room 24/7.
“This could be a piece that belonged to your parents or grandparents, or an item you found on a special trip,” she says. “Don’t just decorate because you want to decorate or feel like the house is too empty; decorate with pieces that really speak to you.”
- Think about the materials. The materials you choose play a significant role in how your space feels, so look at different types of furniture and think of how they make you feel. You could consider reclaiming a secondhand piece of furniture or bringing in wood accents and features to warm up a cool contemporary space.
“We believe that natural materials are more hygge,” Gove says. “A beautiful wooden dining table, for example, is more hygge than a plastic one.”
- Mix and match. Soften areas that feel too sterile with cozy components. Regardless of the style you’ve created, from modern-industrial to mid-century luxury, there’s a way to bring a bit of hygge to the space. “Something as simple as a sheepskin rug on an easy chair next to the bed is very hygge.”
CORT Furniture Rental can help you find the pieces that can complete your cozy space—and turn it into your hygge hideaway for all seasons. And, always remember the most important part of hygge: to celebrate the moment whenever possible.
“Whether it’s sitting down in your cozy space to enjoy a cup of coffee, setting the table for a shared meal, or adding a piece of décor to your home that you truly love, recognizing your hygge in those moments is very enjoyable,” Gove says.