Here in Chicago we are in the midst of a cold-snap and I am reminded how hygge it is to be inside with fluffy socks on my feet and cuddled up with my little cat Gus nearby.
If you haven’t heard of Hygge, or you are still on a Marie Kondo blur from purging last weekend, that’s okay. Hygge allows you to carve time out of your day to enjoy life, be mindful and love your down time and home.
The essentials of Hygge are easy. Coziness. Togetherness. Quietness. Contentment.
How we Hygge at Home
This fall we moved into a better space. In our move we purged a little, we also splurged a little on new furniture. Aside from the couch we needed, (the other one didn’t make it in the move) we also found two chairs so we could set up a conversation area in our living room. This is great for having company over instead of the hard kitchen chairs or rolling desk chairs! Having friends over for a bit of hygge is our ongoing goal for 2019. The chairs also double as comfy reading nook.
My husband picked up a record player and we will put a record on to listen to unwind instead of turning the TV on right away. We listen to the music and relax or take care of the quick and easy chores before dinnertime.
We went a little crazy with the candles after reading about hygge. We love them. The warm light makes our space feel more homey and although unscented candles are suggested for authentic Danish hygge – we deviated and use the scented variety to amplify our cozy home. But after a holiday season, I’m a little tired of pumpkin spice + fir, so we are going to attempt the unscented variety in mix.
We found lamps we liked instead of using the mix matched medley from our old home. We also upgraded our lights to the color-changing app-controlled variety. This allows us to have cozy lights on timers, and makes reading or being on the couch much more enjoyable.
I used to think flowers were a waste. I remember saying “Don’t get me bouquets of flowers honey, just get me something useful or consumable like a bouquet of craft beer.” I’ve changed my tune. They really uplift me. Especially in the fall and winter where spring and summer are so far away. I’m looking for cat friendly house plants to try but our cat Gus is so curious and quite the digger/shredder/destroyer not to mention he loves biting rose petals so leaves would also prove tempting.
Here are some of the books that helpful in understanding Hygge and the Danish culture.
The Year of Living Danishly
Uncovering the secrets of the world’s happiest country by Helen Russell
From the authors’s website: When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made?
Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From childcare, education, food and interior design (not to mention ‘hygge’) to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.
Hygge The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Søderberg
This is the Danish version of Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits both are beautiful coffee table books that you can cozy up with for an afternoon on the couch.
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
This book shares the methods and meaning for incorporating Hygge into your life. Below is a quick booktube video review from Book Sundays.
Hygge is very personal – everyone has their own cozy-time favorites. My highlights are the things I focused on but it is not strict and very adaptable for individuals. Other things you may love that are hygge:
- Warm Socks
- Comfy Sweaters
- Window Seats
- Reading Space
- Tea/Coffee/Mulled Wine
- Special Soaps or other items that evoke comfort
- Favorite Movie
- Carving Time out for you and your family