What is Hygge?? Home Decor v. Lifestyle


You may have seen the trend on pinterest lately about "hygge" in the home. If you don't know, hygge, pronounced  "hue-gah," is a danish word that describes a feeling of comfort that is cozy and special. Hygge can be found alone, or surrounded by good company. An important quality of hygge is being present in the moment. This concept is exploding in the U.S. right now with the wave of mindfulness and meditation. I find it so fascinating to come across words in other languages that take a while to explain in English because we do not have a direct translation. If you want to learn even more about living "hygge" the following book is a really great place to start. 

A blog post I read recently describes "Hygge is the outcome of the political, educational and social climate in Denmark. It is part of who they are. Danes aren’t hustling or striving or performing. They are just enjoying the simple things because everyone is on a very level plane in terms of their socioeconomic status." 

There is some debate over hygge lately. The fear is that the word "hygge" is becoming synonymous with imagery of fuzzy white blankets, twinkle lights, candles and tea. This Scandinavian inspired home decor is starting to embody the whole concept. 


Hygge is not just an aesthetic of home decor, it is a way of thinking and being.


Now, the warm fuzzy home decor comes in to the picture because the things you surround yourself with play a major role in feeling comfortable and content. As a designer, I find utmost importance in the correlation between visuals and senses. However, in an effort to fully explain the original Danish use of the word, I want to reiterate how important it is that you can't buy hygge, you can't photograph hygge, it is a way of feeling.

I am clearly on the bandwagon of the white fuzzy blanket + candle + tea because those are things that help me slow down and enjoy where I physically am in the present. If bright red walls, florescent light and cold glass of OJ make you feel content in the moment in a physical place - that's hygge too! 

Okay - I'm about to add another layer to the definition of hygge (how crazy is this word?!) A major source of comfort from hygge in Denmark often comes from the feeling of entertaining and welcoming people into your home. This episode of The Simple Show Podcast does a good job explaining this idea. “The art of creating intimacy” is another way to define hygge. So when applying this concept to entertaining, the idea is to feel surrounded by people who care about each other and provide ways for guests to feel comfortable in your home. You can do this by simply pouring them a drink, serving warm cookies, ~or~ perhaps providing guests with slippers!


Hygge-ify your home with these! (Remember to only buy home decor that you love and appreciate!)