Hygge is a word that’s hard to translate. It’s a word that’s hard to translate: “soulfulness”, “the art of coziness”, “the pleasure of soothing things”, “cozy intimacy” and even “cocoa by candlelight”. Hügge is always associated with a cozy plaid, a favourite cup, lots of candles and a warm, comfortable, relaxing interior.
The Danes say that Hügge is not so much about things as the atmosphere and sensations. A sense of serenity and peace, freedom from anxiety, in the proximity of those we love.
In the UN Happiness Ranking the Danes regularly take first place, and we are sure that it is not only the high standard of living, low crime rate, but also the interior features.
Key features of the style
The Danes prefer to spend their leisure time at home, so they pay great attention to the environment. It has to be aesthetically pleasing, neat and of course comfortable.
The obligatory elements of the Hügge style will help in creating a homely atmosphere:
- Candles and lamps. The Danes are literally obsessed with lighting, so no Hügge interior can do without numerous light fixtures and candles. Ideal are lamps with matt lampshades, vintage lampshades, chandeliers with upward directed light. In Scandinavian design will be appropriate sconces, floor lamps, garlands with soft dim light (by the way, they can be used to decorate window apertures). Lighting should not be aggressive. The Hügge rule is that the softer the light, the cozier the environment.
- Books. Book shelves, filled with volumes of favorite books, create a special atmosphere. Reading is one of the activities on which the concept of Hügge is based. Books can be any: collections of short stories, cookery books, fiction. However, the works of the classics are especially appreciated: Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy will be a real interior decoration.
- Fireplace. If the square allows it, set the fireplace in the room. In its design preference is given to a natural stone, you can use a brick. If it is difficult to install a real fireplace, an imitation will do. Chairs with curved backs can be used to emphasize the cozy atmosphere.
- Vintage. Things from the past, inherited from my grandmother or bought at the flea market, as appropriate to create a cozy atmosphere. A table, an old desk lamp, a chest of drawers, a rocking chair or a vintage toy is ideal.
- Cushions and plaids. An essential attribute of home decor in hygge style. The blankets can be lightweight, made of cotton, or warm – fleece or wool. The cushions will fit a variety of shapes and sizes: large, small, round, rectangular, square.
- Light colour scale. Neutral shades are a characteristic feature of the interior in the Hügge style. The Scandinavian style is based on white and its shades. They are used for finishing ceilings, walls and floors, furniture. Warm light shades and 1 or 2 bright accents will help to dilute the environment and avoid associations with the hospital. In addition to white, grey, beige, sky blue and soft pink can also be used for wall and floor finishes.
- Restrained decoration. Hügge interior decor is stylish and discreet, helping to create a cozy atmosphere: old photographs in the frame, ceramics and porcelain, minimalist mirrors, live pot plants. The variety of textures is welcomed. It is important that all things are tactfully pleasant.
- Closeness to nature. The Danes love wooden things and this can be seen in their interiors. Hügge’s idea will accommodate all things related to nature: cones, leaves, flowers, branches, animal skins.
The Scandinavian style is loved for being environmentally friendly. Danish interior is based on natural materials. Natural colours and textures add coziness to the interior, make it truly home and close to nature. As finishing materials you can use metal, leather, brick, ceramics, natural stones, but the first place is wood. Generally, light woods are used: maple, beech, poplar, ash, birch, but dark woods can also be used. It is allowed to replace natural wood with quality imitation with a well-defined relief of wood.
The Danes are very fond of design in all its forms and this is well visible in the home environment. The Danish House impresses with an exposition of a furniture shop or a blank for the pages of a magazine about interiors. The fact is that for Scandinavians the house is the headquarters of the Hügge, and this is where communication and rest after working life takes place. Furniture helps to relax and create coziness.
As we have already said, the Danes are very fond of artificial lighting, which is due to the lack of sun most of the year. The lighting in the house is like diffuse warm light pouring out of windows in winter.
Light in Hügge is very important, it creates a good mood, makes the interior home and warm, provides comfort. Instead of one central chandelier with bright light it is better to use spot lighting. Table lamps, sconces, floor lamps, flashlights – all this is appropriate in hygge interior.
Textiles and decor
Style is revealed with the help of textiles. We can say that the Hügge soul is carpets with high pile, animal skins (imitation allowed), knitted mats and stands for hot, soft plaids and blankets.
Hügge’s philosophy is that there is nothing more pleasant than sitting on a favourite sofa under a soft blanket, with a cup of hot tea or cocoa and a book. Naturally, a sofa should be upholstered with plenty of decorative cushions.
The Hügge concept says that every home should have a cozy corner (this is how Hügge Crogge translates). In Denmark, wide window sills with pillows are most often used for this purpose. There you can sit and admire the city lights in the evening or spend time reading.
To feel the Danish happiness, it is not necessary to redo the whole apartment, it is enough to create a small corner of comfort.
A comfortable and restful sleep is a step towards a happy life in harmony with yourself. A Hügge-style bedroom is a great way to cope with this. Comfort is important in the bedroom, it will be provided by a properly selected mattress, pleasant to the touch natural fabrics, neutral color scheme. Important items of interior in hygge bedroom are candles, soft light bulbs, pillows, plaids.
The Danes love to spend time with their loved ones, communicate with friends and relatives and appreciate these moments. Meetings with dear people are most often held at home, in a cosy living room. The centre of the living room is the sofa, and it should be spacious, soft and comfortable. It is better to choose a minimalist design.
The living room should always have room for children. In Denmark, little family members are not sent to a separate room, they are always next to adults, so the living room should be comfortable for kids.
Family photos will create the right mood, remind you of the importance of home comfort and that you should appreciate those who are close by.
Hügge is the joy of life, the ability to be in harmony with yourself and the world around you. It is an art that is worth practicing for each of us. Begin the road to change with the Hügge interior and we are sure that happiness will confidently and permanently enter your life.