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Interior Inspiration : What is Hygge?

Mar 27, 2018
Interior Inspiration What is Hygge

Hygge interior design is one design trend that is growing in popularity and in this guide, we’ll reveal what it is and how you can incorporate it into the main rooms of your new build home.

a model of a house

What is Hygge?

Hygge is a Danish word, pronounced "hoo-ga". It can’t be translated into one word in English. It’s about being cosy and content, but is much more than this. It’s about the Danish way of thinking that makes them one of the happiest nations in the world. Author Helen Russell, who has written a book about the Danish way of life, explained to the BBC: “The rest of the world seems to be slowly waking up to what Danes have been wise to for generations - that having a relaxed, cosy time with friends and family, often with coffee, cake or beer, can be good for the soul.
“Hygge seems to me to be about being kind to yourself - indulging, having a nice time, not punishing or denying yourself anything.” Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, believes that Hygge is “a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA. In other words, what freedom is to Americans. . . hygge is to Danes.

So how does Hygge translate into interior design?

To incorporate the hygge look in your home you’ll need white, unscented candles in abundance as you turn every room into a sanctuary. Danes burn more candles than any other nation, 13 pounds of candle wax a year per person. Hygge’s principles are about simplicity and taking things easy, which is why you should try to keep things simple and ‘go with the flow.’ Hide away your Blu-ray and DVD collection if you can, replacing it with a selection of books you’ve been dying to read for ages. Always wanted to take up crochet or knitting? Now could be the time. Why not add a wicker basket or two filled with pine cones and kindling? You’ll want to make your home seem cosy and inviting, so think about adding chunky knit cushions and sheepskin cushions to your sofas with faux fur throws. You may appreciate having a fluffy faux fur rug to keep your feet toasty when you’re curled up reading, enjoying a coffee or chatting with friends.
If you want to invest in new furniture, opt for Scandinavian inspired designs in natural oak or warm walnut. Avoid metal furniture and harsh lighting. As far as colour schemes go, soft pastel shades work well but monochrome seems to be the most popular choice. Clutter needs to be hidden away but try to display a few photos of your family or friends in each room. If you’ve been travelling, why not post up mementos of your trip on a corkboard?
Your dining room should be informal if you want to embrace hygge, perhaps with wooden benches instead of formal chairs. Cutlery and dinnerware should be mismatched, with homemade stews and pies served from the middle with everyone helping themselves. The mood needs to be relaxed, with your friends feeling at home and free to be themselves. Although hygge is mostly associated with winter, you can give your home a hygge makeover anytime of the year. (You might just want to hold back on the faux fur throws though, until the colder weather kicks in!). Why not plan a hygge style BBQ or a games night with classic board games?