The art of Hygge

The seasonal feelings of malaise, discontent and melancholy associated with longer nights and temperatures dipping below freezing, are creeping upon us. Year after year, we seem to forget that this annual occurrence is inevitable, until it comes around again and we’re left feeling out in the cold. However, before you surrender and allow the gloominess to take over, there is a solution – Hygge.

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Hygge is a Danish philosophy; a way of living that has allowed Scandinavians to adapt to and accept the nominal hours of sunlight over the winter months. When the freezing cold weather hits and there are more hours of darkness than light, they turn their focus to all things Hygge. There’s no direct translation of the word, but it is most closely linked to the overall, all-encompassing feeling of cosiness, maybe from a nice warm hug. It is thought that the etymology of the English word ‘hug’ is rooted in Scandinavian heritage, deriving from the Norwegian word ‘hugga’, meaning to comfort or console.

Just like the translation of the word, there is no one set way to achieve this state of mind and living, but here are the top ten elements to adopt when Hygge-fying your own home and seasonal lifestyle:

  1. Candles and open fires
  2. Sheepskin rugs and fur/knitted throws
  3. Twinkling lights
  4. Woollen / fluffy socks
  5. Oversized armchairs
  6. Comforting food i.e. pastries, cakes and biscuits
  7. Being in the company of close friends and family
  8. Going technology / phone free
  9. Hot drinks – hot chocolate in a large mug, or tea in china cups
  10. Watching your favourite film / boxset, or reading a good book, wrapped up in a duvet

 

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In terms of styling your home to set the Hygge scene, follow the Nordic or Scandi style, renowned for its neutral colour scheme, married with decorations made from natural materials like wood and stone. This creates the perfect setting and foundations to inject the warmth of flickering candles and the soft glow of twinkling lights.

To achieve this Scandinavian style is really easy. Simply begin with the basics of a muted colour palette, shades of cool grey and white work perfectly. Then include a mixture of textiles like furs and chunky knits; elements of nature like twigs, logs and foliage, and a dusting of all things twinkly and shiny. Now all that’s left to do is pop the kettle on, put on your comfiest clothes and fluffy socks, grab something lovely to read and sink into an oversized chair, ready to be enveloped by the Hygge way of life.

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We hope this post has inspired you to embrace this Danish philosophy and way of life, to tide you through the winter of discontent. As always, we love to see your pictures, so if you’ve already adopted Hygge, let us know by sharing your photos on Twitter or tag us on Instagram, make sure you use the hashtag #MyFestiveLights and we’ll share our favourites.