It is safe to say that 2020 has been a year full of obstacles to stop us from feeling safe and warm in our own homes. Apart from the big one – coronavirus – the world has had wildfires, floods, increased tensions between America and several other countries to name but a few.
With such uncertainty in the world, particularly with our economies that have been severely hit across the world with stay-at-home orders, lockdowns and businesses continuing to go bankrupt, the average American citizen is far worse off financially in 2020 than they have been for many years. But there is something that can help us as we sleepwalk our way into fall.
Hygge, pronounced ‘hoo ga’ the Danish concept is “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Something we could all do with at this time.
And hygge is so important in its native land that many believe it is “a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA.” Or so Meik Wiking says, and he should know as he holds the title of CEO at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and is the author of The Little Book of Hygge.
Denmark consistently hits the number one spot on annual happiest country lists and hygge is an important factor in this, especially during their dark and cold winters.
It is an unfounded myth that hygge is a passing fad however it should be seen as a philosophy. We all have a desire to be surrounded by things that bring us happiness and comfort and hygge can provide all of this.
The best part of hygge is that it can mean different things to different people. Some may find that cozy, warm feeling by spending time with your loved ones, although after spending so much time with them during the stay-at-home orders this may not be high on people’s lists at the moment!
Others may prefer to fill their homes with items that bring them happiness and head to Bed, Bath & Beyond and stock up on some snuggly comforters and enough candles to fill a church. Whatever you prefer to do is your choice, which is one of the positives of hygge, there are no rules.
According to hyggehouse.com if you are not feeling hygge then you may not be using the word correctly.
A great way to start embracing hygge is to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your home. With fall just around the corner this is the perfect time as you can start to fill your home with warm colors, such as reds and oranges.
Arrange some soft cushions in your favorite chair and settle down with a good book, either physical or on your tablet, with a mug of warm drink and settle in for an afternoon of reading.
Or if craft is more your thing you could always create a new throw for your den so you have something to cozy up to when watching the television.
One of the best things about embracing hygge is that, according to Interiors writer Lisa Dawson, you “surround yourself with your favorite things to create a space where you can feel comfortable.”
This means you can achieve your calm and welcoming home by rearranging things you already have. Or maybe try a bit of upcycling if you do not have quite what you want. For instance, if you have an old, faded cushion why not buy some cheap fabric dye and brighten it up to the color you want?
If you are not a fan of candles, and let’s face it, not all of us are, dimmer switches or uplights are the perfect alternative. It is also worth investing in some hue white or color ambience light bulbs to create that ideal, non-candle setting.
However if you do fancy some color in your light there are a vast array of warmer colors that you can buy, including color changing light bulbs that you can change with your mood. Some can even sync with your music!
Another great way to create hygge in the home is via your curtains. Although these items of furnishings may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking snug, the right curtain can keep the cold outside, maintaining the coziness inside. Something those living in areas that experience harsh winters such as Michigan or Alaska will appreciate. Choose thick curtains to compliment your warm colors, brew your coffee and snuggle down with a loved one in front of Netflix and the fire.
Whatever way you decide to make hygge a part of your lifestyle we are sure you will be thankful in those cold months, and when the spring comes you can continue with the concept by changing the colors to suit the season.