Simply Scandinavian: 4 Ways to Hygge Your Home
This month I’m heading to Northern Europe to experience the design trend that asks: “Is your space contributing to your well-being?”
The Danish way of life, hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”), took the design world by storm last winter. It’s both a lifestyle and design trend, recognizable by its Scandinavian simplicity, modern décor, plush accents, little indulgences, and homey details.
There’s no literal translation of hygge into English; instead, the beauty of the word lies in its ability to be described in a multitude of phrases and feelings. The warm glow of candlelight, snuggling up with tea and a good book, or creating intimacy and a warm atmosphere that allows your guests to feel safe and at ease are all ways to describe hygge. It’s the romantic experience of cozying up in winter and enjoying the carefree beauties of life. But why stop with that desirable feeling once the cold weather stops forcing us indoors? I’m here to show you how this design trend can last all year long.
LIGHT AND BRIGHT
Hygge is all about straying away from dark and dreary shades that are all too common during harsh Scandinavian (and often American) winters. Creamy whites, natural hues, and delicate shades are great complements to rustic yet sleek décor. Achieve the look by introducing a neutral-colored chair into your living space, opening up your windows, or going for a bright white paint in the extra guest room.
Hygge wouldn’t be “hygge” without the warm glow of candlelight and fireplaces. A single candle in the bathroom or on a coffee table can instantly set a tone and add just the right amount of ambiance. Bring the coziness outside in the warmer months with a backyard fire pit, stairway lanterns, and clusters of candles at an outdoor dinner party; add snug throws into a big basket for when that evening chill sets in. Lighting is all about creating an intimate space for reading your favorite book or catching up with an old friend.
Fur accents, plush flokati rugs, blankets, and textiles are key for creating a hygge space. As a way to experience life’s pleasures during the dreary winter, hygge takes advantage of relishing in ultimate comforts. For the warmer months, pair these items with lighter linens, crisp white sheets, and a fresh bouquet of pale pink flowers.
Hygge is not only a lifestyle but also a design trend that goes hand in hand with classic Scandinavian design. Like the region’s style, hygge takes to heart simplistic modern furniture, handmade crafts, and rustic accents like wood, slate, and stone (think Scandinavian cabin chic). Add some cream-colored knit poufs, a jute-weave rug, and some natural wood shelves to create the look.
No matter what your style is, even the simplest additions to your space can make all the difference in creating a dream hygge space. But above all, it’s about enjoying the little things. Fold into a great book or magazine with a warming whiskey cocktail and cheers to good health, good friends, and good times—it’s the hygge way.
By Kerrie Kelly
Kerrie Kelly, FASID, is an award-winning interior designer, author, product developer, and multimedia consultant helping brands reach the interior design community. To contact her, visit kerriekelly.com or call 916-706-2089.