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“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell
This is one of the hygge-est quotes I have ever stumbled upon. I want to wrap it around my shoulders and cuddle in it till winter finally steps back. But as I’m a bit more practical, instead of allowing my bookwarmy soul to get the best of me I decided to create an atmosphere at my home that feels like this quote and enjoy hygge with all my senses.
But, what is hygge, you ask
Well, if you’ve stumbled upon this post you probably already have an idea of what hygge is. But in case you’ve been living in a strange part of the internet and this is the first time you come across this word, let me shine some light on this awesome concept.
Hygge (pronounced hue-ga) is the Danish concept of happy living, that took the world by storm several years ago. It is roughly translated as coziness in English but it is so much more. Although it is a huge trend in everything from home décor, to fashion and lifestyle in general, hygge is a feeling above all else – on my opinion, the most wonderful feeling there is.
When you come home and leave all the hustle outside – that’s hygge; when you’re surrounded by your friends and you’re laughing, drinking and talking about anything and everything – that’s hygge; when you’re curled up on the couch under a soft blanket and you’re submerged entirely in a good book – that’s hygge; when you taste that first sip of coffee in the morning and you feel the world awakening in you and all the colors coming to life – that’s hygge.
Hygge is the feeling of coziness, comfort, togetherness, peace of mind…quiet and warm happiness.
And home is where hygge is born and where it thrives.
So, if you’re on the lookout for ideas on how to achieve that dreamy cozy atmosphere at your home, without breaking the bank (cause, honestly, whose wallet doesn’t look a bit malnourished after the holidays) look no further, I’ve got you covered.
When I think of coziness, light is not the first thing my mind goes to, but it should! There are few things that can set the mood as fast and strong as getting the lighting right. If you’re after a soothing feeling that relaxes your senses the moment you enter the room, forget about bright ceiling light and think about a softer, dimmer light coming from a table lamp or a floor lamp of even from a wall lamp. The Danes, being the masters of hygge, have perfected the art of setting the mood through light and typically have various lighting sources in their rooms, which they use strategically depending on what atmosphere they wish to create. My lighting arsenal is still incomplete, but I do love the addition of my gorgeous, natural Himalayan salt lamp – it has the coziest glow, and who knows, it may even have positive effects on my health and mood, as it is said to produce air ions.
Well, I think I got too far with this post without mentioning candles, when they are the MAIN hygge essential. Honestly, it’s like they’re made of cozy molecules. The reason I put them at #2 is that they are technically, part of the lighting, but they do deserve a spot on their own. If you’re really serious about cozy-ing up your home, I suggest you stock heavily on candles. I typically have a full package of tealight candles, ready to shine their tiny lights and set the mood for laid back evenings with wine and good talks. But, my secret weapon nobody can resist is my WoodWick candle. Seriousely! It has a real wood wick and it crackles as if I have a fireplace in my tiny city apartment. That is insanely hygge! My favorite is the Warm Woods Trilogy candle. But if you’re hesitant about using (many) candles due to fire hazard I’d recommend these real wax LED candles – they look very believable and are much, much safer than regular candles, especially if you have little kids running around the house.
3. String lights
I know, I know…another piece of lighting. But string lights have such potential and are so often disregarded after the holidays that I thought I’d give them the attention they truly deserve. Cause they do, you guys! String lights have the power to bring magic to your home and to create such a soothing, uplifting atmosphere that you’d wonder how you never thought of living them out after Christmas. If you use warm white string lights they want look that Christmasy – just whimsically cozy, trust me on this. There is a tremendous amounts of all sorts of string lights out there, but here are my favorite types:
Window curtain string lights – cause they are grand and cozy at the same time;
Photos Clips String Lights – cause it looks so romantic to display our happy moments under the soft glow of the little bulbs;
Globe String Light – cause they just look so pretty;
Flexible Copper Wire String Lights – cause you can fill a glass vase or a jar with them and you’ll have a classy centerpiece in a second;
Ordinary string lights – cause they just look stunning, subtly glowing under the window.
4. Soft textures
The textures have an incredible big impact on our sense of comfort so adding a few soft items to your winter (and not only) décor will add extra cozy notes to your home. Think of a few nice plush pillow covers that will warmly welcome you to the couch after a long day at work, a soft shaggy rug to rest your feet and a warm throw blanket to cuddle under with a good book. Aahhh, how can you not feel the hygge magic with these.
Adding some gentle quite music can also contribute significantly to the cozy atmosphere at your home. Music taste is very individual, so play around and figure out what sound best fit into your notion of cozy. For me, that’s definitely gentle classical music and…surprisingly or not – the soundtrack of Gilmore girls 😉 – this Spotify playlist is the most satisfactory soundtrack of the show I’ve found)
6. Essential oils
Did you know that smells are directly linked to the center in your brain responsible for emotions. They are practically magical doorways that can transport us years back to a cherished childhood moment or evoke in us emotions and sensations we did not expect. So the easiest way to make yourself feel cozy and happy is to add some cozy and happy smelling essential oils to your home. Here’s a very helpful post about essential oils combos that will make you feel all sorts of happy wintery emotions.
There are several ways to diffuse essential oils in your home. You can pop them directly into a diffuser, use an essential oil burner or a reed diffuser, which you can make yourself using a glass bottle, jar or vase and a few rattan diffuser reeds.
7. Fragrant hot drinks
There’s something about fragrant hot drinks that screams hygge….or more likely whispers it gently into your ear. You just cannot feel not cozy in a home smelling like hot chocolate….or thyme tea. These aromas just take a blanket and wrap it caringly around your soul. There is something so centering and peaceful about holding a cup of hot deliciousness and feeling its warmth on your fingers. Especially, if you’re holding a mug like this one – it has a little nook where you can tuck your fingers to keep them warm. What a hyggelig design!
Need I even say anything more? Books are intrinsically hygge – their look, their feel, their smell…everything! And we’re not even talking about all the excitement and satisfaction locked between their covers. An exposed shelves cabinet, filled with books is able to transform a common room into a hygge sanctuary. So don’t hide your books, present them proudly, show them off. And please, please, don’t just let your books stand pretty on the shelf; flip through their pages and wake their soul up…they with repay you with worlds of wanders. (you can tell I’m a bookaholic, right?)
One of the most important aspects of hygge is the feeling of connection – to your family, to your loved ones, to your friends and to yourself. But also to nature and the outside world. Having a few house plants will help you make that connection and will almost immediately affect you mood in a positive way. There are numerous researches that say that having plans around the house makes you feel calmer and more relaxed. Plus, they take care of improving the air quality in your home. If you don’t have a green thumb (I know I don’t) and feel a bit self-conscious about taking care of a plant, you can start with something easy like a succulent and see how it goes 🙂
10. Photos of happy times
Hygge is all about the feeling. It’s all about those things that set your soul at peace and bring a smile to your face. And what better way to achieve that than displaying some of your happiest moments. Nowadays we take more pictures than previous generations combined, but we often leave them in our digital devices and….forget about them. And it is so hyyge to undigitalize (I don’t know if that’s a word, but you know what I mean), so why don’t you print some of the pictures that remind you of happy, or funny, or glorious moments in your life, arrange them in a multiple pictures frame and make it a part of your wall décor. It will definitely bring a smile to your face more often and will also spark some interesting and cozy conversation 🙂
11. Your own artwork
Don’t disregard this if you don’t think of yourself as a creative person. Just hear me out. Having a piece of art that came to life under your fingertips is priceless, it has the power of claiming the space and making it feel more…yours. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a master piece or not, it just has to express you. If you like to try and create your fist piece of art, but feel a bit self-conscious, you can try a DIY kit. I personally love string art and if you take a look at Etsy you’ll find enormous amount of amazing string art DIY kits that are right there waiting to help you dip your toe into the artistic waters. But if you’re really ready for something bold, take a look at this super helpful post by Appartment Therapy that will show you easy ways to make your own abstract art.
These are my 11 suggestions on how to bring more coziness to your home and turn it into a happy hygge sanctuary. I’d love for you to try some or all of them and let me know how it turned out for you down in the comments 🙂