What is Hygge?
If you’ve picked up an interiors magazine over the last month or two you will have probably come across the Danish term ‘Hygge’.
In fact, such is the popularity of ‘Hygge’ I think it may replace Lego as Denmark’s favourite export this Christmas.
And I can see why.
Hygge or ‘hue-gah’ as its pronounced, has no direct English translation but roughly speaking it means cosiness and contentment.
And while contentment cannot be achieved by interior design alone, it can go a long way.
So grab a coffee and a warm cinnamon bun (both are big faves in Denmark) and let’s talk all things Hygge.
Hygge can be interpreted in many different ways but at its heart it’s all about bringing people together. And bringing people together usually involves food.
The Danish are renowned for enjoying sumptuous meals with family and friends, with most families in Denmark sharing an evening meal together every day. So a dining table is an absolute must.
Scandinavians love nature and their homes are often filled with products inspired by the great outdoors, so if you’re looking to invest in a new dining table choose a rustic looking piece with a solid wooden top.
Burn baby burn
Creating a warm, inviting atmosphere in which to enjoy good times with friends is central to this Danish way of life.
Nothing, quite literally, is as warming as an open flame so candles are a must. Switch off main overhead lights and enjoy a candlelit dinner (on your new dining table) with beautiful candelabras setting the scene.
And what could be more relaxing than a soak in the tub with just candles illuminating the bathroom?
The great thing about candles is they are very readily available. What’s more, they come in all shapes, sizes, colours and scents to suit everyone’s tastes and decors. And while it may be more Hygge to opt for a plain white candle, you have to make the trend work for your home so if you want to burn a red candle, burn a red candle.
Wrap it up
Throws and blankets are a no brainer when it comes to embracing the Hygge lifestyle, and the chunkier the better.
And when you’re not sat under them, snuggling with your loved ones while sipping coffee (apparently the Danish drink more coffee per head than any other nation), they make a great addition to the furniture. Fold in a neat stack and stow in the corner of her room in a beautiful wicker basket or simply throw it across the back of your couch for some added texture.
The Hygge movement is very tactile with living spaces just for that – living. There is nothing ‘Hygge’ about buying furnishings just for show.
Every piece has a function, whether it’s a cushion for comfort, a pouf for additional seating when unexpected guests pour through the door or a fruit bowl for simply storing fruit.
And it’s all about making it work for you and your family; after all, if you want to be truly content in your home you have to be happy with it and how it works for you.
Lesley’s top tips for achieving ‘Hygge’
1. Embrace the dark evenings and use it as an excuse to draw the curtains, relax and unwind.
2. Candlelight is key but be wary of where you place them. Candles and curtains are not a good combination.
3. Invest in the biggest table your dining room will allow – food and socialising go hand in hand with Hygge.
4. You can never have enough chunky throws and blankets.
5. There are no right or wrongs; it’s all about personal taste.
Go big with plenty of cushions or blankets. This selection is available at the Taylors ETC showroom, www.taylorsetc.co.uk
Create a beautiful glow with candles of all shapes and sizes. Candles and accessories are all from the Taylors ETC showroom, www.taylorsetc.co.uk