When the temperatures drop and the days shorten in Minnesota, you may feel like diving under a blanket and staying there until spring! That feeling of warmth and contentment is what the Danish describe as “hygge”.
What is hygge and how do you pronounce it?
BBC.com says hygge is pronounced “hoo-ga” and roughly means coziness in English. But it’s much more than that, it’s an entire attitude to life that perhaps holds the secret of why Finland, Iceland and Denmark are the world’s happiest countries.
Hygge can be families and friends getting together for a meal with the lighting dimmed, time spent on your own reading a good book, or watching the sun set from a hot tub in a blizzard in February.
The idea is to relax and feel as at-home as possible, forgetting life’s worries.
With the Minnesota winter in full swing, now is the perfect time to hygge your home. Here are five tips to try:
1) Stick to a neutral color scheme.
Everything you add to your hygge home should contribute to an atmosphere of harmony and peace. Using pastel colors like light grays, browns and creams will create a comfortable feeling for you and your guests to enjoy.
2) Create a cozy atmosphere.
Decorate with fluffy pillows and soft comforters. You can also create small nooks like a window bench or love seat. These make for great spaces to relax with a good book and cup of hot cocoa for some peace and quiet.
3) Make a fire.
Huddling around the fire, whether it is outside or inside, is a huge part of the Danish culture. It is the perfect time to gather with friends and family and be thankful for the company that you keep.
4) Add texture.
Introducing texture to your living space is a great way to add interest. You can do this by incorporating warm, natural materials like wood and wool or sheepskin to your decor. You can also add variety with different types of flowers for a small pop of color.
5) Create a spa-style bathroom.
Instead of just using your bathroom for a quick shower in the morning, make it a relaxing retreat. To create a bathroom that makes you say, “ahhhhh,” add greenery, candles, and fluffy rugs or plug in an essential oil diffuser for serene smells.
If you want to learn more about hygge living, there are several books and games including: “Hygge: Discovering the Danish Art of Happiness” by Olivia Telford and The Hygge Game: Cozy Conversation in pleasant company.