Home sweet home… Hygge edition
Life is stressful sometimes and having a home that relaxes you can help so much. That’s why the Danish ‘Hygge Style’ is a perfect concept for homes. Hygge is a Danish principle that embraces simplicity to find comfort. Think cinnamon rolls, thick blankets and scented candles. It’s the ultimate form of coziness, without being super luxurious about it. It’s about the simple pleasures in life. So how do you turn this thought into a design style? Let’s take a look!
What makes Hygge so great?
In 2017, the book ‘The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living‘ by Meik Wiking came out, describing everything about the Hygge lifestyle and it became a hit right away. I personally think this book hit home to many people, because many lives had become increasingly stressful and many design styles actually reflected a cold, but luxurious lifestyle. Hygge allowed people to get back to a more minimal, natural state of being. And it helps if your environment allows you to live that peaceful life. So, when you want to create this relaxing, warm environment, you could look at the the building blocks of the Hygge style:
As mentioned earlier, Hygge is all about comfort, so pillows, nice blankets and other soft fabrics are essential to include in your home. Nothing says Hygge like laying on a soft couch on soft pillows and a nicely warm blanket. This is one thing that can make this style really fun as well, since you can play with textures. For instance, you could get a rough knit blanket and some very finely woven linen pillows.
Neutral colours and natural materials
Next to the soft textures, the Hygge style embraces natural materials and colours. So, instead of brightly coloured plastics, you might want to choose materials like bamboo, natural woods and plants. You can use these materials against neutral coloured backgrounds, like off-whites, beige, browns, muted greens and some pastels. This will create a very natural, warm and relaxing environment that doesn’t expose you to too much stimuli.
Places to read
Reading is actually a big part of Hygge, or at least a special place in the home for calming hobbies that don’t include screens. Although I adore a good night of Netflix, being tied to screens all the time isn’t too healthy for you. Therefore, you could design a place that’s more comfortable for other things.
For me, I have a hanging chair in my living room that fulfils this purpose for me. I curl my legs up under me, get a cup of tea and read a book. Nothing is more Hygge than that. It’s also right in front of my bookcase, so it’s easy to reach in there. Big bookcases are also perfect for the Hygge aesthetic. In a Hygge home, this is one of the pieces that can really be the focus of the room and therefore, I’d recommend to go big and bold here.
Scents and mood lighting
Since Hygge is all about comfortable but simple surroundings, there’s not a lot in decorating materials you can do. However, having the right lighting and a pleasant, soft and fresh scent can make a whole lot of a difference.
So for lighting, I’d recommend you to use multiple lights, all in a warmer, softer tone. The reason why I’d recommend multiple is for practicality versus atmosphere. For the day when you’re working or doing things, you’d obviously need a big, somewhat stronger light. However, when it’s evening and you’re just relaxing, a smaller, less bright light might put you in the mood way more, or even the use of candles. You could even buy one of those clip-on reading lights if you’re smaller lamp isn’t strong enough to read properly.
To set the right tone, I’d recommend yellowish LED lights. LED might not be what you have in mind when it comes to a natural vibe, but it’s way more sustainable and nowadays, LED isn’t the white, harsh light it used to be. Another great option is to use dimmers if you wouldn’t want to buy multiple lamps. This way, you’re more sustainable and you can adjust the strength of the light to the moment.
In terms of scent, you could also go for scented, preferably beeswax, candles. They not only give off a beautiful soft light to set the mood, but they can also dispense a soft, nice scent that fits the moment. Another option is of course to use essential oils throughout the home or reed diffusers. Reed diffusers are often more subtle and you can just let them stand there throughout the day without having to think about it too much. I also posted an article a while back about the effects of scent and how to use it in the home if you’d like to know more.
Another thing that is very Hygge is nice foods, especially cinnamon buns and tea or coffee. So, for a true Hygge scent, you could also think of baking more. The smell of freshly baked bread or the sweet scent of cinnamon buns from the oven is definitely something that would get you in the right mood immediately. I personally prefer this healthy banana bread recipe though, because it’s a little easier to make.
As mentioned, Hygge is all about the small things and cutting back on stimuli. Therefore, it makes sense that it is a style that is definitely more minimalistic. No clutter, no sensory overload, just peace and tranquility. However, where some minimalistic design styles can feel a little cold, the Hygge design style does allow some warmth through the colour palette and the soft textures. This makes the style still feel homely, even though there’s not much stuff.
What I like about Hygge is that it also values older pieces more. In all minimalistic styles, it’s about appreciating a few pieces a lot instead of loving a lot of things a little. However, this often translates to very sleek, clean lines in the furniture. Not so with Hygge! In Hygge, you could also have some rougher, driftwood-like pieces or an old, big cabinet with a big design on it. Vintage is all the rage in this design style and that makes it a very sustainable option as well. And, in my opinion, that’s why Hygge feels a lot more personal to me than other minimalistic design styles.
The difference between Scandinavian design and Hygge
Scandinavian design is a style that you can everywhere nowadays, mainly thanks to Ikea of course. However, Scandinavian design isn’t actually one style. It’s a mash-up between multiple concepts within the Scandinavian lifestyle. Hygge is one of those concepts, focused on enjoying the little things and the feelings of coziness and togetherness.
This can be achieved through multiple ways, for instance the Scandinavian concept of Fika, which is basically a coffee break, which is where the cinnamon buns come in. So honestly, there’s no such thing as a difference between them. I think Hygge just makes the general Scandinavian style much more homely compared to other minimalistic styles.
What’s the risk of Hygge design?
Every design styles has its downsides or at least some reasons why it isn’t for everyone, and so does Hygge. For me, it’s mainly the cleanliness of the style, which makes me hesitant to use the style in family homes. I wouldn’t trust many kids with crisp, white couches and beige carpets. On top, it’s a style that can really stand or fall with balance and that balance is thrown-off pretty easily. A bright red label on something or a neon-green toy can easily become the unwanted focus of the room and therefore, it’s a style that demands you to clean up and organise a lot. For me, I’d therefore see Hygge more as a style for singles or maybe couples.
You could also just make one room more Hygge, this is what I did. The rest of my home is pretty busy, but my bedroom is my oasis of peace. I used a sage-green paint on my walls, the furniture is all white or wood-coloured and I only used woods and soft fabrics. Since it’s only one room, this is easy to keep organised and for me, my bedroom is the most important room to keep peaceful. Therefore, this really works for me.
Another logical choice would be to make the home office or the reading room/living room more Hygge, or for instance the dining room. It really depends on what relaxes you and your rhythm of life. For me, food is easily one of the most important things of connection to other people, so it would be a perfect place for Hygge, whereas others would want it more in for instance their bathroom.
So all-in-all, Hygge is a super relaxed style that can definitely feel like an oasis of peace if you have a hectic life. However, it’s also a style that you have to invest in so the vibe stays the same. So, let me know in the comments, would it be a style that would fit your lifestyle? What do you like or dislike about it? And, if you want more content like this, please subscribe and get my free e-book to help you save money. You can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, so you’ll never have to miss a new post.
Lots of love,
LisaHome » All posts »
Hygge is a relatively new term to me, but it feels in line with my values as a minimalist. This is a great list on how I can start with the place I’m at the most—at home. Would love to learn more about the concept though. Anyway, thanks for this post!
I like the hygge decor too. I covered it in one of my posts as well. Warm and cozy is my favorite theme too. You’re right about it being not suitable for kids but families with older members can manage it nice. Even one room you did with the sage green is great it seems. Liked it! Xx
Isa A. Blogger
I can imagine it’s great for people with older kids indeed, especially when they like a similar aesthetic in their things. And thanks I love my sage green bedroom indeed 😊 it’s very calming.
This sounds so relaxing and perfect for the winter when you just want to relax and cozy up by the fire!
Yeah to me it also screamed winter haha. It’s so cozy and chill, but I think the bright colors make it possible to turn it into a summery style as well with some creativity.
This sounds wonderful, definitely sounds relaxing
The Hygge lifestyle sounds dreamy and cosy. I want a cosy reading nook for myself with gentle lighting. This post is an inspiration for creating that in my own space. Thanks for sharing.
I hope you’ll find a way to do it! You deserve a place where you can retract to 😊 glad to have helped 😊
i love how the hygge and minimalism lifestyle go hand in hand. my husband and i have been embracing more slower evenings with less stimuli. instead of binge watching tv every night, we balance it with reading books and cozying up on the couch together. i find it be very relaxing and helps me unwind after a busy day. we also love adding bits of ambiance like lighting candles or putting on a rain sounds video on youtube.
O wow it sounds like you’ve really embraced it indeed, it sounds lovely! And I can imagine that sharing that with your partner is especially relaxing, because it stimulates your connection as well.
I feel in love with the Hygge lifestyle after visiting Norway. I’ve just moved house and I’ll be using some of your suggestions when decorating my living space and work area!
I hope it’ll work out and hope you’re going to love your new home! It’s so nice that you get to re-evaluate what you want your home to feel like 😊
This is such a great post! I have that book at home, but I haven’t read it yet, so this post has definitely prompted me to give it a go 🙂
I hope you’ll enjoy it! I loved the vision it describes
I love The Little Book of Hygge. I’ve been incorporating more neutral pieces into my space and it has made a huge difference. I can’t wait to create a cozy nook just for reading! Thank you for sharing!
That sounds wonderful! Some neutral pieces can indeed create such a calming space and it’ll help your more special pieces to really stand out.
When I lived alone, I had a space like this. Now I have a messy toddler, it’s just not possible!
That’s so difficult! Maybe you can just make a corner or even just one chair that helps you relax.
I love the idea of hygge. And this post gave me all the cozy vibes too! Thanks so much for sharing!