Hygge [Hue-guh] is the Danish art of cosiness. In English it can be closely translated to hug or cosy. However, Hygge was never meant to be translated, it was meant to be felt. It's the Danish way to describe things that make you feel homely and it goes as far in illuminating the soul. But to feel homely, is so much more than just about a place. The home is where we feel at ease. It’s where we are, who we are. It’s the space that lets us grow into who we wish to become.
Hygge is becoming increasingly recognisable, and was originally a Norwegian term for wellbeing. Developed into a concept and way of living by the Danish in the 18th century when it first appeared in writings of the time. Applicable to any time and space, Hygge traverses both winter and summer but the idea really comes alive in the harsh and bracing cold season that Scandinavia is renowned for.
These bleak winters demonstrate the power of Hygge, as even in the depths of the country’s coldest months when there is very little daylight.
The winter nights are drawing in on a world which seems to get busier and more hectic every day and the need to sit back, relax and enjoy the small things in life have never been more prevalent. With stress levels rising in many countries across the globe, the Danes have established themselves as masters of calm. It is frequently argued that this is all down to Hygge.
The concept of Hygge is one which graces every walk of Scandinavian people’s lives, and news of this lifestyle has been spreading quickly for the last few years, crossing international borders to spread warmth wherever the idea touches.
In essence, Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with the people you love. It's making time for the precious people; young and old and cherishing the moments. Time is the most precious gift that we could give someone. Sometimes the most priceless presents are truly the most expensive gifts. We live in a world where materialistic items are important in our lives and we succumb to this ideology that society brings upon us. We rely so much on the possessions in our home rather than the people that walk through it.
What we sometimes fail to realise is that time is the most valuable thing that we have. Creating memories and experiencing moments is an expensive way to live life. Our family and our friends are the true treasures we should give our time to. Particularly in the winter months when we need to feel cosy and warm, both physically and mentally.
The warm glow of candlelight is Hygge. Candles burning can be a wonderful theme for manifesting great positivity and mindfulness. It’s seems a shame that candle burning sometimes has a bad reputation. People don't truly see the benefit. Candles have been used since time archaic for a variety of reasons. In working with your aura, candles play a powerful supportive role, redirecting energy that has gone astray. Sometimes we need help to relax, so that we may feel gratitude for all the areas in life that we should be blessed to have.
Woolen Socks & Knitted Blankets
Yes, sweatpants count as Hygge. There's even a word in Danish for them. Hyggebukser is that pair of pants you'd never be caught dead wearing in public, but practically live in, when you're at home on the weekends binge watching films. Cosying up with friends and family for a movie, that’s Hygge too. And there's nothing more Hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life over a hot brew. That's warming; the company and the hot chocolate shared with woolen socks and knitted blankets. Really layering up and not being afraid to be selfish with it, so the more the merrier.
Comfortable loungewear needn’t be an extravagance. So get comfy after a day at the office or over a weekend in. Ranging from practical cotton to the softest of cashmere, loungewear can be as luxurious or relaxed as you personally desire. It's an essential component of hygge. Perhaps Hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world!
It's about making things to share with those you want to make the effort for. Bringing people together over comfort foods. The food that hits the spot in winter months. Home made soups and root vegitables; using foods from the season as much as possible. Hygge is the art form of creating intimacy in any given moment. Normally a social occasion for loved ones to get together to experience the comradeship, warmth and contentment of the event.
It can also be enjoyed alone to calm the nerves and sooth the senses. An idea which not only breaches weather and seasonal barriers but also social ones, it is something everyone in Denmark partakes in and it has spread through to every aspect of Scandinavian living to become a part of the national consciousness.
Appreciating the small joys in life at all times, Hygge followers have tapped into a source of happiness which the rest of the world can greatly benefit from in an ever-evolving technological society.
Primarily a social endeavour, Hygge is best enjoyed with friends. The long Scandinavian winter nights are interspersed with Hyggeligt (Hygge-like) gatherings of friends and family by the fireside drinking mulled wine and eating wholesome food or home baked treats, so the best way to experience this idea for yourself is to invite your nearest and dearest round and get cooking. The notion of Hygge can also be used to uplift others, so test out your baking skills and take your creation around to a friend’s house you haven’t seen in a while to indulge in a spot of Hygge together.
Not just reserved for staying inside, Hygge can also be found in the great outdoors and joy can be found from simply preparing yourself in your warmest walking clothes and boots and going on a winter stroll to take some time for yourself to reflect, or taking a walk with your favourite people. Rosy cheeks and a warm soul is so worth it when you finally get out there. It's amazing what a bit of fresh air can do for vitality.
The key idea behind Hygge is to enjoy the environment around you, which ever environment that it is you chose to be in. Sometimes there is nowhere better than home. Each room needs to be a sanctuary to sink into at any given moment and therefore filled with key items to allow you to do this. Due to increasingly stressful lives, an emphasis is placed on the need to ‘escape’ the everyday to experience true relaxation. Hygge fights against this notion, demonstrating that overall well being can be enhanced by making small changes to everyday environments, diminishing the need to escape at all. So whatever you are doing, take the time to savour in the tiny moments that make you smile and stimulate, inspire and restore the soul.
It's making time for yourself. Stopping and enjoying the things that mean something to you. That book you've been wanting to read but never get to. Curling up by the fireside to enjoy something for you. Taking up new hobbies to enjoy in the home allows you to switch off and refocus the mind. Turn off the TV and grow to love something new that you can nurture during your Hygge moments in the home or pick up something you used to love to do but don’t have time for anymore. It's the perfect time to teach yourself and help to relax and calm your being, or curling up and reading a good book for a few solitary hours will have you refreshed in no time.
We adore Scandinavian Design. But let us make this clear: when we say Scandinavian design, we mean the true form that is full of integrity from its Danish roots, not the cheap, over-saturated, imitation Scandi pieces that are flooding the market. If like us, you love beautiful quality design that has soul. It is contemporary, and influenced by mid century beauty, while focusing on craftsmanship, honest materials, a keen eye for detail and sustainable design.
With new collections available on the market, we’ll find an exploration of volumes, geometry, graphical elements, and a touch of Nordic decadence. We adore the softness of the quilts, and the punchy colours of toys and cushions. Inspired by the delight of exploring new, faraway places.
Whilst we introduce some of the pieces into grown up rooms, there is a range specifically for us older ones. Kingston Cabinets soft furnishings are just one way to get Hygge into your home. Upholstered poufs, designer headboards and matching ottomans are just some of the stunning ways to incorporate a style of Hygge. All having the understated freshness we love from classic Scandi-driven designs.
In addition to describing things as Hyggeligt (Hygge-like), Danes are obsessed with adding Hygge to other words to describe things. For example, a Hyggekrog is essentially a nook where you can get cosy. Imagine a window seat where you can wrap yourself up in a blanket and watch the world go by. Or your favourite armchair where you do all of your reading. Dress with some chunky throws and soft cushions or complete with a full window-seat cushion from made to measure soft furnishings.
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Kingston Cabinets is here to ensure you get the most from your Hygge in the Home furnishings. Get in touch for more information on 0800 988 6009.