Design Dilemma: How to do “Hygge” this Winter | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: How to do “Hygge” this Winter

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If you’ve ever visited Scandinavia, you will know that the Scandinavians really know how to do winter! Yes, it may be cold and dark outside, but inside, things are warm, cozy and cheerful. In other words, to use a Danish term, they are “hygge,” a word that describes comfort, conviviality and contentment. Everyone’s been talking about hygge recently, since several books have been published examining the concept. So what’s hygge? It’s getting together with friends in front of a fireplace, surrounded by candles and soft lights. Everyone’s wearing thick wool socks and soft sweaters, and together, you and your friends enjoy life’s simple pleasures, such as conversation and board games and maybe a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. More than anything else, hygge connotes a slowness, a sense of intimacy, a state of mind that is celebrates security, familiarity, reassurance, kinship, and simplicity. Sounds pretty nice, right? That’s how the Danes get through the winter, and there’s certainly something we can learn from this as well!

So how can you make your own home hygge this winter? We’ve got a few suggestions that are simple, easy and will transform your home into a little cozy nest in no time at all.

Make liberal use of candles.

No one ingredient is as important to hygge as candles. They are used at the table, around the room, and even as a stand-in for a fire, if you have a decorative fireplace and not a working one. Scented candles are great for use on gray days and are always welcoming when used in the bathroom.

Below, candles are used in a fireplace to provide a green alternative to burning logs.

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Below, candles in the bathroom warm up the atmosphere and provide a pleasant scent. They are especially useful when guests come to visit, as they can provide a soft light in the bathroom when the lights are switched off and guests need to find the light switch.

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Candles while dining are imperative. But they don’t always have to be directly on the table itself. In the dining room below, an installation of candles warms things up, without taking up valuable table space. And in the second picture, candles arranged on the wall provide a warm softness that also frees up table space.

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Candles can also be used to provide a warm glow outside. Even a patio can feel cozy with candles and a few pillows.

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Lanterns are also a nice way to use candles.

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Build a fire.

Second on the list of hygge is building a fire. Nothing is cozier than snuggling up to the hearth on gray days and dark winter nights.

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Invite friends over for tea, dinner or a board game.

This is one of the central aspects of hygge. Although you can be warm and cozy and content by yourself at home, there is something special about welcoming others to share your warm and cozy space. So try to entertain regularly, but don’t make a big fuss. Keep things simple. You need do nothing more than fire up the tea kettle.

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Bring out the blankets and throws.
This is another important element of a cozy home. Plenty of blankets and throws need to be within reach for particularly chilly days when it’s time to snuggle up on the couch with a book and a cup of hot chocolate.

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Enjoy string lights indoors.

They have the same brightening effect of candles and can be used in just about any room and situation.

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What else helps to make a home “hygge?”

  • Soft, indirect lighting from several sources. Avoid overhead lights.
  • Liberal use of pillows and cushions.
  • Plants and artwork.
  • Thick piled rugs to keep the feet warm.
  • Small gathering spaces, nooks and crannies.  It’s hard to make a large space feel cozy.
  • Keeping things simple. No need to get out of your sweats for hygge. And your friends can stop by as they are too!
  • Turning off the television and computer. Hygge is about taking things slow and relaxing with others, not listening to a blaring TV.
  • Making a pot of soup or a stew. A large one-pot meal can be available anytime anyone gets hungry.

Are you ready to get your hygge on this winter?

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