Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is the latest in interior design buzzwords. The Danish concept is a simple one: finding cosiness and warmth in the everyday to make your life more fulfilled. Although hygge can be incorporated into various aspects of one’s life, perhaps the simplest way to get some of this Scandinavian inner glow is to consider using hygge influences in your interiors.
Our homes have a massive impact on our general wellbeing but this is very much a trend that everyone can get on board with; it’s accessible to all homeowners, achievable in any space and suitable for any budget.
The basics of Scandi style are easy enough to follow; think simple and functional aesthetics with clean lines and neutral colours. With this in mind, I’ve put together a set of guidelines to get the Danish way of living down to a tee.
1. Keep colours simple
The idea with hygge is to keep interiors simple, which makes linen is a perfect fabric choice. Romo have a range called Kelso Linen, which comes in the most beautiful but subtle colours. We’ve picked out the Feather Grey as it’s perfectly neutral and calming. The decorative leaf pattern is an ideal choice for a hygge style room as it strikes a balance between plain and patterned. Soft linen makes wonderful curtains in a relaxing or entertaining space; think, over French doors with thick tiebacks and perhaps lined in a cream or navy. The simplicity of this fabric means that it will be well matched with a number of other fabrics and furniture, such as wood, natural paint colours and warmer decorative fabrics like fur or velvet.
Speaking of warm decorative fabrics, hygge pretty much demands them. Make your home a haven of fur throws, cushions and rugs. You can afford to go a little bit colourful with accessories; if the basics of a room are neutral (walls, floors and ceilings) then any decorative accessories can be that bit fluffier and that bit more luxurious. A mix of fabrics and textures is essential for creating a cosy hub; fluffy rugs in the Bedroom will warm up wooden floorboards or plain carpet. Cover beds in throws and eiderdowns of differing shapes and sizes for a relaxed cluttered look and pile cushions on beds and chairs. Hygge homes are meant to look as lived in as possible. Gone is the minimalist approach with sofas you can’t sit on and homes that look like show houses; instead the importance falls on comfort, warmth and happy living.
3. Storage and display
One thing that is very typical of Scandinavian homes is a great love of storage versus display. Whether this is on a wall, shelf or table, organised storage and the display of certain objects is a definite step in the hygge direction. Dressers are a great choice; not only are they supremely functional but they are also decorative in their own right, which makes them a great alternative to standard shelving. To save you hours of searching, websites like Decorative Collective have hundreds of companies in one place; simply search for ‘antique dresser’ and adjust your price bracket accordingly. Go for wood where possible; it would be especially good if you can find a relatively cheap one and then treat/paint it yourself. That way, you can make it fit within your existing interiors. Choose one that incorporates shelves, cupboards and surfaces; a French style is good as they’re functional but designed with soft shapes to keep them aesthetic. Stick with greys and creams so that it is the items you display/keep in the dresser that do the talking: colourful book spines, photographs, flowers etc. Size totally depends on you and your home but it’s quite nice to have an attractive dresser as the main furniture piece in a room.
The final, but perhaps the most important of the guidelines to getting hygge into your home; lighting is absolutely vital for dictating the mood and feel of a room. Cosy Danish houses scream roaring fire but there are also ways to achieve this through clever artificial lighting. Lamps are the go-to for the hygge house; ceiling lights can be far too cold and are impossible to move whereas lamps can have various strengths of bulb to create soft and warm lighting. Go for bronze and gold lamp bases, as these are the most warming. Pair them with cream or coloured shades, ideally in a linen material so that the light comes through the shade instead of going up and down. Dark coloured lamps are also a good choice but pair these with white or cream shades so that you don’t have too much strong colour in one place.
Really, it’s about your home being a haven of relaxation, comfort and calm. Instead of filling your home with impulse buys that soon lose their appeal, move and re-work old pieces to give them a new lease of life. Saving up for one item of furniture will be incredibly rewarding; keeping your most loved items right where you can see them and not being afraid to cover yourself in twenty blankets are also good ways of injecting a fresh wave of happiness into your home. Interior designers are enjoying the homely touch of hygge and all that it stands for. It’s a trend that is very personal to the home and to you as the homeowner. Keep in mind that home is where the hygge is and you really can’t go wrong.