Winter is the perfect time to make your home more hyggeligt. Hygge, pronounced HOO-gah, is a Danish word that is associated with happiness, coziness, comfort, contentment and, of course, home. It does not have a direct translation in English, but this idea and lifestyle is assumed to be part of the reason that Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world, if not the happiest.
Could you use a little more hygge in your home? Shea Homes® has some simple ideas to get you started!
Dim the lights. Lighting is a key staple of hygge, and it is said that the best lighting is in the hour before sunset. You can recreate this lighting anytime by turning down the lights, or turning some of them off altogether. You can also substitute candles or holiday lights for overhead lighting.
Use that fireplace. While fireplaces are beautiful to look at even when staged or un-used, we think the best way to change the ambiance of a room is to light the fireplace. Not only does it provide cozy heat, it also helps to provide a soft lighting that always makes us feel more relaxed.
Grab a cup of coffee. Snuggling up with a soft blanket and a cup of coffee (or tea) will definitely help with that warm and fuzzy feeling.
Make some stew. One of the best ways to get warm and cozy on a cold winter day is to make some soup or stew. While buying stew may be easier, making this meal at home will also spread elegant smells throughout your house. And bonus hygge points to you if the stew is made for or by a loved one!
Then enjoy it with friends. Spending time with those you cherish is thought to be another staple of hygge. In Denmark, small, close-knit groups of friends gather together for coffee or alcoholic beverages to enjoy a hyggelig time. Although it is suggested in Danish culture that these small groups must contain only close friends, in the United States we tend to enjoy making new friends, along with getting together with our long-time pals.
Put on fuzzy slippers or hand-knitted socks. What is more cozy than having something warm and soft cradling your feet? Don't knit? No problem - you can purchase hand-made socks at local markets, or online. Although, if they are made for you by a loved one - you are likely to feel extra hygge.
Ready to learn more about Hygge? Read The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking, the founder and chief executive of the Happiness Institute, a think tank based in Copenhagen dedicated to exploring why some societies are happier than others.