The Danes are said to be some of the happiest people in the world, and as the nation that brought us the concept of hygge, it’s easy to see why. As winter draws in, and we potentially face another locked-down few months, we thought we’d explore how to bring a little hygge philosophy into your home.
In The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking describes hygge as being “…about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe and we are shielded from the world…”
The closest English equivalent is ‘wellbeing’ but hygge goes further, evoking cosiness, warmth, and enjoying the good things in life with good people.
We’ve chosen five key concepts to consider in your pursuit of hygge: cosiness, warmth, lighting, natural materials, and who you’re sharing it with.
Browse Instagram and you’ll find thousands of photos just like ours, complete with cosy knitwear, chunky socks, hot chocolate, candles and blankets. You simply can’t get hygge with it if you’re uncomfortable, distracted or cold! So, stock up on blankets, select a great book, dig out your sweats and put on the kettle.
As far as we’re concerned, hygge starts with a luxurious bubble bath accompanied by a book and a glass of wine. At Dorton, we have a huge range of reclaimed baths, including Georgian roll-tops and cast iron models. We also stock Belfast and butler sinks and a selection of pedestals.
Whether you’re bundled up under a blanket, or wrapped up warm in your garden, hygge conjures feelings of warmth and wellbeing. A wood burning stove or beautifully restored fireplace is extremely ‘hyggelig’ (hygge-like) – so pull up a comfy chair and enjoy a good book in front of your roaring fire. No space for an open fireplace? Choose a vintage radiator instead.
For lighting to evoke a feeling of hygge, it needs to be soft and subtle, not harsh and bright. Alongside your candles, add a repro lamp or statement light fitting and add a soft bulb or dimmer switch. Outside, why not string up some fairy lights to create some hygge magic?
Hygge is a Danish concept and many of the subsequent décor trends incorporate an element of Scandi design. As Meik Wiking explains, “the reason for the Danish obsession with interior design is that our homes are the hygge headquarters”. Choose minimalist colour schemes, stripped and waxed floorboards, wooden shelves and flagstones to create your own slice of ‘hjemmehygge’ (hygge at home).
Someone to share it with
Whilst hygge can be an insular and solitary delight, it’s also a concept that celebrates friendship, gatherings, familiarity and companionship. Think a dining table stacked with delicious, warming, comfort food. Baking homemade cookies with your kids. Playing board games with the family. Helping to prepare a beautiful meal.
Hygge is a way of life, a celebration of the simple things in life. You can’t buy hygge but you can learn to live your life with some hygge-inspired qualities. And especially in this strangest of years, we think there’s a lot to be said for closing the front door, locking out the chaos, and enjoying some peaceful, hyggelig time at home.
Don’t forget, if you’re on the lookout for something in particular, give our friendly team a call and we’ll do our best to help.
The New Yorker – Lead image
Glossy Box – Bubble bath
Shop Hygge Box (via Instagram) – Lighting
Interior Design Box – Living room
The Culture Trip – Dining table