What is Hygge Decor? How to introduce Hygge into your Home
As Scandinavian-inspired decor is having a moment in interior design, we show you how to combine Scandi themes with a sense of hygge cosiness
The Danish concept of “hygge” has become a huge cultural phenomenon over the last few years, impacting not just Scandinavia but numerous countries around the world. The word doesn’t have a direct English translation but can loosely be ascribed to a sense of “cosiness” or “togetherness” – and though it has its roots in Danish writing (going back as far as the 1800s) it also has a similar meaning in Norwegian, and has evolved into the same cultural idea in Norway today. Encompassing everything it means to enjoy comfort, feeling safe, wellbeing and an appreciation of simple yet wholesome things in life, hygge is a refreshingly calming influence in our otherwise hectic, always-on lifestyles.
Of course, it’s no secret that Scandinavian style is also a key inspiration in current interior design. Clean, understated and considered, Scandi themes bring a contemporary appeal to any space. Here, we explore some top ideas of how to hygge-fy your home, combining Scandi cool with hygge cosiness.
With its focus on relaxation and calm, bright colours and vibrant, clashing prints do not sit well in hygge-inspired home decor. Instead, neutral tones should inform your colour palette.
Mix and match to promote a soothing atmosphere in a room, or stick to one colour for a clean Scandi feel. Examples include cool greys and whites, as well as warmer shades of biscuit, taupe, cream and ivory.
Texture is an important aspect of hygge, promoting not only cosiness but also mindfulness as you stop and appreciate a tactile surface. Alongside soft fabrics like wool, cashmere and cotton, consider natural materials in your home design, from wood and bamboo through to stone.
Found objects from the natural world can also promote hygge, such as seashells collected on a trip to the beach, or pinecones from a woodland walk.
Hygge is all about creating a sense of conviviality. Make your home as welcoming as possible – think snug nooks for reading, soft blankets in front of the fire, and the use of lamps rather than overhead lighting.
When it comes to decorating, play on the senses with flowers, room diffusers, and fairy lights, or even the smell of fresh baking if you’re a dab hand in the kitchen.
One of the easiest ways to add a touch of hygge to a room, candles are an essential home accessory in Scandinavia, often burning throughout the day whatever the weather. Look to 100% natural waxes rather than paraffin (which contains toxins); for instance, palm, soy or coconut.
Honey beeswax is widely regarded as the most luxurious variety, available through such brands as Diptyque, while the likes of Jo Malone and Acqua di Parma offer candles with wonderfully fragrant scents. Scatter a few about a room, light, and enjoy.
Throw blankets & cushions
Perfect for cuddling up with on the sofa, around the fire or even outside at night as you watch the stars, throw blankets and pillows are a great way to get cosy at home.
Once again, natural fabrics like wool and cashmere work well, though silk throws exude a sense of indulgence. Alternatively, fluffy materials add a touch of fun with plush short-haired or longer-fibred varieties.
Pillows & Duvets
It goes without saying that your bed should be the ultimate expression of good hygge. Whether you’re curling up under the covers with a hot drink and a Netflix box set, or just settling down to sleep, the bed is the last word in comfort and cosiness - everything hygge stands for!
Here at Norvegr we may be slightly biased, but our pillows and duvets are hard to beat. With a variety of collections available, each product is made with the finest materials, from Arctic white duck and Siberian snowgoose to ultra-soft eiderdown.
Continuing the focus on tactile surfaces, the addition of a rug adds texture and warmth to wood, tile or stone flooring. Natural fibres, such as wool, silk, jute and cotton, work perfectly with the hygge theme while also feeling good underfoot.
Norwegian design studio Volver offers rugs using traditional Scandinavian craft, while Deirdre Dyson stocks colourful hand-knotted styles made in Nepal by Tibetan artisans.
If your home is going to look the part, your wardrobe may as well get a hygge makeover too. Forget fitted forms and artificial fabrics - keep clothing relaxed with loose shapes, comfortable fabrics - cotton, wool etc - and soft colourways.
Casual styles are key, though there’s never any harm in indulging in a little luxury. Look to Olivia von Halle for sumptuous dressing gowns, Desmond & Dempsey for printed cotton pyjamas and N.Peal for super-soft cashmere. Socks or slippers complete the look.