Is hygge really the secret to happy living? Pronounced “hoo-ga”, the Danish concept of hygge is all about creating your personal happy space no matter where you are.
Even if you don’t really understand what hygge is, there’s a good chance you’ve practiced the popular trend. Love sitting by your fireplace? Have a favorite pair of fuzzy socks you slip on when it’s cold outside? That’s hygge. And according to Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge, it’s a big part of why Denmark consistently ranks as a country in the World Happiness Report.
Wiking believes that hygge can help you find happiness. So if it really is the secret to inner peace, it’s no wonder that Scandinavian design is having a major moment. If you’re interested in putting hygge to the test in your home, here’s what you can do.
1. Invest in candles
“The word for ‘spoilsport’ in Danish is lyseslukker, which means ‘the one who puts out the candles.”
The secret to a successful hygge space starts with candles. Lots and lots of candles. According to the European Candle Association, Denmark burns more candles per person than anywhere else in Europe.
2. Perfect your lighting
The rule of thumb is, the lower the temperature of light, the more hygge it is. Instead of having one overhead light, place a few smaller lamps throughout the room. Most importantly, always avoid fluorescent bulbs.
3. Create a nook
“Today, one of the reasons we like to sit in a hyggekrog could be that it makes us feel safe; overlooking another room or the street gives us the advantage of spotting any potential threat. We feel relaxed when we’re in a hyggekrog. We feel that we have control over our situation and do not feel exposed to the unpredictable.”
Every house needs a nook (or hyggekrog). Designate a small space, be it a window or a chair in your favorite corner, to a space where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a little me-time.
4. Keep it natural
If you’ve ever been skiing, you know there’s nothing better than a little relaxing in the lodge apres-ski. Wiking’s Little Book of Hygge states that you can achieve this state of hygge in your home by keeping things natural. From having a fireplace to simply installing wooden shelves and flooring, surround yourself with elements to achieve hygge.
5. Get comfortable
Blankets, cushions, and pillows are must-haves in any hygge home. How do you achieve maximum comfort? If you favor a stack of pillows over a warm blanket — go for it! Hygge is about creating your ideal cozy atmosphere.
Go ahead, get hygge.