Is the non-stop, nine-to-five multitasking grind starting to get a bit much for you? It might be time to take a page from the book of the Danish way of life. Hygge living is a cultural phenomenon at the heart of making Danes among the happiest and most chilled-out people in the world. And you can find the secret to their contentment right here…
After reading you will be able to:
- Be familiar with hygge, it’s pronunciation, and meaning
- Learn to embrace the hygge way of life for yourself
- Understand the rules of hygge
- Appreciate the Scandi design aesthetic
- Create your own hygge-friendly space
- Live a life of more joy
Over the last few years the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) has become one of their most popular international exports. Also commonly used by the Norwegians, Hygge is a term with no direct translation in English, although the word ‘cosy’ does go some way to expressing its ideas.
Hygge is a feeling of contentment and well-being. It’s about enjoying the simpler things in life. If it were to be expressed as an image, hygge might be wearing your favourite socks while sinking into a large sofa as you hug a mug of hot chocolate and listen to the rain gently tap at the window. Now that’s hygge living!
It’s a lifestyle which celebrates ‘taking a moment’.
Those Danes might really be on to something, too. Despite their long, brutally cold, and miserable winters, Denmark often tops the bill as one of the happiest countries in the world. The hygge way of life goes a long way to explaining why. According to Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book Of Hygge, ‘what freedom is to Americans. . . hygge is to Danes’, it is a ‘defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA’.
The History Of Hygge Living
Derived from the Norwegian word for well-being, hygge has been used in Denmark since at least the early 1800s. By 2017 the term had become such a popular part of British vernacular that it entered the Oxford English Dictionary, which officially defines it as a noun meaning ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)’.
Also gaining traction on the other side of the Atlantic, it wasn’t long before hygge living became a phenomenon in the United States, where it grew to be one of the biggest trending décor inspirations of the decade.
How To Embrace Living The Hygge Lifestyle
Ever settle in for a weekend of binging The Crown in a pair of uber-comfy sweatpants you’d be too embarrassed to wear outside the house? Then you’ve already experienced hygge. The Danish do exactly this, except they call their sweatpants hyggebukser, and binge some gritty Scandi noir thriller full of murders and moping instead. Probably.
Ever have that cheeky extra slice of cake? That’s hygge.
Skipped the gym for a relaxing bath surrounded by candles? That’s hygge
Wrestle your friends in a tub full of jelly? That’s… probably not hygge.
But inviting your friends around to hang out is actually one of its central precepts. While spending time alone to take in a moment is fine, doing so with family and friends is even better. Togetherness is an important part of hygge culture, so wasting time on your mobile is a definite no-no.
Just as it isn’t about being alone, it isn’t necessarily all about being comfy, either. Some of the best hygge moments are to be had by spending time with loved ones outdoors, even in the cold. In this sense, hygge can be considered more an atmosphere of joy than a feeling of cosiness. It just so happens that many of us feel happiest and most contented indoors during the winter months.
Keeping It Simple: Hygge Living At Home
Hygge is a popular interior style choice with those who prefer to keep things on the simpler side. But unlike minimalist design sensibilities, hygge isn’t about chucking everything out and living in an empty room – it suggests you keep the things that have meaning to you around but encourages you to keep it as simple as possible. In the hygge philosophy, you are minimalizing the things that don’t matter in life but appreciating the simple things that bring you joy.
Top 5 Ways To Add A Hygge Design Aesthetic To Your Home
Wood Like To Go Out By Staying In
The Danes know that few things are as relaxing as a countryside stroll, and so you’ll find a lot of their interiors incorporate an outside feel to them. Adding a wooden timber bed frame and some other, similar style furniture to a bedroom is the easiest way to give it that Scandi-vibe. Some well-chosen plants and fresh flowers will really help sell the countryside feel, too.
Scents & Sense-ability
Despite all the timber, the Danes also love their open flames. While a log fire may not be a viable option for many of us (although we find downloading one to play on the TV is a decent substitute), we can all add a few candles to our environment. Switching your overhead lamp for the soft flicker of candles goes a long way to creating that hygge living atmosphere. And it isn’t just about lighting either, with many people opting for scented candles that range from smells of flowers and berries to lemon cheesecake and new car (if that’s what your happy place is, we’re not judging).
See The Love, Feel The Love
The social aspect of hygge living can not be stressed enough. At the very least you should have some framed photos of loved ones dotted around to keep them in mind during relaxation. Better yet though, is to provide an inviting space to tempt them over. Massive, plush armchairs, rustic rocking chairs, hot water bottles, and a host of casually available thick, body-hugging throws will appeal to almost everybody. If you’re particularly close and comfortable with them, then why not consider inviting all your friends over for a day of binging an entire season of your favourite TV show with homemade snacks in the cosiest place know to humankind – an Emperor size bed.
If you don’t have the space for one of them then consider choosing a new comfy sofa bed to add to your household.
Bringing On Bedtime
Without a doubt, the most comfortable piece of furniture in your entire house should be your bed. The place you go to unwind most of all, it is essential you have one that best suits your comfort needs. Although choosing the right mattress is vital to your luxury, it is important not to forget about the type of duvet you’d be most snug under too, and the pillow materials that best support your preferred sleeping position. In addition to these you should also consider adding a headboard to support all those extra hours of sitting in bed, and a mattress topper to make your bed just that little bit more relaxing.
Ready to take your comfort to the next level? Read our guide on the benefits of an electric adjustable bed to consider getting something that will really make a statement about how seriously you take your chill-time.
Tech-NO, Tech-NO, Tech-NO
Loud, thumping music may not be what most of us would consider hygge, but if it helps you unwind then why not? Although using tech for music, podcasts, TV, film and reading (on a Kindle), can add to the experience, using it otherwise is strictly against the rules. Scrolling through social media, checking work emails, and playing mobile games are the antithesis to a good afternoon of hygge-ing. Even if you’re not prone to giving in to the temptation of checking your tech every 5 minutes, it’s best that it stays out the room so as not to remind you of the world of work and people arguing over the latest news stories. No more blue light screens. Time to switch off.
Other essentials for living the hygge lifestyle include comfort food (especially homemade soups, casseroles, cakes, and sweets), and knitted clothing.
A pair of skies decoratively resting in the corner of the room are optional.
There’s plenty going on in the world right now that’s upping our anxiety levels to the max.
When it’s starting to stress us out too much we should don our comfiest loungewear, turn on some low-volume Classic FM, download a video of a roaring fireplace onto the TV, fall back onto a soft mattress, cuddle the dog, crack open that book we’ve been meaning to finish reading, sip from a ridiculously oversized mug of hot chocolate (with choccy sprinkles and marshmallows, of course), wiggle our toes to make them as comfy as possible in their fleece socks, and give the occasional glance through the window at children playing in the snow outside.
And if you can convince a few friends to come over to do it all with you, all the better!
The Land of Beds team can’t supply you with a warm beverage, a dog to stroke, or remember which chapter you’re on in the book you haven’t picked up in ages. What we can provide is advice on how to match you with the most comfortable mattress for your personal needs, so you can feel as snug as a bug in a hygge.
For more tips on how to make your bed as comfortable as possible for living the hygge life, check out the following articles:
Need Help Choosing A Bed?
Start your journey into creating the ideal chilled bedroom by finding the perfect mattress for your hygge lifestyle from our wide variety available at Land of Beds.
Deciding on the best mattress for your needs depends on several factors.
- What type of sleeper are you?
- What temperature do you sleep best in?
- What materials are you most comfortable on?
There is no need to lose sleep over trying to find the ideal bed and bedding for your sleeping needs. Our bed experts at Land of Beds pride themselves on their specialist knowledge and ability to guide you to the bed and bedding for your perfect hygge bedroom.
Our customer-first policy means we listen and give good, independent advice based on the needs of the individual. By pairing consumers up with ethically sourced, affordable, quality products, we provide as many people as possible with a great night’s sleep.
If you would like help finding a bed for a more comfortable lifestyle, feel free to get in touch with us on 01928 242829