Embracing ‘hygge’ in your home this Christmas

Let’s face it, we’ll probably be spending Christmas at home this year, whether we like it or not.

For a little help in interior decoration and making our homes feel like Christmas, however, let’s cast an eye across to our Nordic friends.

What is Hygge?

It’s one of those words that doesn’t seem to make a lick of sense when you first try (in vain) to pronounce it but hygge (“hoo-ga” in case you were wondering) is also something you’ve probably experienced at least a few times in your life.

It’s a Danish design philosophy that tries to put a name to that feeling of walking into a home and wanting to live there. That cosiness that it’s almost impossible to put your finger on.

According to famed Danish furniture designer Morten Georgsen: “We Danes love the state of mind – hygge – because it’s peaceful, friendly and a fantastic stress reliever. It’s our zen, we breathe it, almost live from it. Maybe it’s one of the reasons that the Danes year in, year out are nominated the happiest people in the world.”

Sounds pretty lovely, doesn’t it? And with Christmas on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to put a little hygge in your life. But what’s the secret?

Lighting – If a home is full of hygge then it’s generally rather light. This is why you’ll find so many luxurious window treatments in Scandinavian homes and lots of elaborate lighting fixtures.

Fairy lights are also a wonderful way of bringing some instant hygge into the room and Christmas is the ideal time to experiment.

Giving with nature – Another cornerstone of hygge design is bringing natural elements into the home and making them work organically.

Bringing the outside in is something we do every December anyway with our Christmas trees, but go a little further this year with more wooden accents and ideas. Maybe consider accentuating the mantle with some pinecones, for example?

Show off your love of reading – Books are not just glorious gateways into other worlds – they also look spectacular, particularly if you’ve got a lot of them. So, don’t hide your books away in the attic, make your home look and feel lived in by displaying your hardbacks, softbacks, graphic novels, and coffee-table books in all their glory.

Build a nook – There’s nothing quite as cosy as curling up in a nook with a blanket and letting the warmth of the season wash over you.

Nooks are an incredibly Nordic creation and can create a space you’ll want to spend hours nestled away with a good book.

Accentuate the fireplace – If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace or wood-burner in your living room, make it the focal point. Don’t just leave it hidden away in the corner – build your room and your interior designs around it.

Textures and colours – There is something incredibly tactile about the word hygge and that is reflected in the Danish love of textured furniture. Real wooden tables, soft, heavy rugs, and soft blankets are all winners.

As far as the colour palette is concerned, meanwhile, keep it cosy. Christmas colours – browns, reds, and greens – are ideal hygge colours, as it just so happens.

So, don’t think too much about it, just go with your gut!