The Danish word hygge, pronounced a little like ‘hooga’, is impossible to translate. Its meaning? The secret to happiness for Danes.

The art of hygge

Tea at the perfect temperature, the moment you snuggle up under a blanket or get together with a group of friends around a table to set the world to rights. It’s all part of hygge. Because one of the most humble yet best-loved traditions is that of creating a cosy atmosphere and enjoying the best things in life with good people. What else is there?

In search of happiness

Hygge applies to every aspect of life: from the economy to food, via comfort and affection. The word was first used in Denmark in the 17th century and has maritime origins. Sailors used it to describe feelings of cosiness, wellbeing and the comforts of home. That’s why hygge refers to the small yet infinitely important things in life that put a smile on our faces and make us feel good.

5 tips for practising hygge

If globalisation lets us import products from all over the world, we’re definitely doing the same with traditions like this. Follow these simple steps to bring this Danish way of life into your home:

  1. There’s no place like home. The Danes tend to meet up with friends and family at home. Not like in Spain, where bars and restaurants reign supreme. That’s why the first step is to cultivate your social life from home.
  2. Comfort above all. If there’s one thing we associate with being at home, it’s sitting comfortably. Heels off and loungewear on (which doesn't mean wearing any old thing – at home we want to feel attractive as well as comfy!)
  3. Take care of the details. Creating the perfect atmosphere is easier than it looks and has a lot to do with taking care over the small details. Gather some seasonal flowers or add candles to your décor. Warm lighting and soft, snuggly fabrics are another tip. But don’t forget that it’s about adapting this concept to suit your own tastes.
  4. Quality time. In this frenetic age, more time to fill with jobs and errands isn’t what we need. Instead, we need to make more quality time from what we have. And how does this relate to hygge? The first rule to remember is to banish stress from your home. It’ll help you to organise your time better and reserve a space for your hobbies and catch-ups with friends.
  5. Body and mind. Just sharing warm and peaceful times with friends isn’t necessarily hygge because f we aren’t aware of a sense of wellbeing in that moment, it doesn’t count. Wake up your consciousness, enjoy the present moment and value the little things. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Want to incorporate some more hygge into your home? Read more on our blog to find out how to use it in your interior décor.

May 5, 2021, 10 a.m.