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5 Ways to Hygge Your Home for Winter

JANUARY 17, 2018
Photo credit: Aubrie Pick

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a Danish word for the “quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” It’s also been one of the biggest buzzwords in the design world over the past couple of years. The term moves beyond the function and form of “coziness” to really embody the ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures, be that taking a long bath, entertaining friends, or treating yourself to relaxing moments at home.

There’s no better time to get cozy than winter, so we thought we’d share a few ideas on how you can instill hygge in your home. Read on.

Integrate a Mix of Soft Textures

Design by Decorist Elite designer Jessica McCarthy

An obvious step in making your home cozy and comfortable is to bring in materials that are soft to the touch. We recommend using decor with a variety of textures, such as a sheepskin throw, a chunky knit throw, sheeting with a soft finish such a high-quality percale or Egyptian cotton, or a well-worn linen. Don’t forget about materials underfoot—look for a high-end wool rug or even a flokati or sheepskin rug.


Ensure Furniture Is Functional

Photo by François Halard for Vogue

You may covet the prim and proper formal dining rooms you see in magazines, but they don’t exactly make us want to sit and stay a while. And that’s what hygge is all about. When choosing furniture, ensure that you can relax into your living room sofas and chairs (and perhaps even doze off!) and that your dining chairs are conducive to a long, lingering dinner with friends. Renovating your kitchen? Eschew any precious countertop materials that might give you anxiety. Hygge is all about easy, breezy, stress-free living.


Use a Neutral Color Palette

Design by Ashley Redmond for Decorist

We love bold colors just as much as the next person—and we certainly use them, too!—but when we’re designing a peaceful space, we tend to reach for neutrals and soft hues like pastels. Light, organic materials like natural linen and light oak are great options, as well as cool shades, such as blues and greens, which are not overpowering and tend to recede. When you look around the room, you can certainly have focal points and points of visual interest, but avoid color choices that are jarring.


Bring in Natural Elements

Photo by Amy Bartlam

As they say, “Mother Nature knows best.” This is especially true when it comes to interiors. Imagine a place that puts you at ease… Is it full of plastic and metal furniture? Probably not. Natural elements like wood, cotton upholstery, and other natural-fiber textiles have an inherently cozy look, and sometimes feel; Use these materials in both furniture and decor. Combine that with natural plants and flowers—proven to produce both happier and healthier homes—and you’ll have a space that gives you life and makes you feel content.


Create a Lighting Plan

Design by Nickey Kehoe

Rooms with “mood lighting”—i.e. dimmer-switch dining rooms and candle-lit living rooms—can certainly instill a certain feeling that can be essential to hygge, but that’s not the only type of lighting you should consider. In fact, every room should have three types of lighting: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. The combination ensures your room is well-lit, functional, and beautiful. If cooking is a ritual that makes you happy and content, you’ll want to ensure you have both under-cabinet and overhead lighting. If soaking in the tub is a favorite habit, a pair of candles might suit you. Create a lighting strategy and plan for each room in your home to cover all your bases and favorite rituals.

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