Statistics show that from the land with many dark and cold days (Denmark)...come the happiest people.
Why are Danish people so happy?
Honestly, maybe it's because they're comfortable.
We're not the first to make the connection between being cosy and being happy, and it's not rocket-science to see it. It turns out though, that the Danes have the monopoly on comfort: they have hygge.
The luxury of comfort
Hygge is the latest trendy word to describe a state of mind where we can find balance in our stressful lives. We've been seeing it buzz about everywhere from fashion editorials to interior design trend books.
But what exactly is it?
If you take out the dictionary, hygge (pronounced 'hoo-gah') is defined as:
....a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
It doesn't stop there though, because hygge can be different for everyone.
Some people can find a moment of calmness curling up with a good book in front of an open fire.
Others can best unwind in the company of good friends.
Wintertime is perfect for nestling up inside, but sitting outside on a summer evening with friends at the dinner table is just as much part of that feeling of blissed-out relaxation: hygge.
Bringing a bit of hygge into your interior design
- Make the space welcoming and a bit decadent. Think about soft lighting and the cheerful flickering of candles, but don't take it from us: think about you. What says 'snug contentment' to you?
Think about textures that are warm and inviting, like sumptuous velvets in greens and mustard yellows.
A combination of colours can have a soothing and comforting effect, so get your colour wheel and go all out.
Remember, though, that hygge colours tend to be more muted, so veer away from fiercer shades.
Decorate the room with soft sofas and lots of cushions to relax in. This is where textiles really come into their own: use big knit throws, floor pillows or even a hammock if you have the space!
Make sure there are no harsh sounds, but only a contented quietness or happy laughter. Even setting your phone to play nature sounds could be the perfect way to top off your interiors.
Smells are important too: just think about the moment you open the oven and take out a freshly baked cake.