This winter, hygge (pronounced hoogah) is the work on every home designer and lifestyle blogger’s lips. Hygge roughly translates as the Danish word for cosy but it’s more like a philosophical approach to life which involves being present in the moment and relishing domestic, daily experiences by creating a warm atmosphere, celebrating simple pleasures, and nurturing your relationships with others. Hygge is thought to have been invented as a way for Danes to find enjoyment in the long, dark days of the Scandinavian winter, so it’s particularly associated with the cold weather and so there are a whole series of winter pastimes associated with hygge. In the design world, creating a cosy home environment conducive to hygge has inspired a lot of the major home design trends for 2017. This week, we look at five of our favourites.
Cosy fabrics and knitted textiles
Cosy, textured materials layered together instantly make your interior feel luxurious and warm. A plush rug, a few rustic knitted throws, and some throw cushions in a mixed neutral palette are all you need to put this look together.
Hyggekrog (cosy nook)
Escapism has been a popular home design trend for several years now. It’s all about creating a quiet, out of the way nook (such as a window seat or a secret garden alcove hidden from the house by tall plants) where you can switch your phone off and cuddle up with a book and a cup of tea for an hour or two.
In line with hygge’s focus on simplicity and warmth, natural finishes and materials such as wood, leather, wool and stone have replaced the metallic finishes of 2016. Outside, natural finishes such as exposed aggregate concrete are perfect for creating shared entertainment spaces where friends can enjoy a meal around the fire pit on dark winter nights. If you don’t want to invest in new furnishings or surfaces, try using natural elements to accent your home such as a bowl of pinecones on the dining room table.
As hygge is a Scandinavian philosophy, it’s hardly surprising that designers are taking aesthetic cues from this part of the world with restrained colour palettes, crisp white walls, modern lighting fixtures, and blond wood furnishings.
Basking in the warm glow of a candle on a cold winter’s night is just about as hygge as it gets. Consider putting lit candles on the table for winter dinner parties or lighting a lavender scented candle in your room for lazy Sunday mornings reading the paper in bed. Outdoors, candles put inside decorative lanterns are a stunning way to light up the winter night.