What is Hygge?
According to the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Danish people are the happiest people in the world and it all comes down to their way of living. Hygge can be summed up as a ‘feeling’, making intentional choices every day to enable you to ‘enjoy life’s pleasures’.
Pronounced ‘Hoo-ga’ for us Brits, it can be summed up as coziness, togetherness and homeyness and it utilises all five senses so you can slow down and weave intentional moments of joy into your everyday life.
Family life is always extremely busy, add on top the demands of work and living in a connected world means it can be hard to slow down and switch off. By focussing on incorporating ‘Hygge’ principles into your every day life, creating an environment where your family can relax and foster a real sense of togetherness.
As parents we strive to make our children feel secure in this vast world and creating a place where they can let go and relax is so important, just as much for them as it is for ourselves. A little safe haven.
“Hygge can change how we love, how we live and how we parent”
Happiness isn’t a constant state of being, for me it’s about creating and grabbing small moments of happiness that when strung together creates a sense of well-being, balance and calm.
What does Hygge feel like?
Hygge is a feeling, it’s not a ‘thing’ that can be purchased or owned, it’s a way of life, small intentional moments that create joy and togetherness. For me, it feels like a hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows on a cold, frosty day. It feels like the smell of a newborn baby as you take a deep breath in and inhale their beauty and newness.
Hygge feels calm, it feels cosy and it feels safe. Hygge will mean different things to different people as it’s subjective what makes each person feel connected to their loved ones, cosy and safe.
Creating the ‘Hygge’ feeling at home
If you have wooden floors, rugs in neutral tones like the Oriental Weavers Atlas Rug will give your feet something soft and warm to touch. Inspired by traditional tribal designs of the Berber’s. The cream diamond pattern makes it sleek and stylish. Woven using a long pile synthetic yarn which leaves the rug extremely soft with a pile height of 25mm.
Rugs are an essential part of room décor as they help to create the feeling of cosiness and warmth. There are many rugs to choose from, in colours to suit every taste. Keeping the patterns simple will help to make the room feel calm and less busy.
In the Winter months there’s nothing quite like a lovely, deep pile rug to brush your feet against or sit on with a mountain of cushions. Why not scatter a few around so the kids can sit on the floor and watch a movie in the living room or play happily in their rooms.
We also love this Berber Diamond Grey Rug as it’s a beautiful colour and really luxurious under our feet, also inspired by Moroccan tribes and Berbers.
Cushions & Throws
Ah, well who doesn’t like a throw or twenty? There’s nothing quite like getting snuggly under a pile of blankets and by experimenting with texture you can create a comfy feel to your room.
The ultimate Hygge would be rain splattered windows, warm lighting and being buried under a mountain of blankets and cushions with a good book, a movie or an extra snuggly child to cuddle up to.
Using clever lighting to create a warm and inviting look is central to the Hygge concept. Create pockets of warm lighting from floor lamps, candles, fairy lights, wall lights and pendant lights. Kids love fairy lights and I certainly don’t know any adults that don’t.
Try the personal touch, why not use these fabulous letters to let your child see their name in lights. The LED bulbs give out a lovely warm glow and these letters would make a lovely gift to light up the faces of any child. You could get really creative and spell out words that mean something to you all.
Lamps don’t have to be boring, this super stylish Sparino Children’s lamp is perfect as a table lamp or wall light to create an atmospheric glow in your child’s bedroom.
The bird design is really cute and makes a great feature light for any room. The pastel colour blends really well with the neutral theme but adds just a tiny ‘splash’ of colour which makes it stand out, also comes in yellow.
Neutral is the key for decorating and furnishing, natural tones create a serene feeling for all rooms. For kids’ bedrooms you can add a pop of colour here and there but remember, the objective is to create a clutter-free and neutral base to allow space to relax and unwind. Think simplicity. House plants are a great way to add a shock of colour against neutral tones.
Handmade products really add a touch of simplicity and coziness. Moving away from modern interiors and perfect products can make decorating the home a nicer process and remind us all that love, passion and energy went in to creating a one-off piece.
On a recent trip to Sweden I came across a shop called Afro Art and the pieces in there were truly incredible. If I’d have had a bigger suitcase, I would have emptied the shop.
This handmade mobile from Nepal for a child’s nursery is made of paper and is simplistic in design but so striking and different. Opting for handmade products brings a real sense of pleasure and appreciation for the product and won’t fail to raise admiration and comments from visitors.
Cultivating Hygge in your everyday living
1. Make bath time a mini spa time
Water and candles have such a calming effect and after a busy day it’s such a lovely way to wind down of an evening. Kids love bath times too and with a little bit of classical music in the background, some organic bath bubble bath or oils and the low glow of a candle (can use battery operated ones with the kiddies or hurricane lamps) you can create your own mini-spa. Choose towels, bath mats and robes in neutral shades and storage in pretty baskets.
Why not make your own spa products and kick back with a glass of wine or a book once the kids are asleep?
2. Picnics indoor & outdoor
Oh, we love a good indoor picnic on a rainy day, let the kids help you make or prep some of the food and then lay down a blanket in the living room and all sit together and have a picnic. If it’s a nice day, then get outside and enjoy nature whilst you share and dine. The perfect ‘togetherness’ lunch or early evening meal.
3. Spend more time with friends
Hygge is all about slow living and appreciating life and the wonderful moments it has to offer with those with love. It’s important to keep in touch with friends and for children to have friends over to learn to share their space and bond. Why not invite over a few friends for the children and for you too at the same time. Ask each adult to bring a dish and have a little party. You don’t always need a special reason to catch up.
4. Bike Rides
The Scandi’s love a good bike ride. Such a great way to see a City, Village, Town or Countryside and what a great way to get a lung full of fresh air and giggle as you ride. So many things to spot and is a cheap way to keep the kids occupied.
5. Camp out in the garden or indoors
Creating memories is a big part of Hygge and what better way to camp out in your back garden, a friend’s back garden or in your living room. You can create a cosy bolt-hole with lots of blankets, cushions and fairy lights. Then snuggle up for the night. You can always sneak back to bed later on but giving it a go and setting the scene is half the fun.
6. Screen Free Time
Technology can be a wonderful thing but when it creeps into your family time and divides you then creating screen-free time for all the family is important. Having time away from technology will bring you together and help you to ‘plug’ back into your community whether that be friends, family or the wider community around you. Set aside ‘intentional’ screen-free time regularly to really enjoy all that being offline has to offer.
7. Comfort Cooking & Baking
Cooking together can be a wonderful experience as you chat, share laughter and create delicious food to share. Slow cooked foods like stews and chilli are perfect through the colder months and a big steaming pot on the dining table is a lovely way to share. Simple flavours, rustic and made with love, what better way to enjoy food with those you love.
9. Self-Care Ritual
It’s so easy after a hectic day to unwind using Netflix or the TV and whilst it’s important to have time to zone out, creating a self-care ritual for yourself and for your children is a rewarding and mindful way to relax.
Creating a little kit doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, simple and comforting items such as a candle, some good quality chocolate, some woolly socks, herbal tea and even some of your favourite photos can go a long way in reconnecting to yourself. Creating a self-care kit for your children can be a wonderful way to let them know they are appreciated, loved and have the space to be themselves.
The Lighting Superstore
Product: Sparino Children’s Light
Product: Oriental Weavers Atlas 5502 W Rugs
Costs: From £64.99
Product: Berber Diamond Grey Rug
Product: LED Letters
Costs: £10 each