During these last few weeks of winter when spring, warmth and sunshine cannot seem to come fast enough, "hygge" seemed like just the perfect thing to write about.

In my designs, I quite often draw inspiration from Scandinavian aesthetic - simplicity of form, uncluttered spaces, plenty of light and natural materials. Of course, having heard about the latest Scandinavian obsession with "hygge" [pronounced hoo-gah], I wanted to know more.

"HYGGE" is a Danish term that has no direct translation in English language but is defined as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment and well-being". It is no wonder that against the backdrop of political, economic and social uncertainty, the concept of "hygge" has gained worldwide popularity, so much so that the word was shortlisted as the Oxford Dictionary's 2016 "word of the year". 

In Denmark, much like in Canada, winter is cold, long and dark. In order to not merely tolerate but even enjoy the winter season, the Danes have come up with an arsenal of strategies to keep the winter blues away. While some are very physical (and more related to interior design and physical qualities of the space), others are far less tangible but just as important!

Here is HOW TO HYGGE like the Danish:

1. Layer the textures

2. Keep the decor neutral, minimal and practical

3. Bring in a lot of natural materials - WOOD does wonders to add warmth to the space

4. Dress for the weather (I am a fan of the cozy luxurious textures and trendy styles at Rudsak)

5. Let there be (candle) light!

6. Splurge on gourmet teas 

7. Get outside - find an activity to look forward to 

8. Show people you love them 

9. Get as much sun as possible

10. Indulge in healthy and hearty seasonal dishes

11. Find your favourite warm drink (have you tried Turmeric Milk?)

12. Stay active

13. Surround yourself with a community of like-minded and supportive people

14. Curl up with a good book (How about The Kinfolk Home? See my previous post)

15. Put on your favourite playlist

16. Turn your bathroom into a spa or just enjoy a DIY spa-at-home day

17. Put on some incense 

18. Take a regular time-out from technology

19. Take it slow

20. Remember to practice gratitude


This bathroom in Ripple Hotel, Hangzhou perfectly channels the ethos of "hygge". Design by XL-Muse.

Read more in this great article by The New Yorker - The Year of Hygge, the Danish Obsession with Getting Cozy