How to Get Hygge, the Danish Trend That’s Taking Over the Internet
The year 2016 made even the hardiest among us want to curl up under a blanket and weep into a cup of cocoa. Minus the tears, the latest topic of trend pieces suggests you do just that. ‘Hygge’ is the Danish word for a cozy, comfortable environment. (Something that elicits such feelings is described with the adjective ‘hyggelig.’) For any number of reasons (the contentious election, the celebrity deaths, the tweet storm that’s always brewing), the term seems like the salve for all of our cultural boo-boos this winter.
Denmark, among other Scandinavian countries, repeatedly ranks among the happiest nations in the world. Writers at the New York Times, the New Yorker and TIME all attribute at least a sliver of this overwhelming gladness to hygge. And since its precepts are pretty simple, we put together some ways of incorporating a bit of this Danish sensibility into your daily life so that 2017 can start with a sweater and a smile.
Snuggling up at home in front of the fire is the surest way to cultivate hygge. A soft blanket will make you feel warm, plus colorful prints can be mood lifting. Shearling throws and wool blankets in abstract primary graphics are also popular in Scandinavian design.
A comfortable and warm room is key to hygge. Touches like soft rugs and pillows help create the type of atmosphere that’s inviting for entertaining, which is an essential activity for Danes. But don’t imagine a huge affair. Comfortable entertaining includes low-key activities with a small group of close friends in a homey environment. Magnolia Home′s rustic but cheery rugs and pillows can add just the right amount of calming hygge to any room without overdoing the decor—moderation is key to mastering this therapeutic aesthetic.
A mug of coffee or glögg, a Swedish mulled wine, is commonly served when entertaining in the home in Scandinavia. Simple cakes, cookies and porridges also round out the nourishing and nurturing menu, all served in simple stoneware.
Lighting is a key factor in making a comfy environment. Lamps can help minimize the use of overhead lights and bring the focus to the fireplace and friends. Candles are also a fixture in Danish homes, schools and offices. Their warm glow makes any environment seem more intimate. This R. Nichols candle smells of “aged paper, ink and leather” to emulate the fragrance of reading, another activity that fosters hygge.
Aside from reading a book and entertaining, outdoor activities like hiking or gardening can also instill a healthy dose of hygge. Often groups will gather together for walks in Denmark, then return to someone’s home for conversation and refreshments. How hyggelig.