written by Melissa Dalton
Inspired by the Scandinavian design influence in Staupe and Roy’s home (see A Modular Home on Kitsap Peninsula below), we turned to hygge, the Danish word you’ve seen everywhere but have no idea how to pronounce. (It’s “hue-guh”). In 2016, hygge was on the shortlist for word of the year from Oxford Dictionaries, which defines it as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Here’s a cheat sheet for bringing more hygge into your house during winter’s darker days.
Step 1: Start with lighting
Think candles, lots of candles. According to The Little Book of Hygge, 28 percent of Danes light a candle daily. Swap out colder, blue light bulbs for those possessing a warm, yellow ambience. (We recommend a Kelvin range of 2700). Go a step further
and install dimmer switches on lights in the areas where you
like to gather.
Step 2: Bring nature inside
This can be a new houseplant in a pretty pot, a collection of pine cones in a bowl, or clippings from the yard’s rosemary bush in a simple vase. Alternatively, pick up a bright floral bouquet every week and enjoy the natural color it brings.
Step 3: Hygge up the house
Pile up pillows and make throws accessible. Vary the color, pattern and texture for more visual appeal. Cover seats in sheepskins for an extra dose of comfort.
Step 4: Gather together
Once your home is feeling warm and comfy, hygge
is best enjoyed in the company of close family and friends. Make some food, pour a drink and keep gatherings relaxed so the attention is on time with your loved ones.
Bonus: Go outside!
All of the above is so much nicer after an outdoor adventure. Danish culture celebrates the outdoors with physical activity, not unlike here in the Pacific Northwest.