Hygge - Winter 2021

The Ultimate Hygge Home Design Guide

Evan Dunn

Originally posted with permission to use on Porch.com

If you’re looking for a new way to update your home, there is certainly no shortage of interior design styles to choose from. One way to enjoy a beautiful space while appreciating life’s simple pleasures is through the Hygge method. This concept was once unique to Danish speakers, but today, it’s a popular choice for home decor and design all over the globe. Its use of natural tones, organic textures, and clean lines makes designing your own home in the Hygge style simple, as long as you know where to start. This guide will give you some insight into what Hygge is, its many benefits, and some tips you can use to incorporate the design into your own space.

What is Hygge?

The word Hygge is a Danish word, and it’s pronounced as ‘hue-gah.” While there’s no definitive translation for this word in English, it can best be described as a feeling of coziness, warmth, and togetherness. The Hygge lifestyle and design concept was developed in the 18th century, and today, it’s at the core of Danish culture. Overall, the word Hygge is used to describe a lifestyle or way of life — which means that it’s also part of Danish peoples’ homes and their décor. The principle of Hygge is to create a calming space free of clutter so you can focus on the simple, beautiful things that life has to offer.

Too much clutter can increase your blood pressure and your stress levels. If you minimize this clutter, you’ll begin to notice a more peaceful and serene feeling whenever you spend time in your home. While minimalism is close to the Hygge style, the two are not exactly the same. Originally, the concept of Hygge took root in the winter, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it all year round. You can enjoy a cozy home any time of the year, and with some easy changes, you can elevate any room and enjoy the many benefits of the relaxing Hygge lifestyle.

The Benefits of Hygge in Your Home

Before you decide whether or not Hygge style is right for you, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits this design style provides:

Comfort. The main focus of Hygge is to create a comfortable space. When you decorate in this style, you’ll feel much comfier and more relaxed in your home.

Coziness. With its warm, neutral color scheme and lots of soft textures, Hygge homes are cozy and inviting, even during the warmer months of the year.

Calm. Less stuff equals less stress, which means you’ll immediately feel a sense of calm whenever you walk into your home or into a specific room.

Better mindfulness. Choosing to design your home with the Hygge style in mind will help you be more aware of your surroundings, value the things you buy, and appreciate the little things in life that bring you joy.

Improved sleep. There are some physical benefits to choosing Hygge, too — a calm and relaxing environment will help to put your mind at ease, allowing you to sleep more peacefully and longer during the night. Getting ample sleep has an incredibly positive impact on physical health and well-being.

Higher level of self-care. Practicing the Hygge lifestyle will encourage you to focus on self-care, and you’ll do it more effectively. When you shift your focus onto the things around you, you’ll appreciate things like nature, friendships, and peace that much more.

10 Tips to Better Hygge at Home

Now that you know about the background and benefits of this Danish design style, let’s take a look at some useful Hygge tips to help you incorporate it into your own home and life:

  1. Warm up your home. If you have a fireplace, it’s a perfect foundation for a Hygge-inspired space. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, flickering candles will do just as well. Pick several candles in different heights, shapes, colors, and sizes, then group them together for a warm presentation. You can also enjoy scented candles to elevate your home and bring a nice, warm vibe into your space. Scents like vanilla, cinnamon, and lavender have calming and warming effects.
  2. Don’t forget the greenery. One founding principle of any Hygge home is to bring some of the outdoors inside. Add lots of potted plants to your home, including trailing vines, small trees, or adorable succulents. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can always use faux plants as a replacement. A vase filled with freshly cut flowers during springtime is a fantastic way to liven up your home and enjoy a touch of nature, too.
  3. Keep it simple. Remember, living a Hygge lifestyle means that you appreciate the things in life, not necessarily just physical things. That means you should try to keep your décor as simple as possible and avoid overcrowding shelves and tables with lots of collectibles and decorative objects. Find a few key pieces of artwork that you love, and make them the focal point while the wall around them remains blank. The idea is to only display items you truly treasure and to not overdo it when it comes to patterns, colors, and random décor.
  4. Surround yourself with softness. Since coziness is the foundation of a Hygge home, it’s important to make sure you have plenty of cushy textures around you. Look for ultra-soft throw blankets and pillows that will add a warm look and feel to your home. Instead of standard area rugs, try something in a shag pile or faux fur to up the softness level. This concept should also show in your furniture. Rather than choosing “stiff” furnishings, opt for a sofa with overstuffed arms or an accent chair topped with a super-soft, plush upholstery.
  5. Choose décor that tells a story. It’s important to decorate your home with items that mean something to you. Make sure you surround yourself with sentimental items, or with things that provoke fond memories of times gone by. This can be anything from a favorite photo inside of a beautiful wood frame to an assortment of souvenirs you’ve gathered from past travels. The idea is to add decorative items that have real meaning to you rather than just store-bought décor that’s mass-produced.
  6. Keep colors neutral and soft. To design a Hygge-inspired home, you’ll need to choose light, neutral colors for walls, flooring, and furniture. Natural wood or faux wood floors are best, but if you prefer carpet, stick to something in creamy ivory or light gray rather than a bold, dark color. The same applies to your wall color — update dark tones to something lighter, like an off-white or a soft, pale gray, or yellow. Wood and leather furniture are great choices that will complement the other neutral colors in the home. Bright, vibrant hues are great for small accents, but they shouldn’t be the predominant colors in the room.
  7. Go organic. You don’t have to use natural materials for every single thing in your home, but incorporating these components will boost the Hygge. Wood, leather, and woven materials like jute are all excellent options. A large woven rattan basket placed in a corner or a jute area rug in a tan color under a chair can elevate the Hygge theme. Try leather or faux-leather upholstered furniture with exposed wood frames or a wicker chair for a charming finishing touch.
  8. Enjoy a nice, warm beverage.  Another delightful part of the Hygge lifestyle is enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea in a lovely environment. Create a tea or coffee station in the corner of your living room so you can enjoy sipping on a warm mug of your favorite beverage any time. Purchase a set of matching ceramic mugs in a white or terra cotta color, and place them on a wooden bar cart for a charming display and easy access.
  9. Blend the old and new. Giving old, antique items new life is a wonderful way to appreciate things from the past. In a Hygge home, you’ll often see antique area rugs or vintage furniture right next to brand-new items. The mixing of old and new furnishings and décor pays homage to the past while helping these items serve a brand-new purpose in the home.
  10. Don’t forget the books. One key element of living a Hygge life is to curl up by the fire with a hot cup of tea and a great book — if you love to read, the Hygge style is perfect for you! Choose a natural wood bookcase, and fill it with a selection of your favorite reading material. Reading a great book is a wonderful alternative to watching TV that can also relax your mind.

With a few simple changes, you can easily enjoy the comfy and cozy Hygge design style. Update your color scheme to something soft and neutral, and bring in a few beautiful natural components like houseplants and organic textures. A streamlined home will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what’s truly important in life — and that’s exactly what the Hygge design concept is meant to achieve.