Hygge is the Danish concept of cosiness. It’s that feeling you get when you find warmth and shelter on a cold day. It’s about closing the curtains on a dreary evening, lighting your candles and burrowing into your favourite blanket. Or spending the afternoon curled by the fire with a new book.
Technically, you’re supposed to pronounce it ‘hue-guh’ – although I’m sure I’m not alone in stubbornly referring to it as ‘higgy’ in the comfort of my own head.
The concept of hygge has taken Britain by storm – but I have to confess that I’ve always felt a bit annoyed by it. Since when do we need lessons from the Danes in how to be cosy? Surely the whole idea of an Englishman and his castle is the very epitome of hygge?
Yes and no
Retreating to your castle and pulling up the drawbridge behind you isn’t exactly a cheerful thought it is? Just look at Brexit. The Danes are the happiest nation on earth. The British are not. Hygge is a big part of that.
Hygge isn’t just about battening down the hatches against the storm, it’s about relishing the warmth and vitality to be found in our hearts – whatever the weather.
Which is where A Very British Hygge by Simon Sinclair fits in. It’s a little book published by Everest, full of clever little reminders that it’s easier than you think to be more hygge…
De-clutter. Let your home tell your story by giving it a chance to breathe. Ask yourself if that dusty pile of magazines or pile of odd socks brings you joy. If the answer’s no, then get rid of them. Your home will feel lighter, and so will you.
…but remember to be kind to yourself. The concept of hygge isn’t about creating a scandi-inspired show home. Perfection doesn’t guarantee happiness. Accept your home’s limitations – and your own too while you’re at it. Hygge is all about making the best of things.
Make your home comfortable and warm. This isn’t just about cushions and fairy lights, it’s about looking after the practical things. Double-glazed windows, decently fitted doors and insulation – they’re the building blocks you need to create a cosy home.
Be sociable. Don’t shut yourself away just because the weather’s lousy. Our homes come to life when we invite others in. Have friends round for a simple supper, or gather all the family in the sitting room to play a board-game.
Make the most of light. When we think about embracing hygge we tend to think imagine candles and lamp light – the epitome of cosiness. But don’t forget to make the most of the natural light you do have. Adding a conservatory or a skylight to your home is a great way to enjoy the sun all year round. Or try putting your favourite armchair next to a bright window. Find the time to sit down there with a cup of tea as often as you can.
How do you get a sense of hygge in your home? I’d love to know. For more information on all things Hygge and to download a free copy of Simon’s book click here.
This post was a paid commission by Everest.