The Scandinavians know a thing or two about enjoying Winter to the full and so it’s no surprise that the Danish have come up with the concept of hygge. Symbolizing a sense of comfort and special moments with family and friends, it has huge appeal worldwide.We’re sharing our tips for a wonderful Winter and how to hygge, to help brighten up these dark days…
Definition of Hygge
There are actually quite a few different definitions of hygge. It epitomizes a feeling of coziness, conviviality and finding joy in the everyday. According to the Danish writer and translator Tove Maren Stakkestad , Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt. If you’re wondering how to pronounce hygge, it’s “hoo-guh”.
How to Hygge – Hygge Decor
Danish style is about functional but comfortable furniture and a minimalist vibe. Scandi living should invoke a sense of warmth, with log fires and plenty of books scattered around. For a cosy home, opt for tactile, natural fabrics such as sheepskin rugs, fake fur throws, wood, unadorned metal, ceramic and stone. A warm blanket and a hot drink go a long way to create the hygge home decor look, like in this lovely hotel in Verbier. Houseplants bring nature indoors and succulents are particularly suitable thanks to their clean lines. In terms of colours, shades of white, cream, brown and grey are ideal. Consider incorporating accent colours such as red and green for their festive vibe.
Hygge lighting will ideally be fairly low, so think wall lights with dimmer switches, fairy lights and scented candles. The appropriately named Hygge candle is by Danish brand Skandinavisk. It has a smart beechwood lid that doubles as a coaster when the candle is lit and smells absolutely divine! It’s described as echoes of baked strawberry cake, brewed tea, wild mint and rose petals but it reminds me of freshly laundered sheets. The candle is hand-poured from a blend of perfume and vegetable wax and will burn for at least 50 hours if you let it burn for no longer than 3 hours at a time. Get yours at PAD Lifestyle, the cool online concept store that curates independent labels and designs its own range of bespoke, limited edition furniture.
A hygge bedroom should have plenty of pillows, a faux-fur or quilted throw on the bed. You could also change your Summer duvet cover for a heavyweight one in a warmer Winter colour such as teal. Wooden furniture or floorboards will add a Scandinavian element or hang objects on a wooden branch for a quirky touch. Sheepskin rugs will also enhance the cozy ambiance. Try to keep tech out of the bedroom for a more relaxing sleep. Blue light from smart phones and laptops disrupts sleep patterns so it’s best to turn these devices off or remove them from the room altogether.
To complement your hygge interior, choose comfy warm clothes in fabrics such as lambswool and cashmere. Baukjen is a London based studio that designs timeless classics such as this V neck sweater with a playful star pattern. Amsterdam born founder, Baujken de Swaan Arons and her team specialize in everyday comfy yet chic clothing. The Loxley Intarsia jumper is a super soft wool blend that would work perfectly with skinny jeans, leather leggings or simply for relaxing at home. Truly versatile and a wonderful Christmas gift for yourself or a loved one.
These cozy woollen Somerville hygge socks are just the job for lounging at home. In an attractive olive shade, they have a non-slip design and some lurex to add sparkle. Another great British brand, Somerville recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. They’ve come up with some lovely pieces for Winter including cashmere neck warmers and charming faux fur pom pom hats.
Comfy nightwear like these stylish Clara Swan Print Pyjamas by Cyberjammies is a must. Made from cotton and modal, they have an elegant swan design, with a smart black, white, grey and teal blue colourway. This British brand is available online and at over 250 stores in Europe, the USA and Australia.
Now is the time to brew up some mulled wine and it only takes a few minutes to prepare. Just take one bottle of red wine, and heat it gently for 10 minutes with a stick of cinnamon, a couple of star anise, a few cloves and 4 tablespoons of caster sugar or honey, as well as a few slices of orange. Take it off the heat and allow to infuse for a few minutes before serving.
Hot chocolate is another delicious Winter beverage and no one will blame you if you add a few marshmallows on top ;-). Talking of which, a melted chocolate and marshmallow fondue makes a great sweet alternative to a savoury cheese fondue.
Bircher museli is a lovely Winter warmer – OK, so it’s the Swiss who actually came up with Bircher museli but it fits well with hygge. This healthy mix of nuts, dried fruit and raw oats soaked in yogurt milk will set you up for the day. Prepare it the night before by soaking 150 g of rolled oats in 420 ml milk, 60 ml of apple juice and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. The next morning, add your favourite toppings such as blueberries, nuts and dried fruit. If you prefer, you could make it the same day using quick oats which only need to soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
Use a slow cooker to prepare delicious meals such as stew in the morning that will be ready for you when you come home from work. It’s also easy to rustle up fresh waffles if you have a waffle iron. Simply mix together 1 and a quarter cups of flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of ground nutmeg and salt. Add 1 egg and half a cup of milk and blend until smooth. Then spray the heated waffle iron with a non-stick spray and pour a few tablespoons of the batter in. Serve with chopped bananas for a delicious Wintertime treat.
Nothing spells Christmas quite so much as a festive wreath and this bespoke one by Phillo Flowers really has the wow factor. This RHS award winning florist is one of the most renowned in London for their magical designs. They can adapt the colours and decoration used to you or your chosen recipient’s preferences, using fragrant Winter foliage and berries. The end result is simply stunning and very long lasting. Aside from wreaths, they also supply decorated Christmas trees, table pieces and floral arrangements as well as scented candles for businesses, private residences, parties and weddings. If you’re in London, head to their Notting Hill boutique on Chepstow Road to marvel at their creations. There’s a great selection in their online store too and if you’re not sure what to pick, then their gift voucher is an excellent choice.
A Danish nisse or elf makes a cute Christmas decoration.
Skin can get very dry at this time of year, so good quality skincare is a must. When it looks as good as this REN Silent Night, Wake Wonderful set, then it’s the perfect gift. The beautifully packaged set includes their signature V-Cense™ Revitalising Night Cream, Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial and Wake Wonderful Night Time Facial. The night cream has vitamin C and citroflavonoids from Calabrian oranges to reduce free radical damage, as well as frankincense and boswellic acid to relax facial muscles and phytosterols to boost lipid content. The 1 Minute Facial also has vitamin C and boswellic acid, as well as glycogen magnesium which boosts radiance, while the night-time facial contains glycolic and lactic acids and other ingredients to moisturize and refine skin tone. Now there’s no excuse not to look great on Christmas Day!
Have you heard of hygge before? We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about how to hygge! What are your best tips for warming up Winter? Check out our luxurious beauty gift ideas for more Christmas present inspiration.