Now that daylight savings time has kicked in, we’re all looking out our windows in astonishment when 6pm brings total darkness. The long, dark nights and freezing temperatures drive us all indoors. We’re left fretting in our houses, getting blue, missing the sun.
Denmark knows a thing or two about dark winters. After all, at their high latitude, winters see astonishingly short days. The sun sets as early as 3pm! They only get a few hours of bleary gray sunlight each day, so they have to learn to celebrate the cold dark evenings too. That’s why we have the Danes to thank for the inspired term: hygge.
Roughly translated, hygge describes cozy rituals and accents that counter the winter blues. Hygge means good cheer, togetherness, intimacy and contentment. It’s about enjoying tiny things every day that bring you joy in the winter. So, in honor of the lengthening shadows, here are some tips to incorporate hygge into your own home:
Some Practical Tips to Keep Warm
- Weather-proof your home. You’d be amazed how much cold air sneaks in just around your doorframe. Weather-stripping will eliminate drafts and keep your heating bill lower.
- Cover your windows with insulating curtains, especially if you don’t have modern windows. Shutting away the chill that creeps through the windowpanes will keep you warm and adds texture and comfort to your room.
- It may seem counter-intuitive to turn on your fan in the winter, but a slowly-rotating ceiling fan can push warm air that’s resting at the ceiling back down where it’s needed.
- Turn down the heat at night and bundle under covers instead. Add some extra blankets, a hot water bottle, rice pack, or electric heat pad in there to keep you snug at night.
Some Design Tips for Hygge in the Home
Hygge design is all about understated color, warmth, and rich textures, so layer up!
- Add a cozy area rug to bare floors
- Drape neutral knit blankets over chairs and couches
- Put warm yellow light bulbs in your lamps, and place the lamps on tables or the ground to create an intimiate atmosphere in any room. Accent with twinkle lights in strategic spots, like on the fireplace mantle or the top of a bookshelf.
- Use cool neutrals like cream, gray, and light tan
- Opt for knits, furs, and weaves in all your fabrics
- Use woodsy organics like bare wooden surfaces, sprigs of branches and berries, and accents of feathers and twigs.
- Simplify. Cozy doesn’t mean clutter. Get rid of random items that are actually just stressful unfinished projects and will keep you from enjoying your space.