“Hygge” Hygge (“heu-gah”). The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Celebrating the everyday.
It’s everywhere. Hygge. If you go back just a year on social media, there would be nothing said of this Scandinavian phenomenon, well, not unless you were in Denmark or London. From radio to magazine pull outs, the idea that closeness, warmth, comfortable socks, blankets and the excuse to eat cake would abound the minds of people in the UK really has resonated.
Hygge, however is not uncommon on this island nation; why do we love going to our local public house and enjoying a drink by the log fire? That’s Hygge. Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ or ‘hue-gah’ it’s actually a Norwegian word that the Danish have incorporated into their own language and it’s equally a verb/noun and adjective which is bizarre, but it works. It’s not reserved solely for winter, it’s applicable all year round as it is a lifestyle but we associate with it more in winter because of the images of wood burning fires, candles and Scandinavian TV series like The Bridge, The Killing or even Borgen. Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of Wallander has even uttered the words, Hygge to the purists content.
As there is no direct translation for the word, and trust us, we’ve tried to find one, we wanted to understand more about this way of living and how the Danish have applied this to lifestyle and design. After all, if you look at some of the more modern kitchens like our White Satin or our Logica Gloss Light Grey they have a real Scandinavian design and feel; so how do we add to that? How you make your kitchen a Hygge paradise.
Contrast your lighting
We speak about lighting a lot. It makes the difference between a kitchen creating showpiece moments and being tucked away, in a space that you can call your own. But the key with lighting is, it sets a tone, and hygge is about understanding of connection and warmth that’s why the Danes love, candles.
As Emily Bird wrote so candidly, “whether scented or unscented, candlelight transforms the clean, fresh style of classic Scandinavian interiors into a flickering escape from winter’s chill and a simple lit candle is seen as one of the most fundamental hygge moments to achieve.”
Hygge is about friends, food and company
Well, at least in part. Hygge is also about understanding and appreciating the quiet moments for yourself, the adage of “find your reading place” is as essential to the lifestyle as good company or great food. But it’s the later that we want to spend some focus on. We truly believe that the kitchen is more than just your piece of furniture, it is something shared with others, a space where everyone meets, where everyone makes memories and enjoys one another’s company.
Whether you bake, saute, create unique recipes and favourites, the idea of hygge is, that you get to share them. You sit, talk, eat and enjoy the company at the table with your favourite food, or your friend’s favourite food. It’s about treasuring moments, and we must remember that whether it is in the hygge mentality or something you want to encourage into your own lifestyle.
Mix up your textures
The art of… well, you know by now, also finds a home in the heart of textures. Textures that are mixed are key and the danes have very different ways of doing this. From your cushion collection to the blankets you have, textures develop your room, your senses and provide a difference in relief for those that are looking to add to the room even in the most subtlest of ways.
Mix up your textures in the kitchen with wall hangings, soft furnishings with cushions or even for those that have a little more space, blankets where you may have a couch or window box. Hygge in the kitchen can be fun!
Keep things simple
One of the biggest appeals about the Scandinavian look, thanks to the nordic noir series mentioned earlier is that there is a minimalist appreciation of things and actually, the idea that extravagance is not in the hygge philosophy. Indulgence, is the word, indulgence.
Do you enjoy a piece of cake? Do you like long winter walks? Do you love making new things in your kitchen? Do you like to play board games or drink gin? It’s about doing those things you enjoy the most in your space, in your time and the maximum level of comfort for you.
For more ideas on hygge in the home or in the kitchen, check out our moodboard on our pinterest channel.