Monday, November 5, 2018

Hygge

The concept of hygge was all the rage last year. Everyone was talking about it. Books were written about it. Companies used it to sell products.

Hygge (pronounced hue-ga) is a Danish term to describe the feeling of contentment, comfort and simplicity often brought on by a warm, cozy atmosphere, though it isn't season-specific -- and it's not a trend. It's a lifestyle and a mindset. 

Physical things can certainly contribute to hygge ... things like flickering candles, low lights, comforting scents (think freshly brewed coffee or mulled cider), the feel of a cashmere blanket, the sound and warmth of a crackling fire. Perhaps most important, though, hygge is about slowing down and enjoying the moment.

I have been experiencing hygge long before I even knew what it was. I often feel a strong sense of peacefulness and coziness in our home; this is the essence of hygge. 

Here are some things I do to contribute to hygge. When Daylight Saving Time ends, I set the timers on my battery-operated candles so they come on at dark, then shut off automatically six hours later. I have four of these candles: two on the mantle and two in the dining room windows. It is so nice to come home from work and see the flickering lights of these candles welcoming me.

I light real candles as well, more often in the winter, though I do light them in the summer too. I'm pretty much addicted to candles. I have so many of them, some scented, some not. I favor woodsy and evergreen scents combined with citrus in the winter months. I also like to make simmering potpourri with cinnamon, cloves and other aromatic spices, typically around Christmas time.



Another way I create hygge is with lighting. I keep the lighting low, with incandescent bulbs and dimmers. I have dimmers on lamps and ceiling fixtures; the dining room chandelier, kitchen pendants and hall pendant are all on dimmers. I want to add even more dimmers! They're instant mood makers.

For me, an important element in creating a peaceful and meaningful space is decorating with family heirlooms from my parents, like this vintage pottery lamp with a teak base. The original shade, or so I was told, was drum-shaped and wrapped in blue yarn -- very 1960s. I searched quite some time before finding this shade, which I think has a little vintage vibe and puts off a very warm glow. Other pieces from my parents include a set of 1960s Danish teak nesting tables and their Danish silver set that I adore using (and did I mention that my husband is of Danish heritage? Looks like we have a theme going here).


Faux fur is another decorating accent that instantly creates a warm, cozy environment. Last year I bought several faux sheepskin rugs at Ikea. I keep one on the floor in the living room, where Ella and Henry can enjoy it. The others are draped on reading chairs for additional warmth and softness. I just throw these little rugs into the washing machine and hang them to dry. They come out looking like new.



For me, another key element that contributes to a sense of hygge is music. I have it playing in the house most days, even when we're away from home (I like to think the dogs appreciate it). My preference is jazz, from old standards to contemporary. I adore entering the house and hearing soft piano music playing -- it instantly makes me feel comfortable and relaxed. 

So you may be wondering what got me writing this post on the Danish concept of hygge. Well, I was on the Mahabis website looking at their slippers, and I came across an article about hygge on their blog that you can read here. I am considering purchasing a pair of these slippers, but I'm having a hard time deciding which color combination to choose (ask anyone who knows me well and they'll tell you I have a tough time when faced with options).

Are you familiar with Mahabis? If you own a pair or know someone who does, I'd like to hear your thoughts on them. Drop me a line!

Thanks for visiting My Little Bungalow. Here's wishing you a peaceful, comfy, hygge-filled winter!

5 comments:

  1. Hi Claudia,
    You have inspired me to check out Ikea for some faux fur. My little fellas, Nelson (15) and Tucker (13) would love it!. I've already gotten out the down comforter and sent the quilts for cleaning. I'm in Kentucky and we have gone from 90 degrees straight to 40's! Your home looks so inviting and peaceful. Isn't it funny how we normally gravitate towards candles and fur as soon as the weather cools?
    Love your blog. Long time follower but new to posting. Love your style.

    Judy

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    1. Thanks so much, Judy! What a lovely message. I appreciate it SO much.
      Check out Restoration Hardware for faux fur blankets. That dark brown one is from there and the quality is excellent. I have a new one on order in a different color for on the sofa.
      Snuggle in and stay warm!
      Claudia

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  2. I left you a comment yesterday, but see that something went wrong! I do many of the things you do - light candles (year round, but especially in the winter); use battery operated candles - three on my coffee table, one on the kitchen table, and one on the bathroom counter; love evergreen, spicy, and citrus scents; prefer the lights on low (I really don't like overhead lighting - but husband has to have the overhead lights on when we eat dinner because otherwise "I can't see" (haha!.

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    1. Thanks for resending your comment, Jeannine. Always nice to hear from you!

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  3. We love our battery candles, too. I love the ones from World Market because they have a nice little flicker that makes them look so real. I popped over and looked at the slippers. Too many choices! I need to find a slipper that I love and can just order up a new pair when I need them like I do my Tevas. I grabbed an inexpensive pair a few weeks ago and wore them once and threw them in the donate box.

    ReplyDelete

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