by Kaitlin Krull
Photos courtesy of Modernize.
If you haven’t yet heard of the Danish concept of hygge, we’re here to tell you all about it. Loosely translated to “coziness”, this word is more than a design style or trend—it’s a way of life. The Danes seem to have mastered stress-free living by embracing hygge in every way possible, while homeowners across America are emulating the Danes by injecting elements of hygge into their interior design and daily routines as well. If you would like to join them, then look no further. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to help you add a hygge feeling to your home as winter approaches.
Add cozy textiles
Most of us would agree that texture and moods are inextricably linked. If a piece of furniture or clothing is rough and uncomfortable, it’s fair to say that it doesn’t evoke feelings of happiness and calm. Homes that embrace hygge stay away from abrasive textiles and opt instead for soft, comfortable fabrics throughout the living spaces in their homes. You can easily apply this change to your home by swapping out old, worn pieces for cozy alternatives like faux fur pillows, knitted blankets, and shaggy rugs.
Start a fire
Nothing says cozy and autumnal like a living room with a roaring fireplace. If you have a chimney and working fireplace, now is the best time of year to have it cleaned and serviced. Once you know everything is in working order, you can fire it up and watch your cares melt away as you and your family sit down together in the evening. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, don’t worry. Electric fireplaces are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, while virtual fireplace videos fill the Internet and your TV listings this time of year.
Dim the lights
If you work in an office, you probably know that some kinds of light are better for your eyes and well-being than others. While bright, cool lights may help you be more productive at work, filling your home with cool light will only serve to stress you and your family out. In order to enhance the hygge feeling in your home, switch off or dim your bright overhead lights and swap cool bulbs for warmer alternatives. You can further amplify this effect by using candles and small table lamps to give your home a calming and comforting feel.
Don’t forget your exterior
Although the weather starts to take a turn during the months of fall, there’s no reason you can’t adapt your outdoor living spaces to match your new hygge design style. Front porch decorating is especially relevant here, since a few cozy touches will make this space livable all year long while increasing your curb appeal at the same time. All you need to create a comfortable outdoor lounge area is some all-weather seating, soft blankets, warming candles, and a few personal touches to complete your look. If your outdoor living space includes an open fire pit, even better! Just remember to keep all your hygge essentials to hand—stored in something like an outdoor storage container or portable wicker basket—whenever you and your friends or family head outdoors this fall.
For many homeowners, comfort is all about familiarity. When you decorate your home this fall, make sure to hang a few family portraits and treasured artwork pieces to remind you of the important things in life. If you have heirloom furniture, give it some TLC and proudly use these pieces around the house. Finally, add a few decorative accents from the places and people you love to make your home inviting and personal.
Upgrade your furniture
In general, the Danes’ design style follows a Scandinavian pattern of minimalism and functionalism. A Danish hygge-filled home usually mixes basic, functional furniture pieces with plush textiles and familiar decorations to maximize simplicity and comfort. If you want to emulate this style, pair furniture pieces made from oak or other natural woods with modest, modern upholstery—and let your textiles do the comforting.
Do more with less
Because Scandinavian style embraces minimalism, it makes sense that your hygge home should have less mess. Decluttering is a simple step that will help you organize your belongings and decrease your stress levels. Although spring is the traditional time for a deep home clean, it makes even more sense to tackle it during the fall when you think about it. After all, you can make room for holiday purchases and decorations while enhancing the calming and simplistic atmosphere in your home.
Put on some music
Creating a home that embraces hygge is as much about atmosphere as it is about furnishings, so making sure your home’s ambience is calming and positive is essential for stress-free, family-friendly living. Because music is a perfect way to calm the mind, we recommend investing in a high-quality sound system that will stand the test of time. For a more low-key musical vibe, you can always display and use your vintage record player or set up an unobtrusive Bluetooth speaker so that music is always available throughout the house.
Make your home warmer
If your home is uncomfortably cold during the coldest months of the year, there is no amount of styling or decorating that can change that. Making sure your home is airtight and ready for winter is an essential yet often overlooked part of hygge. Check, clean, and service your HVAC system, repair any damage to windows and doors with weatherstripping or caulking, and upgrade your insulation before winter comes. When you find yourself warm and cozy all season long, you’ll be glad you did.
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life. She enjoys writing for the HVAC leads professionals at Modernize with the goal of providing expert knowledge on home improvement projects and connecting homeowners to qualified HVAC contractors.