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Hygge (pronounced hyoo-gah) is a Danish concept focused on creating a warm, cozy environment in which to enjoy life’s pleasures with the people you love. The word, which originally meant something akin to “well-being,” first appeared in Danish literature in the late 1700s. It makes sense the hygge lifestyle has its roots in Scandinavia, where finding enjoyable ways to spend the region’s long, dark, cold winter months has shaped the culture.
The home is at the heart of hygge. To be hygge, your living space needs to be a retreat where you can rest, relax, and recover. It’s hard to create an oasis of calm when you’re surrounded by clutter. The first step toward a hygge home is decluttering and organizing.
It doesn’t have to be the kind of top-to-bottom cleaning you do each spring; a hygge sort is about getting rid of anything that doesn’t contribute to your sense of well-being and making sure you can find the things that do. Make room in your closet for cozy sweaters and pashminas by storing spring and summer clothing in an
underbed clothing organizer, like this one from mDesign. Keep snuggly throws and slippers organized and within easy reach in these hygge décor-friendly Natural Woven Seagrass Storage Round Baskets.
Candles are another way to create calm. Danes are serious about their candles. How serious? In The Little Book of Hygge, Danish happiness researcher Meik Wiking notes that lyseslukker, the Danish word for killjoy or stick-in-the-mud, literally means “one who extinguishes the candles.” Skip the balsam fir and bayberry scented candles; hygge-minded Danes use candles for their warm glow, which helps make up for Denmark’s lack of natural light in the winter. Add a candle to a shelf, like mDesign’s 2-Tier Wall Mount Display Shelf; try glass candles, which amplify the glow, or patterned candle holders, which accentuate the play between light and shadow. Or hang a string of fairy lights to add a twinkle of magic to your space.
You know that feeling of being in a comfy bed, on soft sheets, beneath a luxurious down comforter, surrounded by perfectly-fluffed pillows? That feeling is coziness and it’s pure hygge. But don’t get it twisted: hygge isn’t about excess for the sake of excess; it’s about indulging the senses. That’s where texture comes in; enjoying the sybaritic pleasure of different tactile sensations is soooo hygge. Try our generously-sized and decadently plush Faux Fur Throw— it’s like wrapping yourself in furry hug.
Poufs are great for getting hygge with it, too. This Tufted Chevron Pouf is made of 100% tufted cotton fabric and comes in nature-inspired earth tones. Cozy doesn’t have to mean softness; mDesign’s Color Block Pouf is made of jute, a durable natural fiber with a rich texture that contrasts nicely with your soft surroundings.
Around the world, tea drinking is synonymous with taking a break from busyness. The ritual of tea drinking itself — the warm cup, the aromatic spices — embodies the spirit of hygge. But if, like the fictional character Ted Lasso, you think tea is essentially “garbage water,” try more flavorful concoctions like an oat milk latte made with cinnamon tea or an Earl Gray hot chocolate. Store your tea bags in mDesign’s 12 Compartment Tea Storage Box — its 12 compartments keep your medley of teas organized and the clear-view construction makes it easy to see what’s inside. Plus, the clean, understated design adds a calming element to your décor.
Food is inherently comforting and these two decidedly Scandinavian treats will up your contentment quotient significantly. Gløgg is a mulled wine simmered with clove, cardamom, port, and brandy that’ll have you feeling warm and toasty in no time. Æbleskiver is a spherical Danish dessert that’s a cross between a pancake and a doughnut. Legend has it a band of hungry Vikings wanted to cook pancakes but couldn’t find anything to cook them on. The resourceful Vikings improvised and cooked pancakes on their shields, giving the dessert their distinctive round shape. Enjoy your hygge-inspired snacks on one of mDesign’s Gourmet Serving Platters. The slate stone boards can be written on with chalk, so you can write messages like lykke, Danish for happiness, or kalsarikannit, Finnish for day-drinking in your underwear. An added bonus? Slate is non-porous, so it doesn’t trap bacteria and odors.
Hope this intro to hygge gives you some calm, cozy, comforting ways to appreciate the wonder of winter.
Lisa Langford is a Senior Copywriter at mDesign
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Dec 17, 2021