Hygge (pronounced “Hue-gah”) is a Danish term that describes a imbuing your home— and life— with a warm, cozy feeling. Hygge was born out of a dire need to survive the boredom, darkness and chill of long winters, but it’s principles can help you keep your spirits up and survive the gloom of winter.
Hygge has taken the internet by storm, and books like The Little Book of Hygge: Danish secrets to Happy Living are a guidebook for finding happiness in this slower, atmosphere-focused way of life. If you ask me, the ritual of lighting a fire, sipping some hot cocoa and piling on the blankets feels just right during the bitter cold winter months. And it goes beyond your physical surroundings— it’s about slowing down, and making every day moments more special. Adding a milk heart in your coffee, or lighting for your evening bath, it’s all about lingering, and finding pleasure in smaller moments with family and loved ones.
The Hygge vibe couldn’t have come at a better time for the Knobloch household. We’ve been spending a lot of time housebound since our dog had double knee surgery— we’ve had to be home a lot more to care for her, and keep her from moving around too much. That and the rainstorms LA has been having have made it necessary for us to nest a bit. So it’s good timing to be bitten by the Hygge bug, and to find ways to cozy up the house— especially while the weather outside is frightful. (Okay, we don’t have negative temperatures in Los Angeles, but STILL! It’s raining. A lot.)
Here are some ways you can turn your home into a candle-lit winter refuge and Hygge it up at your house— with high and low tech touches.
Wooly, Cable Sweaters
Lately, wooly sweaters have been my uniform. Perfect for sitting by the fire, or walking the dog out to the yard for a bit of fresh air. Cable knit wooly sweaters are the ultimate in cozy and warmth.
If sweaters are my tops, sweatpants are my bottoms. As I write this, I’m wearing this exact uniform— super-soft bottoms (that allow for big pasta dinners— ahem) that are perfect for couch-dwelling.
Whether it’s a robe, or pyjamas, or sheets… I’m always toasty warm. Flannel is a must-Hygge… and if it’s plaid? Even better.
Light a fire
Don’t have a fireplace? You can still Hygge-out with this portable one, which comes in fun colors and has a modern design.
Quilts and Throws
As someone who is always, always cold, I’m never mad at an extra blanket or two. I’ve invested in a couple new ones, and pulled out all the old ones, scattering them around my family room and heaping them on my bed.
The Perfect Cup of Tea
Tea brewed just right is instant relaxation for me. These electric tea brewers take the guesswork out of a perfect brew.
Rugs you want to sink your toes into. Rugs that muffle sound and make a room feel smaller. Rugs that are fuzzy enough to invite you sit on the floor by the fire.
The mood-finishing touch calls for candle-light, or an otherwise dim glow (bonus: we all look way prettier by it). Achieve it the low-tech way with a beautiful candle, or with a high-tech smart light (that will blink if you’re getting an important message on your phone).
A good book
This dimly lit scene calls for laptops to be shut off, devices turned off, and curling up with a good book. But since I do most of my reading on a Kindle, it fits in the picture.
Feeling the need for some Hygge in your home? Let me know in the comments.