You may, or may not have heard of this phenomenon ‘hygge’ (pronounced hoo-guh), but we here at Homebirds love it. So much so, that we have decided to live our lives by it. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s a Danish term for a start, so it’s bound to be good. They get everything right don’t they?
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There are an abundance of definitions given to the word; but essentially it represents a feeling of mindfulness and wellbeing. It is about really noticing the things that make you feel happy, cosy and content; therefore feelings of ‘hygge’ are typically created at home. Home is our haven after all; a place to fill with the people and the things that we love; a place to be true to ourselves and feel completely at peace with the world.
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For us Brits living in blustery England with its dark nights and rat race lifestyles, ‘hygge’ is a more than welcome concept. I mean, where else in the world is it the norm to be caught in torrential rain in August? Okay, lots of places, but you get my drift. Life can be depressing. So what could be more appealing than cosying up by the fire with some snuggly blankets, a hot drink and a few gently flickering candles. Sounds like hygge heaven to us.
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“I would liken my home to a very good friend. It always makes me smile and feel like I belong. It is the place I share my very best moments with the people closest to me and it plays a huge part in protecting my wellbeing. Home is always there whatever is going on in my life and offers much more than bricks and mortar.”
Photo credit: @thecountrycottagehome
So ‘home’ has become a place of refuge. A place where we can express ourselves and escape from the stresses and strains of day-to-day life. And the way we choose to style our homes is central to creating the tranquillity we crave from them.
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To get you thinking about how you could enhance feelings of hygge in your home, we’ve come up with 7 simple ideas …
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Everyone loves the smell and look of fresh flowers at home. Try hydrangeas, lillies or even a simple posy or bunch of gypsophilia- whatever makes you feel happy. We find natural tones have a calming, comforting effect.
Photo credit: @blanketsbeautiful
We love chunky, heavy knits or artificial animal fur. You can never have too many soft accessories like these. They’re what make a house a home. @blanketsbeautiful handcrafts lovely chunky knit throws in a range of colours. If, like me you find you run out of places to put them, use a wicker basket to store the extras and keep it in the corner of the room. It all adds to the feeling of comfort and warmth.
Photo credit: @withereddoordesign
We’re talking love hearts, stars, signs, mirrors, anything. And whether they’re made out of wood, copper or wicker it doesn’t really matter. Whatever floats your boat. Just don’t keep your walls and surfaces bare. Fill them with symbols of love and warmth and create focal points like feature walls. The men call it ‘tat’ but they’d miss them if accessories like this disappeared from the home completely.
Photo credit: @rebekah.horner
Surround yourself with photographs and pictures of meaningful memories, inspirational quotes, light boxes, or chalkboards with personal messages to and from your loved ones. Its things like this that motivate us and make us feel loved.
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The fireplace is the heart of the home and the place families gather to relax and be together. Make it a feature, surround it with candles or wicker baskets filled with logs or vases full of flowers.
Photo credit: @lifeatnumber37
Some people like rooms to feel ‘full’ because it makes them feel cosy and comforted, so close proximity of furniture works well in this case. Others like a more minimalist, spacious feel because it helps keep their mind clear. Think about your preferences and reconsider your furniture arrangement. Is it working for your wellbeing?
Photo credit: @ems_waters
This is one of the easiest ways to create atmosphere and cosiness. Think about statement lamps for both surfaces and the floor. There are some stunning string lights on the market too. Try draping them over shelves, mirrors, and ladders. B&M have some lovely styles.
Photo credit: @our_wee_country_cottage
Don’t forget candles either and if you already have them, get more! They are the ultimate ‘cosy-creators’.
Photo credit: Huffingdon Post
Of course it’s not just how you style your home and what you fill it with, but how you live in it too. To truly experience hygge, you need to slow down the busy pace of life as often as you can and just breathe.
Make sure you’re sitting down while drinking your first tea or coffee of the day, ideally in your favourite room, really taking in your surroundings.
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Ensure you eat your evening meal at the table with the people you love, not in front of the T.V, (yes, yes we all do it and I’m the worst, but I’m on a mission to avoid it as much as I can).
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Take time in the evenings to light some candles and notice how lovely it is to be relaxing at home in the haven you have created. Try reading instead of watching television to increase your mindfulness.
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Find your happy place – if you have a busy life and a demanding family, sometimes the bathroom can be the only place where real peace and quiet and a bit of ‘you’ time can be found. Make it a place where you can really relax and have hot, bubbly baths as often as you can (accompanied by a glass of wine where possible!)
Photo credit: @kellishome
Try not to live for the weekends and consider creating a regular mid-week event. Spiv and I get together with our girl-friends every Wednesday for a Joe Wicks meal, which we take turns to host. Our other halves call it ‘the Joe Witch’ night, saying that we turn into a huddle of witches and spend the evening moaning about them. (This is not entirely untrue, but whatever keeps you sane!)
Do you have any other ideas for creating and experiencing hygge? Please add your ideas in the comments box below.