How To Hygge

How To Hygge

This past year, I have been SUPER inspired by the concept of hygge! I read one book and immediately became OBSESSED and have been on my own little journey ever since. From a young age, I have always been attracted to a cozy home. I remember in junior high I took a bubble bath every morning. Haha—like, I got up extra early every morning just to enjoy my bath. I have always been obsessed with candles (more recently essential oils as well!), baking, blankets, slippers … all of the cozy things! So learning about the Danish concept of hygge really resonated with me and I wanted to learn everything I could.

The definition of hygge is “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).”

In this post, I will share all the books I read (there are so many great ones!) as well as things I’ve changed up in our home to create a more cozy living space.

Things I incorporated into our home/life:

More lighting sources. I have been slowly adding lamps, twinkle lights and other sources like a beautiful essential oil diffuser. The holidays really inspire this for me because I LOVE the feeling of walking into our living spaces to the glow of the Christmas trees and the twinkle of our outdoor lights through the windows. Although nothing will ever be as magical as the holidays, I aspire to add more twinkle year round because it makes our home so much more cozy at night.

Candles and oils. I don’t use as many candles as I used to, but a few unscented candles do make a big difference in the vibe. It’s a part of the ritual! For creating a cozy scent, I rely on essential oil diffusers (we have seven throughout our home— haha). My favorite oil combo is lavender, fir needle and some sort of citrus, like orange. So nice!

Minimizing. This is HUGE. I still would never consider myself a minimalist, but I have learned the incredible value in clearing out my home—donating, selling and generally just having less stuff.

Neutral colors and texture. This is my personal preference for decor that feels cozy to me. While I love to gawk at photos of colorful tile, bright sofas and wild patterned walls, I feel most at home in a neutral space. It somehow provides balance to my brain. At the end of a long day, what I really crave is a simple, neutral space, clean countertops, uncluttered surfaces and textured cozy blankets and pillows. (To be clear, my home is not always clean … I just crave that!)

Natural materials. This is SO big for me. A few years back, I started the effort to stop buying so much plastic and instead spend my money on items that are from nature—woven baskets, things made of wood, ceramics, vintage wool rugs instead of new synthetic rugs. It takes time. But over time you can improve the air quality in your home and the longevity of the things you buy. Hygge teaches that being surrounded by natural materials is good for us on a deeper level as well. It may sound silly to some, but I swear it has made a big difference in my home.

Saving special purchases for special occasions. I read about this in the first book I recommend below. I love this concept. Since I heard it I have begun to save special purchases and get them as a reward for milestones and celebrating goals achieved. It has made a massive difference to me in how much I appreciate these purchases and it feels good to have happy memories tied to items in our home.

Planning the hygge factors in each room. In the past, I would plan the decor for my rooms, but I didn’t put much thought into the emotional side of the decor or the memories I wanted to create in these rooms. The biggest difference the concept of hygge has made in my life is that I now plan my rooms around the hygge elements, not the decor elements. So for example, when in the past I would be worried about which wallpaper to choose for our bedroom, I am not concerned about how nice it is for reading at night and for morning routines, etc. In my kitchen, I once would have felt incomplete without a big design statement or a major color moment, but now I am planning for the parties we will host, nights at home with our kiddos and holidays. It’s a different perspective and one that is more based on making everyone FEEL at home rather than decorating for visuals.

By the way, I feel like I am just getting started and will continue working on my cozy goals in our new home!

Books I read and loved:
The Little Book of Hygge
Dwell Gather Be
Hygge: Unlock the Danish Art of Coziness + Happiness
The Book of Hygge

Each of these books are a quick read. I read most of them in 1-2 airplane rides. Although there will be some overlapping information, I felt that each author had a different emphasis and I liked learning from more than one person.

If you are interested in the idea of hygge, I would LOVE to hear what changes you made to your home and what has been the most rewarding for you.

xx- Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.