Hygge: the cosy Danish lifestyle

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You can’t get past this word when you think about Scandinavia: Hygge. The Danish term stands like no other for the Scandinavian attitude to life, which emphasises well-being and cosiness. Find out everything you need to know about hygge and how you too can integrate it into your life!

Hygge: meaning and origin

The Danish term hygge can originally be derived from the noun “hu” , which means “sense” or “thought”. So hyggelig also initially meant “careful” or “thoughtful”. However, this meaning is now outdated and no longer in use.

In the 19th century, the current meaning spread in Norwegian, for example through the verb “hegen”, which can be translated as “to create well-being”. The corresponding adjective hyggelig can therefore be translated as cosy, pleasant, nice or comforting – but there is no direct literal translation in English. For example, it is also used to describe something cosy, intimate or secure.

Today, hygge is an integral part of the Scandinavian way of life and national feeling and has also become a well-known term or Danish stereotype outside Denmark and Scandinavia. In other languages, the word is used as Danism, but is now rarely translated.

Hygge Meaning Origin
Hygge is now a world-famous attitude to life that has its roots in Denmark.

Hygge pronunciation

Hygge is quite easy to pronounce for native English speakers. The y is somewhat pronounced like a German ü, which is however not quite familiar to English speakers as well – so you say “Hügge”. With the adjective hyggelig, you can note that in the Scandinavian languages, including Danish, the g is silent when a word ends with it. This way you can prove yourself to be a real hygge pro .

How to live hygge?

Hygge encompasses everything you need for a relaxed and cosy life. The motto is therefore: take a relaxed and calm approach to everything, avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy the moment and the circumstances – especially nature and the company of your loved ones.

Walking in nature: How do you live hygge?
Spending a lot of time in nature is part of the hygge lifestyle.

A cosy, orderly and attractive interior is central to a hygge lifestyle, because it is extremely important to feel comfortable within your own four walls. Shared meals with family and friends are also very important – the more people the better, as long as the atmosphere remains relaxed and informal! This also includes film or game nights together.

Hygge also includes going for walks and spending time in nature in general: Danes love to do their laps outdoors. Especially in autumn, when you wrap up warm and walk along the beach or through the forest, you get a hygge feeling – especially if there is a cosy café on the way or a delicious tea waiting for you at home.

It’s also important to make plenty of time for yourself, whether in everyday life or in your free time. Hobbies such as reading, painting or knitting are popular for a reason – they are a great way to switch off, especially if you light a candle and make yourself comfortable on the sofa or armchair.

Hygge furnishings: how to bring the Scandinavian lifestyle into your home

Hygge living: furniture and decor in an inviting Scandinavian style

To feel cosy, warm and hygge at home, you need the right furnishings. Scandinavian design is the perfect way to bring the Scandinavian attitude to life into your own four walls. The Scandinavian style combines functionality and design and emphasises simplicity, order, brightness and high quality.

Hygge living furniture decoration
Typical Scandinavian furnishings and decorations reinforce the hygge atmosphere at home.

This allows you to create an organised and stylish home. Furniture and decorations in the Scandi style are often made from natural materials, with wood being the main material. This creates a cosy and relaxed atmosphere that is reminiscent of the idyllic nature of Scandinavia. The Scandinavian country house style, for example, uses a lot of light-coloured wood and plants, creating a nostalgic and cosy feeling. Soft, cosy materials and textiles are just as important: cushions, blankets and rugs are important accessories, which make the room really cosy.

How to bring hygge into your kitchen, living room and bedroom

Hygge kitchen living room bedroom
Candles are essential for that hygge feeling.

It is therefore essential to work with natural materials if you want to furnish your home in a hygge style. The colour palette of the Scandinavian style is also natural and classic: muted colours dominate, with soft and warm earthy and pastel tones providing variety.

Lighting is also an essential part of the Scandinavian style and hygge. This not only includes open lamps, large windows and translucent curtains – especially, but not only, in the long and cold winter months, numerous candles adorn the windowsills, tables and shelves in Scandinavia.

Candles are key pieces for creating hygge, so to speak: they have a calming and relaxing aura and provide light and warmth at the same time. Fairy lights can also make the room more hygge.

How to live hygge – checklist

  • Take it easy and relax.
  • Spend lots of time with family and friends – whether for a meal together or a games evening.
  • Get out and enjoy nature.
  • A cosy and friendly interior with light-coloured furniture made from natural materials.
  • Visit cosy cafés, restaurants and shops.
  • Candles!
Hygge at home
Experience hygge at home.
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