How To: The Art of Hygge
The French would say ” la vie est pleine de petits bonheurs”, the Danes call it “hygge.”
Whatever, it’s not a competition, but they are doing their very best to tear me away from my adoration of France. Francophile or not, I can still appreciate the easy, “hygge” way of going. Even it doesn’t roll off the tongue just as easily – “hoo-ga” in case you were wondering. I think.
To sum up nine books worth, “hygge”, loosely translated as “cosiness” or “togetherness”, simply means appreciating the little things in life; a good cup of coffee, a hot bath, a relaxing space to sit and read, or gather with friends over good wine and good food.
Think aesthetically pleasing living spaces and cosy corners filled with warm, rich textures, surrounded by wood furnishings (nothing too piney) and bathed in soft, soothing candlelight.
Naturally the Danes need something to hang on to during those dreary, dark days of winter and, you know what, so do we. We might squeeze in a few more hours of daylight, but it’s still tumbleweeds and bleak, grey skies. So bath time, wine time sounds pretty good. Throw in some coffee and cashmere and you have an almost bearable winter.
How To Make Like The (Great) Danes:
De-clutter. Surround yourself with fewer trinkets and more meaningful, carefully placed objects as well as candles, succulents, books and photographs.
Add texture. In contrast with that cleaner, more minimalist vibe you have going on after that almighty de-cluttering, add a touch of texture with the likes of sumptuous velvet cushions, sheepskin throws and soft blankets, all the better for curling up in.
Lighting. Ugh, ‘the big light’, who doesn’t hate it? Instead, turn the big light off and the lamps on. Pretty little fairy lights, scented candles and the warm glow of a wood burning fire? Doesn’t that sound much more inviting?
Treat yo’self. We’re not talking Chanel 2.55 here, although by all means, but maybe the lipstick instead? That really good coffee that you like, buy it. Even better if you purchase your own little cafetiere and invite some friends around. That chocolate that’s totally indulgent but well worth the calories? Eat it. Curl up with a book and some tea while you’re at it. And that long, hot bath? Take it. Remember, treat smart.
Wear hygge. Well, this one’s a little funny because hygge would appear to be more focused on interiors and lifestyle, but fashion is life, ergo we wear ‘hygge’. Incorporating the Danish art of living into one’s wardrobe is pretty simple. Comfort above all else. Imagine layers of soft cotton, luxurious cashmere and soft wool knits, and think considerate, smart and savvy shopping. Buy less, but buy better.
Look down and nonchalant when getting your picture taken.
It’s worth noting that hygge transcends well beyond winter, and is much more than just a seasonal phase. It’s, not to sound too dramatic (us? never!), a way of life. One that I can comfortably get on board with. Living well, within your means and surrounding yourself with little indulgences and good people sounds smart, doesn’t it?
Over and out.
P.S Vive la France!