Living the Hygge Life

If you’ve ever read a book indoors on a rainy day, or savored a hot cup of cocoa by the fire, then you’ve probably experienced Hygge without even knowing it. Pronounced “HOO-GA”, this Danish philosophy can’t be translated into one single word, but expresses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being by enjoying the simple things in life. Hygge is such an important part of being Danish, that it is considered “a defining feature of our cultural identity and integral part of the national DNA,” according to Meik Wiking, the CEO of Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and author of The Little Book of Hygge.

This spa-like bath uses natural elements, a muted color palette and soft curtains for a Hygge vibe, photo courtesy of Kay Green Design.

You’re probably wondering why the Danes have a devoted Happiness Research Institute. Well, Denmark is consistently ranked at the top of the world’s happiest countries, so perhaps they are onto something.

Hygge is derived from the Norwegian word for “well-being” (Wikipedia) and it’s used as both a noun and adjective in Denmark. It’s considered a way of life, and in recent years, the lifestyle trend has begun to catch on throughout the rest of Europe, and on to North America.

In 2018 there were no less than eight US published books on the topic, and it’s consistently trending in social media, from Pinterest (activity about “Hygge” rising 200% over the last year) to over 4 million posts on Instagram, to Twitter battles ensuing on topic of what makes something Hygge or not.

So, what makes a Hygge life? And why is it important to consider this philosophy in how we design spaces?

In this day and age where we are over-saturated with technology and bombarded with stimulation from every angle, this movement urges to unplug, unwind and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. When designing for model and spec homes, designers at Kay Green Design, Inc. often incorporate elements of a Hygge lifestyle. It’s all about painting the picture, creating the lifestyle and evoking an emotional connection with the prospective buyer. The Hygge philosophy enhances this sought-after connection, and incorporating Hygge elements can help your homes impress potential buyers even more.

This must-have master bedroom feels personalized, relaxing, and cozy yet modern, photo courtesy of Kay Green Design.

How to Get Hygge With It:

So now you know the why, but how do you implement it? The list below is a good start:

  • Candles, candles and more candles
  • Soft textiles, chunky blankets, fuzzy pillows
  • Fireplaces
  • Spa-like baths (no tech zones)
  • Nature-made materials, including stones, rock and other organic elements
  • Rich woods in either rough sewn or imperfect finishes
  • Book nooks and chill zones
This great room, photo courtesy of Kay Green Design, features candles and soft textiles for an all-around cozy vibe.

What’s not Hygge? Being tethered to your phone all day. Strict rules for Design & Décor. Over stimulation with bold, jarring colors and over-saturation of cluttering accessories.

Bottom Line: if we consider the Danish cultural idea of Hygge the same is “cozy” in English; then who wouldn’t want the warm hug of a Hygge life?

Post courtesy of Kay Green Design, Inc., a nationally recognized interior design and model merchandising firm located in Winter Park, Fla.

Follow Kay Green Design on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for more interior design and floor plan ideas.

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