The Art of Hygge: How to Create a Cosy Danish Home

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When we think of Scandinavian design, we think simple lines, neutral colours, and lots of natural light. Danish modern aesthetics were shaped by the Bauhaus movement in the 1920s, which espoused pragmatic simplicity, streamlined silhouettes, and modernity. While these adjectives conjure up a sense of austerity to match the cold Scandinavian weather, the Danish aesthetic is far from chilly. On the contrary, long winters have cultivated an appreciation for all things cosy. At the heart of every cosy Danish home is the philosophy of hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah"). It is derived from a 16th century Norwegian term hugga, meaning “to comfort”. Loosely translated, the word refers to a sense of well-being and contentment through the simple acts of living, whether it is sipping on a cup of hot cocoa or having a good laugh with friends. The spirit of hygge values friendship and human connection above material consumption and glamour. It is about the small things that really matter in our daily pursuit of happiness.

In the 18th century, a young French aristocrat and military man, Xavier de Maistre, was sentenced to 42 days of house arrest as a consequence of a duel. While in confinement, he penned a tongue-in-cheek memoir about living in closed quarters. In the book, Voyage Around My Room, he writes “What a splendid piece of furniture an armchair is, of utmost importance and usefulness to a contemplative man. During those long winter evenings, it is often sweet and always advisable to stretch out luxuriously in one, far from the din of crowds. A good fire, a few books, some quills - what excellent antidotes to boredom!” The quote is a heart-warming example of hygge, despite the writer’s parody of his cramped situation. It is a way of living that prioritises a sense of well-being, a commitment to the present moment, and a keen observation of simple pleasures. Within our homes we may find all the riches and enjoyments of a hygge life.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

1. Banish Clutter

One of the defining characteristics of Danish interior design is the belief that “less is more”. Banish clutter with By Lassen Frame, a flexible storage system of square boxes with cubic frames. This Danish company prides itself in bringing the designs of famed architects Mogens Lassen (1901-1987) and Flemming Lassen (1902-1984) back into the public sphere. The brothers were influential in introducing Functionalism to Denmark, a movement that favoured practicality and usefulness over ornateness. Inspired by Mogens Lassen’s iconic Kubus design, a recurring theme in the brand’s line-up of home décor products, these Frame boxes are a stylish way to decorate and tidy up your home. Remember, a hygge home should be mess-free to create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort, and relaxation.

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By Lassen Frame Storage System

2. Embrace candlelight 

Candles cast a soft glow and can instantly make a place feel homey. When the sun goes down, they provide a natural light source that is soothing compared to the glare of electrical lights. Place a few candles throughout the home to create a warm radiance. Ro Collection from Denmark produces a lovely range of Hurricane candle holders inspired by antique kerosene lamps. The mouth-blown glass cylinder protects the flame, allowing for a steady burn whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Avoid overpowering scents and opt for natural or non-scented candles instead. Try our range of Duni candlesticks and candle pillars.

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Ro Collection Hurricane No.26

3. Add Light Fixtures

Avoid harsh ceiling lights that are an instant mood killer. If you have young children or curious pets at home, then avoid the hazards of candlelight by opting for a stylish light fixture instead. Scandinavian designers are fond of playing with elements of light and shadow. Recreate a hygge vibe with low lighting to softly illuminate your home. We love these understated sculptural lamps by Menu. The Carrie Lamp is designed to be portable with a cordless base and USB charger, so you can even take it outdoors. Make a statement with The JWDA Concrete Lamp. Designed by Stockholm-based designer Jonas Wagell, this lamp is a modern take on traditional oil lamps and fits perfectly in any cosy nook.

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Menu Carrie Lamp, White | Menu JWDA Concrete Lamp, Light Grey

4. Stay comfy in bed

At the heart of a hygge bedroom is a cosy bed. Picture breakfast in bed on a lazy Saturday morning, and then curling up with a good book to read for the rest of the day. Achieve a state of bliss with Heveya® Natural Organic Latex Mattress III. The bestselling mattress consists of a triple layer of 100% natural organic latex core with an additional soft topper for an extra plush feel. The natural latex material is dust mite and mould resistant, making this an ideal choice for allergy sufferers. Top it off with Heveya® Bamboo Lyocell Fitted Sheets Set made of 100% organic bamboo lyocell. These eco-friendly sheets feel as divine as silk against the skin. The bamboo fibre is extremely breathable and anti-microbial to keep you cool and comfy in our warm weather.

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Heveya® Natural Organic Latex Mattress III | Heveya® Bamboo Lyocell Fitted Sheets Set

5. Create a ‘hyggekrog’ or cosy corner

Designate a cosy nook in your home, preferably by a window, where you can read a good book and enjoy the scenery. Place lots of cushions and blankets around for nesting. You can add instant softness to your sanctuary by draping a throw over a chair. The Danish brand, Silkeborg Uldspineri, has been making woollen throws for three generations. In the 1940s, Ludvig Bruun Olsen founded the spinning mill that launched the brand’s heritage in wool textiles. Woven from 100% premium baby alpaca, these high-quality throws are lightweight and incredibly soft. They are available in a melange of muted Nordic colours to match any home interior. The brand also offers a range of cushions in matching tones. Wrap yourself up and nestle in for a very hygge moment. 

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Silkeborg Uldspineri

6. Bring natural elements indoors

Surround yourself with nature. The big city life presents its challenges, but there are many ways to incorporate natural elements in your home décor. Even the long winter months do not stop the Danes from being inspired by nature! A floral display in an eye-catching vase is one of the easiest ways to bring the outdoors indoors. Pursue timeless elegance with a delicate glass vase by Menu Enchasse Vase or choose to go minimalist with By Lassen Kubus Vase Flora in lacquered metal. The small rituals that give us pause, like admiring a beautiful floral arrangement on your table top is as hygge as it gets.

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Menu Echasse Vase, Smoke and Brushed Brass, Small| By Lassen Kubus Vase Flora, White

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