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19 May, 2017

Say hello to hygge

Hygge is a movement that's been taking the world by storm, ever since those clever Danes decided to share their ideas for a better way of living. Pronounced 'hooga', the word doesn't translate exactly into any other language but simply means enjoying life's simple pleasures as part of your daily ritual. A feeling or ambience more than something tangible, hygge is snuggling up on the couch on a cold night, reading a good book, enjoying time with friends and family or cooking yourself a delicious meal. Here's our take on how to hygge like a pro, from what to add to your home to how to pass your time - and trust us, by the time you've finished reading you'll want to join the movement too!


All about ambience

Home is the headquarters of hygge, so creating ambience is key. Start with getting your lighting right by mixing and matching in each room. Create soft background light with floor lamps or pendants and include task-lighting using table lamps or directed ceiling lights to make your book-reading or cooking endeavours as comfortable as possible. Sound is another way to create an ambience that's perfectly tailored to you, so surround yourself with sounds that relax and uplift, whether it's your favourite tunes, the simple sound of rain outside or ideally, a crackling fire. The final touch to your new cosy interior? Candles. In Scandinavia, candles are serious business. More than half of all Danes light candles almost every day and over 30% of those light five or more at a time* so don't be afraid to go all-out!


Pimp your hyggekrog

'Hyggekrog' roughly translates to 'nook' or 'comfortable corner' - and that's an idea we can get behind! Now you've nailed ambience, turn your attention to creating maximum comfort with minimal fuss using your most-loved pieces. Cushions, throws, rugs, artwork and decor all count, so enjoy the process of picking out your perfect pieces in our hygge collection. In our ideal space, we've chosen a comfy neutral sofa with a selection of textured cushions for interest and added snuggle-factor. A knitted throw and sheepskin in grey contrast with the neutral pieces in the room and layered shag and hide rugs provide extra warmth underfoot. A pot of tea, candles burning and a selection of books complete the space - now don your best loungewear and make sure essentials are at hand so there's no need to emerge from the sofa unless necessary!


You are what you eat

In the cooler months, there's nothing better than wrapping your hands around a warm mug of hot chocolate or digging into a hearty soup or creamy pasta. Embracing hygge in its truest form includes summoning your inner Masterchef and making that delicious meal you've been craving, because what does 'living well' even mean if it doesn't involve eating well? Try our favourite 1-minute mug brownie to get your chocolate-fix, or if it's past 5pm (or, you know, 12pm) these winter cocktail recipes are guaranteed winners. We love this mac and cheese recipe (complete with three types of cheese, prosciutto and pretzels. Yes. Pretzels) and this warming roasted tomato soup for those times you need something seriously filling. What about a comforting dessert to impress friends with? This homemade apple pie is our go-to.



Time spent with your tribe is always invaluable when 'living your best life' (Oprah was obviously ahead of the game when she coined this now famous phrase). How hygge an event feels is actually a performance indicator of Danish gatherings* so spend time with your nearest and dearest and spend it well. Next time you go out for drinks with friends, try stacking everyone's phones in a pile in the middle of the table so you're more engaged in conversation than your tech - the first to reach for theirs buys the next round. If staying in is more your thing (gold star for you! Hygge loves being at home) why not throw that dinner party you've been talking about? Use your best dinnerware and cookware, and open that bottle of wine you've been saving 'for a special occasion'. Going full hygge? Pull out the board games for a little friendly competition!

*The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

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