Hygge and why I love it so

Remember the obsession with lights I have?  I found the reason why.

At a recent meeting I attended, someone mentioned Hygge.

Who-what?

Hygge.  It is pronounced “Hoo-gah.”  It is a Danish word that means a feeling of happiness, coziness, contentment.  The person at this meeting started talking about  a book by Meik Wiking,  The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living and gave a brief synopsis of what it meant to be cozy, and to have a life of contentment.

Of course my mind drifted that night to creating a feeling of coziness.  How was that accomplished in a space?

I did further research, because I’m a bit on the nerdy side.  In their youtube video, The Mustards explain how they try to maintain Hygge in their home .  Because of their geographic location, Scandinavian countries have long winters.  They look for ways to bring in light to those long nights.  Candles, warm white lights, light walls, fire crackling in a fireplace all do the job.  Of course, a fuzzy throw blanket and fuzzy pillows also help.  Simple furnishings creating the least amount of visual clutter, and keeping the space tidy also creates a space to relax in and not feel anxious.  Plants bring a bit of life to the space.  And, of course there’s always a hot cup of tea and the company of friends to complete this feeling of coziness.

Well here in NJ, our climate is a little different.  We have the heat and humidity and a decent growing season.  We are also CROWDED and there’s always A LOT going on.

I knew the connection with Hygge was with the lights, and the attempt to make my space less cluttered.  But with a 13 year old boy who drops his stuff everywhere, that’s a constant challenge.  I wanted more.  When it was time to repaint my downstairs,  I kept thinking about what made me feel cozy?  Besides the lights, summers out on the deck chatting  with my Hubs by candlelight, it was also the sight and smell of the Jersey Shore and how relaxed I felt going to the beach early in the morning and drinking my coffee while watching the waves meet the shoreline.  It was the colors in driftwood.  All of those things funneled into my space.

You can feel cozy no matter where you are.   It’s up to you to create it.   Think about what those things are that makes you feel cozy and happy, and how they appeal to your senses.    The hints are there.  Happy Hygge!