The Danes Nailed It
My lovely friend Julia gifted me the gorgeous “Little Book of Hygge”, saying “You’re already Hygge Anna, so you will love it!”
She was right, and so I have to share my key takeaways from the Meik Wiking book.
What is Hygge ?(pronounced Hoe-Gah)
The Danes position as one of the happiest countries in the world has led to the rest of us wondering if the key to happiness lies in the Art of Living Well.
So How Do You Create This? Are Hygge and Happiness Linked?
I think some of us are naturally “Hygge” orientated and drawn to creating a home that exudes hospitality, and style. Candles, flowers and ambient lighting are just three areas where one can focus on establishing a “hyggeligt ” atmosphere. Good food, great wine, and great conversation are natural follow ons.
It is about enjoying all that it is beautiful, comfortable and good and creating a warm welcome. The Dutch speak of being “gezellig” and the Germans refer to “gemutlichheit”, but Hygge has become the global brand that has resonated the most.
My lovely Danish friend Vibeke is one of the most “hyggeligt” people I know, and any time I have ever been in her Durban home, the vibe is fun, welcoming and always stylish. In tropical Durban, there is hardly any real winter, so the emphasis veers from the fires and cosiness to candlelight, flowers and poolside entertainment.
Hygge here in the Northern hemisphere has to be about creating warmth and comfort during the long winter months and enjoying the extended daylight and twilight beauty of the summer.
Food always tastes far better when enjoyed by candlelight and the light is far more flattering. Lighting is essential for hitting just the right ambience. Pools of light and side lighting is far more atmospheric than downlighting.
So Besides Lighting, What Else?
- Think Tactile-Combining textures, like cosy throws, sheepskin rugs. Soft feather pillows on beds and sofas give any room a welcoming aspect.
- The delight of being with like-minded souls, laughter enjoyed with friends, good coffee and cake, or a great glass of wine shared over a good chat is hyggeligt.
- Fragrance and Candles.
- Flowers and Greenery bring the outside in. Experiencing Nature in all its forms is one of the many aspects of life which boosts happiness. Just a bunch of spring flowers in a little vase says it simply.
- Hygge Food is comfort food. Enough said.
- Surround yourself with people who uplift you. Lose the toxic ones, or if they are related to you, distance yourself.
- Vintage: think up cycling, repainted furniture to give pieces a new spin…my particular passion.
- Be in the present moment. Its all about appreciating the little things and taking our heads out of screens. Do a Digital Detox.
- Create a “Hygge Emergency Kit” it should contain; Candles,Chocolate,your favourite tea,your favourite book,your favourite film or box set, good pair of woollen socks , notebook, beautiful blanket paper and pen,music, a photo album. OR
- Make up your own special comfort kit.
I will leave you with Meik Wiking’s word ” While hygge can be an intangible and abstract concept, I do believe that we can use all our senses to detect it. Hygge has a taste, a sound, a smell and a texture – and hopefully, you will start to see hygge all around you.”