Hygge was short-listed for the Oxford
Dictionaries’ “word of the year” in 2016, along with less cosy neologisms such
as "alt-right" and the winning term "post-truth". Recognition
by Oxford came after the publication of multiple books, including "How to
Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life” by Signe Johansen and “The
Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of
Contentment, Comfort, and Connection" by Louisa Thomsen Brits. Hygge is a
versatile word that can be used as a noun, an adjective, or a verb, with this
wholesome and nourishing term able to describe a warm cinnamon bun, a home
sauna, or even a comfy pair of socks by the fire.
Winter is definitely the best time for
people to appreciate the small and comforting things in life, with expansive
outdoor experiences swapped for intimate details and simple home comforts.
There are lots of things you can do to make your home more hygge, such as
lighting candles, throwing rugs and cushions around, and cooking warm winter treats
for friends and family members. While hygge is a large concept that transcends
the domestic sphere, it is most at home in the warm glow of candlelight that
illuminates intimate late-night conversations.
You can enhance the hygge in your home by
paying attention to the things that provide comfort and creating spaces that
allow intimacy. For example, a new tea set can inspire deep conversation, a
shaggy rug can make your home more comfortable, and mood lighting can make
everything feel softer and warmer. If you're involved in a renovation project
or building from scratch, hygge spaces can be made through warm natural
textures, diffused natural lighting, and small well-defined spaces.
Because comfort is so central to hygge,
it's also important to pay close attention to heating and cooling solutions and
how they impact lifestyle choices.
It's important to recognise that hygge is
about experiences as well as things, with a nice hot bath or long baking
session also capable of defining the hygge ideal. The art of creating intimacy
is central to hygge, so think about English words such as cosiness, charm,
happiness, contentment, security, comfort, reassurance, simplicity, and
friendship. In many ways, hygge is similar to the concept of mindfulness, with
people becoming hyggeligt by being present in the moment and recognising the
small things that make life special. It almost doesn't matter what you're doing
or where you are, hygge means being aware of a good moment and creating a
ritual to define it.
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