Who doesn't want to know the secret to happy living? There have been countless books and films searching for the meaning and solution to it, but all along the Danish have had the secret that subscribes whole-heartedly to the notion of happy living.
Hygge (I definitely pronounced that incorrectly the first time I read it, so allow me: hoo-gah.) is a Danish word that encompasses the feeling of cosiness and living well. Denmark is often called the happiest country on earth and the concept of Hygge is one of the main attributions to this. With winter fully settled in and people's working and social lives being more busy and stressful than ever before, we can all use a little Hygge in our lives, no?
And this gorgeous book,The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking, also the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen can help you do just that.
But how to create Hygge?
Here are 10 things, according to the author Meik Wiking, that will make your home more Hygellig (Hyge-like).
1. A Hyggekrog
The one thing that every house needs is a Hyggekrog which roughly translates as a nook. Basically a cosy space filled with cushions and blankets -maybe by a window or just part of a room with soft lighting - the idea is to create an area to sit and relax after your day has ended.
2. A Fireplace
This is maybe the ultimate headquarters of Hygge, with the ultimate feeling of cosiness and warmth. To sit with friends around a fireplace also intensifies the comforting feeling of togetherness (another important part of Hygge). But don't despair if you, like myself, don't happen to have a fireplace, the act of creating Hygge is completely possible with number 3.
Unlike a fireplace, which is not essential to creating Hygge, candles are a deal breaker. No candles, no Hygge. And they don't have to be expensive fancy scented ones either. Scented candles are considered artificial and Danes prefer natural and organic products.
4. Things Made Out of Wood
The smell of a burning match, a log fire or even a child's toy made out of wood. Wood makes us feel closer to nature; It is simple and natural, just like Hygge.
Wood is apparently not enough. Wiking, proposes the question "How would a Vikinig squirrel furnish a living room?" The answer, any leaf, twig, animal skin such as sheepskins, cowhides draped over every available bench or chair, available to you, so that you bring nature into your home.
Everyone loves a thick bookshelf but extra Hygge points for the classics: Jane Austin, Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens.
A lovely teapot, a vase on the dining room table or your favourite mug are all Hyggelige (Hygge - like). I actually collect teapots so felt like I scored ultimate Hygge points with this section.
8. Think Tactile
As you may have gathered Hygge it's not just about things look but how they feel. Being able to run your fingers over pleasing surfaces is super important. Think about how cosy those sheepskins feel when you run your fingers through them. SO Hygge.
Pieces in the home with a narrative and an emotional value are very important to the Danes. I have a tea cup and saucer that I brought over from England, that has been in my family for years. When I drink a cup of tea from it, it makes me think of home. This is Hygge.
10. Blankets and Cushions
I have a cushion problem, with my husband often complaining that he can't see our bed, sofa, rugs, for cushions. If I don't have cushions, I have throw blankets. But what's better than resting your head on a soft pillow or snuggling under a blanket. Hygge is about experiencing these simple pleasures.
So now you're ready! Grab some candles, a good book and some chocolate (also v Hygge) and snuggle down under that blanket and rest your head on that comfy cushion, in your Hyggekrog and you've officially created Hygge= Happiness.
For more tips and tricks be sure to purchase: