Late September with its misty mornings, bright and mild days and longer evenings is my absolutely favourite time of year. I’m more than happy to head home from the office knowing there’s still an hour of daylight before lighting the candles and hunkering down for the evening. The best bit, the air temperature is still warm enough not to have the heating on.
However I know as well as you do this means the baltic temperatures, 4pm sunsets and icy mornings are just around the corner too. I dislike winter tremendously. As much as I love my home I don’t like being cooped up indoors, however I do feel the Danish could teach me a thing or two about making the most of the atmosphere the winter brings. I’m reading more and more about hygge and I intend to climb aboard.
Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, the Danish word roughly translates to the English word of ‘cosiness’ but hygge means so much more than fur throws and hot chocolate, it’s more of a mindset. The Danes are considered to be one of the happiest nations in the world cherishing family time, friendship, conversation and togetherness.
Enjoy The Moment
Whether it’s savouring that first cup of coffee in the morning, snuggling into your scarf or sinking into a bath of bubbles after a long day, make everyday moments from meaningful. Don’t save your finest china for best, invest in few, good quality products rather than many substandard ones and cherish the moment.
Get your gang round and enjoy healthy, hearty comfort food and a have a good old natter about your favourite things. Savour the conversation and linger rather than using food purely as an opportunity to refuel.
I love the idea of a quick cuppa turning into a slow, conversational afternoon with a friend but time rarely allows for this, however one thing I intend to do more this year is entertain. My friends should watch out for sunday dinner invites very soon.
Get The Glow
Nobody needs to convince me about the benefits of candlelight. Hygge is the art of creating intimacy and so the soft glow of a candle is a given. Rather than just lighting a mantelpiece, take the time to light up spaces where you want others to congregate; around the table or sofa for example.
Above the dinner table consider switching bright overhead lights for dimmable sources inspiring longer meal times and more socialising.
Keep It Cosy
Cosiness can come through the layering of rugs, throws, furs and adding heaps of texture to your home. While creating spaces that encourage comfort are hyggeligt (hygge-like), hygge is more than the physical surroundings. Does the positioning of the furniture make it easy to relax and chat? If not have a switch-around to make for a warm and contented vibe.
Hygge isn’t all about the feeling you create inside, it’s about the outside too. Blow away the cobwebs on a long walk and bring in the outdoors to your home; line the window sills with plants and display those pinecones and acorns you pick up on your rambles. Take the time to quietly watch the earlier sunsets and embrace all that the season has to offer.
Does anyone embrace hygge? Is it just another lifestyle fad to you or can you see the many benefits? I’ve been trying to get hold of Meik Wiking’s Little Book of Hygge for some time but it must be having a reprint at the moment. If you have any other books to recommend I’d love to hear. Bring on those winter nights I say!