How to Hygge

How To Hygge

Author: Lauren Coleman

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.

Enjoy Nature

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!


Image by Richmond Pictures of Hannah’s Renovation.

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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46 thoughts on “How To Hygge

    1. Alicia, I felt exactly the same when I was writing the post – looking forward to nightfall to light the candles. Such a nice feeling! x

  1. I am so up for hygge(-ing?!)! Like you, I can’t stand the winter but taking joy from simple pleasures is exactly how I’m planning on getting through it, and fits perfectly with my New Years resolution of being more grateful! Warm, comfy, luxurious fabrics, candles and cushions are very much the order of the day, and something I’m more than happy to embrace. x

  2. I’m in. Hygge sounds like an ideal plan to me. Can I get in the mindset now and settle down with a blanket and good book? Oh wait, I have to do the school run but then I guess we can Hygge that too and get some fresh air and collect acorns on the way. Hoorah xxx

  3. You see, I love Autumn and Winter. Mainly the stretch up to Christmas. There’s so much anticipation in the air. I love the cold, I love wrapping up warm, we always go on a cold city break (London just isn’t cold enough- we are heading to Edinburgh this year for our dose of real cold). I love winter food- the house smelling of something slow cooking (usually with loads of red wine chucked in), I love not having my skin on show, I love candles, blankets, and I love snuggling up when you can hear the rain outside. However I have a toddler now, so I fear my romantic lust for winter may die when he is not so keen on the snuggles and films! I love the concept of Hygge so much my Christmas present for my mum, sister and bestie are a box of cosiness (which I have started, see, obsessed). Some luxury hot chocolate, candles, woolly socks, and I’m going to buy them a book on Hygge is where I’ve got to so far!

    1. Hi Anna, it’s January and February I struggle with, and March too when you think it’s going to be bright and spring-like and in reality it’s still freezing.
      Your Christmas present idea is absolutely brilliant. What a gorgeous gift to give and receive. I may have to steal 😉 x

    2. Ha ha, I love that you come to Edinburgh to get your dose of “really cold”! I have a whatsapp group with my family in Suffolk and they’ve been sending me snaps of their wee boy with “taps aff” this summer. My wee boy has had his shorts ona total of about 5 times all summer and I don’t think it’s made it into the low 20s much at all this summer in Edinburgh! X

  4. Lauren – I love love love your posts, they are always so positive and I can’t help but smile when I read them. You have an awesome talent.
    I am all for Hygge !
    I personally don’t mind the different seasons as each one signifies something special for me – which I always make a point of celebrating.
    A real favourite of mine is a fresh winters walk and then stopping off at a cosy pub for a glass of merlot x

  5. My family and I used to live in Copenhagen so I’ve grown up with the concept of creating a Hygge atmosphere at home – it’s definitely what home means to me. Low lighting, lots of candles, comfy seating with cosy soft furnishings and orientation of rooms to maximise them for social interactions. It sounds really cliche but ikea are great at showing how to create this effect

  6. I’ve just been to Copenhagen with work and spent lunchtime discussing hygge with them. Between that and my love of my classic, pretty pink bicycle, I would fit right in there! Although I am slightly sad that my Scandi obsession is becoming mainstream, hygge is all over the press at the moment!

    1. Yep, it’s definitely a buzz word at the moment. The concept makes so much sense though!
      How lovely your work takes you to Copenhagen Rosy – it’s a place I’d love to visit x

    1. I’m the same Rebecca but have really found taking a vitamin D supplement has lifted my spirits and having my Lumie Alarm Clock makes getting up in the winter mornings much easier! x

  7. I love the Hygge idea and aesthetic but I do wish we could have some of the other Danish contributors to happiness like a shorter working week and top quality social care… But hey in the meantime I’m ready to rewatch the Bridge by the light of the wood burning stove.

  8. I agree with Philippa – IKEA do an excellent job of showcasing how to achieve Hygge.

    My Mum is Swedish, but the idea of Hygge still stands – lots of soft, low lighting, big wrap-around sofas so everyone can sit together and chat, lots of spider plants and similar filling every single window-sill. Along with the concept of bringing the outside in, I’ve noticed ad distinct lack of thick curtains in lounges/kitchens in my Swedish relatives houses – instead, there are a lot more blinds/shutters (or nothing at all!) so you can still appreciate the outside world whilst sitting all cosy and warm inside.

    I’m a huge fan of lamps – I hate having the main light on as it’s too bright, especially in the evening, so I’m slowly installing lamps everywhere in our flat (much to the irritation of the husband who I’m still winning round to the Scandi-way…!) I’d also have way more plants if the cat didn’t try to eat them – again, another one to win around to the Hygge way of doing things!!

    1. Yay to not using the ‘big light’ Jo! I’m not a fan at all. I’m sure you’ll get your husband on board very soon! x

      1. Haha I hate the big light too! Boyfriend doesn’t have any lamps in his living room and I’m always complaining that he needs them so it’s cosy!

        1. DOWN with the Big Light!!! I was in my 20s when I discovered that there are people who actually sit with the Big Light on all evening. Dreadful. The only time we’ve ever used ours was when the remote control fell down the back of the radiator.

  9. Lauren I blame you for my purchase of the Winter and the Autumn candle from The White Company this morning! I really love Autumn – so many of my favourite things crop up in October (my wedding anniversary and Hector’s birthday) and then there’s Halloween and Bonfire Night to look forward to as well. I know Hector loves being outdoors so I’m hoping that he’s really going to embrace the crunchy leaves and crisper mornings this year. Excellent post lovely xx

  10. A read up on hygge last year, after reading The Year of Living Danishly – I highly recommend this read. I’m definitely one for hygge and am into the swing of things already, any excuse for a long lazy bath and candlelit rooms! Autumn is my favourite season and I love taking the dog out for long walks when the leaves are changing. I’ve got a couple of nights in planned with the girls including us having a clothes swap sometime in the next couple of weeks.

  11. I travelled to Stockholm this year and absolutely fell in love. The idea of Hygge and actually just the Swedish way of life and living in general totally appeals to me. As well as Hygge, I am totally getting on board with the idea of Fika too 😉 I would also recommend The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits x

  12. Lovely thoughtful and thought provoking post as always Lauren. One of my colleagues was talking about how she’d made her Monday night feel like a Friday night with a bath, and wine, and cosy tele night, and I sighed enviously. ‘Why can’t you do that?’ said another (childless) colleague, so I began to reel off how the nightly routine usually goes and sank back in to my seat.

    This made me think that really, I should embrace evenings and slow things down a little, keep the tele off, put my phone away for a few hours, embrace some books with the little one, check out how the apples are doing on the apple tree, say goodnight to the fairies (who live in our magical new garden shed!) and then maybe not feel so frazzled after baby bedtime. I’ll aim to stop shouting ‘peppa! pasta! bath! teeth!’ before putting a cushion on my face tonight 😉


    1. Oh bless you Lizzie. Maybe get some hygge after your little ones bedtime. Lay on the cushion – don’t put it on your face 😉 x

  13. I picked up The Little Book of Hygge in tesco for £6 today so it might be worth looking in there for it (I know they ran out but must have had a re-stock!) Can’t wait to get stuck in to it – by candlelight under a blanket obviously 🙂 x

  14. I am totally into Hygge … I love Autumn, and like someone said earlier particularly the run up to Christmas (January and February not so much!!), but the things I love most are summed up neatly by Hygge – spending time with my favourite people, cosying up inside with nice treats to eat, hot chocolate to drink and blankets!!!
    My little turned two in August, so is definitely big enough for some leaf crunching this year, and is just getting into ‘movies’ so we even manage a cosy afternoon on the sofa in front of a Disney film! She loved picking strawberries and raspberries in the summer, so maybe I need to find a nice patch of blackberries somewhere and then get her to help me make a crumble!!!
    The only thing ruining my Hygge happiness this year is no new series of Downtown Abbey – always the start of Autumn for me!!!!

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