With winter fast approaching – clocks turning back and darker, colder evenings rolling in – it’s high time to make like the Danes and seriously crank up the cosiness.
That’s where “hygge” comes in. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” this funny little word has become a bit of a craze lately, but it’s much more than a mere expression – it’s a Danish way of life. Though it doesn’t have an exact English translation, it can generally be described as cosiness, or “the art of creating intimacy” – with your home, your friends or your family.With not-so-sunny Denmark boasting one of the highest happiness quotients in the world, it’s evident that our Nordic neighbours have succeeded in getting hygge down to an art form. By focusing on the little things – cups of hot cocoa,
candlelit dinners with friends, cocooning in blankets by the fire, to name a few – a hygge life prioritises comfort and togetherness over material possessions.
It’s an attention to everyday indulgence and happiness – and one that coalesces perfectly with our own outlook here at Luxelu London. We’re firm believers in the power of simple pleasures and little luxuries in shaping a better quality of life. That ethos has always guided our design process, and it’s a motto we try to live by on a day-to-day basis too. (See, guys, we’ve been Scandi-cool this whole time!)
As Danish author Meik Wiking explains in The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, ultimately, hygge is “the pursuit of everyday happiness.” There’s no set formula, either. Hygge can be whatever works for you – whether that’s a warm flat smelling of scented candles and baking; a Friday night in, playing board games with the family; or a relaxing glass of red wine after dinner.
Sign us up! Here are some of our personal favourite ways to add a little bit of hygge to our lives:
1. Lighting. From flickering candles to golden strings of fairy lights, achieving that flattering glow is king when striving to create a hygge home. Grab a pack of vanilla-scented tea lights and get that fireplace roaring – you’re well on your way!
2. Food. The ultimate way to bring people together, cosy food-centred gatherings with family and friends are hygge essentials. Christmas dinner is the obvious hygge pinnacle, but it doesn’t stop there – a hygge meal can be anything from a hearty Sunday roast to a relaxing Tuesday dinner after work. Fire up the slow cooker and try some comforting, sharable recipes for a lovely-smelling, extra-hygge feel! (And don’t skimp on dessert these delightful Danish cinnamon buns are basically the essence of hygge distilled in edible form.)
3. Organisation. This one might not sound as sexy – but it’s crucial. Staying organised ensures you can really relax and enjoy your down time (in your hygge home, of course!), without those nagging thoughts of work and responsibility creeping in. One of our favourite ways to stay on top of life is bullet journaling – a simple yet incredibly effective method of journalling that’s essentially a calendar, to-do-list and diary all rolled into one. Plus, you can add bonus sections for anything and everything: books to read, places to visit, a gratitude journal and more. Check out the basics here if it’s something you’d like to try – our new Luxelu stationery range makes for a fantastic place to start.
4. Cosy minimalism. Ever noticed how much more relaxed and comfortable you feel when your space is tidy? Exactly. The minimalism-loving Scandinavians certainly have it right…and a tidy home is a hygge home. Try muted colours, soft blankets and throws, and banish any unnecessary clutter. We’ve been using our Square Handy Box as a clever minimalist accessory – it makes for a fab footstool for those cosy Netflix-fuelled nights on the sofa, and its removable lid means it’s perfect for stowing those blankets away when you’re done using them!
5. Work-life balance. Going a long way in explaining Denmark’s sky-high happiness percentage, the country boasts one of the best work-life balances in the world, with the average Dane working a mere 33 hours per week. The official working day runs from 8 am to 4 pm, and a focus on efficiency over presenteeism means that Danish workers are trusted to work productively – and go home on time. Without work dominating their lives, this naturally means more time spent relaxing and enjoying the company of friends and family. It doesn’t get much more hygge than that!
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Move over, Tupperware: mason jars are our brand-new adult lunchbox of choice, and we’ve fallen head-over-heels in love.