What is Hygge?

In case you hadn’t encountered the term: “Hygge [hoog-uh] (especially in reference to the Danish lifestyle) the feeling of coziness and contentment evoked by simple comforts, as being wrapped in a blanket, having good conversations, enjoying food, etc.”

It is simple. Hygge is comfort. Hygge is coziness. So what does that have to do with interior design?

Hygge is most brilliantly executed by creating a way of life and an environment that builds and communicates comfort at every turn. You can create Hygge through your home and décor. Though the word is Danish and the idea is closely associated with minimalist Nordic design, you can clearly take the lessons of Hygge into any design style or room.

Here are 8 steps to achieving Hygge:

1 Use Neutral Colors

If you love this idea, your goal is to create a calming atmosphere. Colors like beige, gray, brown, and cream are perfect for setting the mood. And frankly, many colors can be used as neutrals. We’ve seen blue, green and black elements that could only be described as neutral. Neutral is more about tint, saturation and shade than a particular color.

2 Choose Comfy Furniture

Day Bed

Your furniture should invite you in. It should look comfortable and be comfortable. Remember – styles can range from rumpled shabby-chic to clean-lined modern. It is the visual and tactile appeal that tell your comfort story.

3 Bring Nature Inside

There’s something about nature that soothes the soul. But even if you live in a noisy, busy city, you can create serenity around you. These natural elements include:

  • Fabrics with a natural weave or feel
  • Plants
  • Rocks or pebbles
  • Selected wall art
Sydney Bed – Natural

4 Add Candles & Lighting

Candles deserve special mention with Hygge. The warm glow of the flame… the soft twinkle… candles provide a special comfort. And they smell great too. It is amazing what these simple, small items will do for a room.

Kennon chaise & Arrandra carved rug

That said, a good lamp and lighting plan is essential. As always, try to get light sources from every level: ceiling, head height, side table height and even floor height if possible.

Take advantage of natural light. Sheer or soft-colored curtains or shades will let the sunlight shine through. Sunlight has a magical effect on a room and your mood.

5 Mix in Wood Elements

Wood coffee tables, bookshelves, etc. work brilliantly with the natural theme of Hygge. Wood pieces add a feeling of nature and a sense of warmth. The graining adds visual texture.

Wood finishes can be warm and dark or light and natural. Either works depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

6 Definitely Rugs

Cold floors are, well… cold. And rugs are so much fun! Colors! Textures! Designs! Nothing feels better than a soft rug under your feet. Anything and everything goes here: woven, loomed, fake fur… the world is your oyster.

7 Add a Layer of Softness

Blankets mean warmth and comfort. It is what they do. Laying a knitted or fleece throw over the edge of your bed or sofa evokes those feelings in our minds.

Throws are not only decorative, they are practical. If it’s a cool night, (or maybe you just run a little cooler) pull it over your legs. Throws double as décor and a little bit of hygge.

Other textile accessories are a great way to bring texture into your room. Fleece, wool, knitted and other natural materials for throw pillows will help tell your comfort story.


8 You Be You

At BY DESIGN, We like to think we can help you with almost any design style. And central to that is the idea that we are creating “your perfect room”. We need to put your personality, your lifestyle and your story into the room.

To your Hygge room, we need to consider a splash of bright color if it is right for you. We need to add in elements of the things you love in life: books? food? music? art? collections? passions? We need to make the room your very own.