Wednesday, 4 November 2009



Has anyone heard of the Danish concept of Hygge? Pronounced 'hoo-ga' (that's as close as I ever got to it anyway!) it doesn't have an exact translation, it means something like 'cosiness' although any Danish person will take great pains to tell you it is much more than that! The Timeout guide to Copenhagen says 'Hygge is anti-confrontational, friendly, easygoing and jovial. Hygge is candles, open fires, a little alcohol (though not too much, don't want to get boisterous), good conversation and home-spun fun. It is a state of being... and it can be surprisingly elusive. Like love and Heffalumps, it most often manifests itself when not actively sought.' I first discovered the idea of hygge when I visited Copenhagen several years ago, and it's stuck with me ever since.

Because Denmark is further North than the United Kingdom the winters are darker and colder creating a hygglige atmosphere seems even more important to keep the winter blues at bay. Today I wanted to go out for a walk, but the weather is so grey and cold and wet at the moment and I got a little depressed at the thought of being stuck inside. After wallowing in glumness for a bit I thought it was high time I got over that, and bring a little hygge into my life instead!

Here are my ideas...

.Light candles and install fairylights. Or turn on a few gentle lamps instead of the main light to create a more cosy atmosphere.
.Wrap up warm in coats and gloves and scarves and sit outside in the evening with loved ones. Bring sparklers and tell stories!
.Bring homemade biscuits to meet friends.
.Have a hot bubblebath with a cup of tea and a book.
.Spend an evening with a friend drinking wine and flicking through old magazines.
.I'm currently deciding if it's too early to start baking mincepies. I'm leaning towards the answer which gets me lots of yummy food!
.Sit in the window of a coffee shop with something luxurious involving whipped cream and watch the people go by.
.Spend actual time planning and preparing your evening meal. Even if you're eating alone make it a treat.
.Rearrange your bedroom. Lots of blankets and cushions are very necessary.
.Have a singsong. Raise a toast.
.Visit a proper old-fashioned pub. Preferably one without a tv screen showing the latest football match.
.Make mulled wine, or the most decadent hot chocolate humankind has ever seen!

Could you subscribe to living a hyggelige life? Do you have any more cosy ideas for me?!

Geek out...
.Hygge Nook and Hygge House- creating a hygglige home
.Hygge Life has a range of products for inspiration
.Visit Denmark's guide to Hygge
.Danish Culture on Wikipedia
.The Hygge Bakery in LA


MaryBeth Hughes said...

found your blog via helen's blog. your images are great - total eye candy! and i LOVE the Dane's concept of hygge. my bf studied there a few years back and ever since we've always tried to create our own hygge, it's so romantic.

happy day!
mb @

daisychain said...

I think that once mince pies are in the shops, you are fully entitled to bake them!

Sadie said...

I read this and makes me realize how different my country is from europe... uhm for me a cozy idea is to stay in front of the chimney, with a cup of coffee, a blanket and to meditate or even sew... enjoy your cold weather and have fun!

Leia said...

What a lovely sounding concept!

Vixel said...

That sounds wonderful - it's great to put an actual name to the kind of lifestyle I strive to lead in the winter months!

I think I'd add having a dedicated duvet or blanket just for lounging around in. My old single duvet has become a staple of my winter survival kit and lives on my desk chair.

Sherin said...

Oooo, this is definitely something we need to do more of with the upcoming winter! Its such a perfect concept.

Kristin said...

I want to be in a state of Hygge right NOW. All your suggestions sound heavenly!

Helen said...

oooh i've never heard of this before - it sounds wonderful! i'm bookmarking this.

Camilla @ Hygge Nook said...

Thanks for linking to Hygge Nook and good luck with creating your own hyggelig home - it's such a beautiful feeling!

Anonymous said...

I love this post (I just saw it on your LinkWithin bar, haha). Hygge was my favourite part of Copenhagen in March, it's just stuck with me! I had this really good tour guide who told me how hygge's all about looking after people, living as one big, happy family, and shapes how Danish politics work - I love that so much.