They call it Hygee (pronounced HOO-GA)
Denmark has the highest taxes and the worst weather yet for over 40 years Denmark has been voted as one of the happiest countries in the world. Perhaps hygee has something to do with it.
Hygge is a Danish term that has no exact translation but it has been called everything from "the art of creating intimacy", "cozy togetherness", "taking pleasure form the presence of soothing things". Danes are masters at creating hygge in their homes. They think strategically about everything from their lighting to the pillows and blankets; trying to create an intimate atmosphere.
"Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It's about being with people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from a the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down."
This is our greatest hope that when friends and family are in our house they feel at home and comfortable to let their guard down. We hope our kids feel safe, cozy, and loved here.
Maybe it's because I grew up in a Scandinavian household. My Mom was a master at creating a warm home with nooks and spaces that felt comfortable. When I'm thinking about decorating my own house, right next to functionality is beauty and comfort. I'm drawn to cozy spaces with soothing colors, wood/natural elements, and soft light.
A few ways to create Hygge...
- Light Candles or a fireplace
- Get some cozy blankets
- Prepare some treats (Danes are known for their cakes and sweets)
- Prepare some warm drinks
- Invite a few friends over
- Put away the screens (turn off the TV, leave the phones in a basket at the door)
- Have intentional conversation (listen more than you talk)