The Danes are among the happiest people on earth… and it all starts with their devotion to hygge. We spoke with Copenhagen Imports’ owners for the ABC’s on how to hygge.
What the Danes call “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah, for those unfamiliar with the term), or the “secret to happiness,” we here in the States refer to as simply coziness. However well we think we know what coziness represents, the picture would certainly vary depending on who you ask. In Danish culture, hygge also encompasses tending to your well-being, finding pleasure in the simplest of things, and… being present with good friends and family (sans electronic devices!)
With the holidays approaching quickly (hello, October!), and dear friends and family coming along with them, this is an ideal time to hit the reset button and prepare to make the most of this meaningful time of year.
Here are some quick tips on how to bring some serious hygge to your home from local Danes and design experts Mikael and Karen Hansen, owners of Copenhagen Imports. They know hygge well, and you can feel it the instant you step into their home store. From the light-filled showroom, to the clean lines of their Scandinavian furniture collection to their adorable black lab, Polaris, sleeping soundly on the rug, they’ve got hygge down.
A) Ambiance through lighting. When you want to create a mood, lighting is crucial. Take candlelight, for example. Think about the feelings a candlelit dinner summons: warmth, romance, the scents of roasted garlic and chicken… this is hygge. Don’t skimp on your lighting. Get something that inspires you—something so unique it starts conversation and you can’t wait to turn it on because it looks that great. And, bonus, we all know good lighting makes us look better, too!
B) Bring nature into your space. Whether it’s live plants, painted landscapes or natural prints in design treatments, find ways to connect with the earth in your home environment. It will make all the difference in the world.
C) Create a warm welcome. Togetherness is key this time of year. Make your guests feel at home and have suitable offerings for them when they come to visit. So often people bypass the basic pleasantries of hospitality—taking a coat or purse, lighting some candles, showing them around if they are new to your abode, giving them a welcomed sense of your space. If weather permits, light up the fireplace. De-stress and enjoy some simple but delectable treats and a beverage. Sip and savor while you take in each other’s stories. And finish the evening with the perfect touch—a toast to your friends.