“Hygge” and Home Aesthetics: Finding Happiness in Your Home This Winter

by Alex ThatcherJanuary 16, 2017

Hygge: A Danish Route to Aesthetics and Happiness

Are you curious how other countries and cultures endure the dark and cold of winter? Look at Denmark – a country that consistently lands the top spot for happiest nation in the United Nation’s World Happiness Report. While a myriad of factors contributes to the Danes’ overall contentment, home aesthetics and Danish design play a role in this nation’s happiness. So how do we explain the connection between Danish living and quality of life? Hygge.

The Danish concept “hygge” is distilled to “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things.” Danish home design draws from this concept, creating interior spaces that reduce clutter and enhance natural light. In tandem with Scandinavian design, hygge is known for its understated elegance and functionality.

This winter, embrace “hygge” in your home, sprucing up your interiors to embody simplicity and to prioritize comfort. As the days draw shorter and the weather fares poorer, a touch of hygge in your home aesthetic can help increase overall joy and well being. Learn how to find happiness in your home this winter with three easy steps.
hygge danish home design

Understand That Less Is More

Begin your winter home design projects with this in mind: keep it simple. As hygge suggests, it’s crucial to dispose of anything distracting or overwhelming. In interior design speak, this translates to getting rid of clutter. Do you have competing color palates? Bulky furniture that dominates the space? Let’s rethink that.

For furniture and home accessories, strive for clean lines and minimalist design. Danish home aesthetics capitalize on hygge’s “less is more approach” by choosing compact side tables and muted cushions and home accessories.

In terms of color, go for whites and cool greys. Paint your walls a soft off-white, or spring for that new couch, but opt for a light-colored linen. By staying in this minimal color palette, you create a clean space where you can experience calm and comfort in your home.
hygge danish home design

Opt for Warmer Lighting

Add warmth to your home this winter by replacing your home’s lighting. In Danish design, warm, indirect lighting is linked to influencing the well being of the Danish people. Early twentieth century Danish inventor, Poul Henningsen, created a form of lighting with layered shades – to not expose the lightbulb directly – that closely mirrored the effects of natural light.

Warmer lighting can add a sense of cozy to your home, mirroring the practice of hygge. In a season short on natural light, this is a great way to recreate the sense of something soothing, in this case daylight, into your home.

For your home, opt for layered lights and lamps that shield the actual light bulb. A budget-friendly favorite: IKEA’s KNAPPA light. Eager to keep things simple? Candles also evoke a similar, cozy effect. Our tip: look for muted or natural candle holders to keep your design in line with Danish trends.
hygge danish home design

Invite Nature Indoors

While winter brings a harsh chill to many, it also brings new growth and unexpected foliage. Embrace hygge and delight in these moments of new life and natural wonder by admiring winter species from the comfort of your home. Danish designs bring the outside in at every level – from finished furniture to building blocks.

In your own home, keep things simple by incorporating seasonal specimens into vibrant bouquets and centerpieces. Scavenge for winter species such as roses, red lion amaryllis, St. John’s wort stems, and berried ivy. By adding these winter foliage elements to a vase or glass jar, your home will include details to delight in – despite winter’s chill.
hygge danish home design

Transforming Your Home’s Aesthetic With Hygge

This winter, embrace the Danish concept of hygge to weather yourself against the season’s storms. Bring good, clean, and beautiful elements into your home, and your short winter days will grow long with home comfort and hours spent indoors in the company of those you love.

hygge danish home design


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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging expert by day and a writer by night. She loves working in the home and interior design sphere, and is fascinated by what makes people light up when they walk into a room. When she isn't arranging flowers and making sure furniture looks appealing and cozy for prospective buyers, she loves to write about any and all things home and design related, from DIY to organization tips.

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