If you’ve never come across the term “hygge” before, don’t worry: you’re not alone. It’s actually Danish in origin but has become increasingly popular in English-speaking countries in the West as an interior design philosophy. It’s all about helping you feel relaxed, content, and happy in your own home.
Translated directly, hygge means “coziness” or “comfort.” It’s the idea that when you return home, it should feel like a sanctuary. Another way to think about it is that it is changing your external environment to be more loving towards your mind and body. It’s a design theme that directly attempts to show you self-care.
Practically speaking, hygge means snuggling in warm clothes, eating delicious food, and feeling perfectly sheltered and safe. All the fittings should be soft and beautiful. There shouldn’t be anything in the home that feels aggressive, stark, or cold.
But why are people so obsessed with hygge these days? Let’s take a look.
It Makes You Feel Happier In Long Winters
Winters can be difficult to deal with, particularly in places like Scandinavia where they go on for many months of the year, and going outside is all but impossible. The goal is to turn the home into a place where being indoors is okay. Hygge helps to elevate the release of neurotransmitters that encourage wellbeing, such as serotonin. Furniture and fittings make you feel like you are getting a big hug from a loved one.
It’s A Survival Strategy
Many people live on the edge of what they can take psychologically. Therefore, hygge is a kind of support or survival strategy. It’s something that people do to give themselves comfort in the evenings or at the weekends when they need a break from thinking about their work or family lives.
It Gives You A Sense Of Warmth
Everything about hygge is about warmth and coziness, from the interior window treatments to the seating. Rooms are set up around fireplaces, with blankets everywhere, rugs galore, and plenty of warm wall lights and sconces. It’s almost like designers are trying to create spaces where human beings could hibernate through the winter months if that was part of their biology.
It Fights Depression
Long winter nights and cold weather are a recipe for depression for some people. It’s hard to go many weeks without the sun without feeling a little blue.
Hygge, though, may be able to fight depression. It’s not just about feeling cozy: it’s also about creating interior spaces that reduce isolation and increase the amount of time that people spend with friends. Being around others and just having a chat can be a wonderful experience that elevates the mood and leaves everyone feeling better.
Lastly, some homeowners use hygge as a kind of ritual to turn the home into more of a sanctuary. Making everything cozy and inviting people over encourages the warmth of human company. Hygge rooms tend to be screen-free and contain lots of activities for interacting with others, including books and games.