Updated: Jan 23
It's finally get colder, which means its officially hygge weather. Think candles, thick woollens, shearling slippers, woven textiles, baked goods, frothy lattes, and a warm fireplace. Anything that depicts the very definition of cosiness.
The wonderful Danes invented the term which denotes a feeling for things like 'an abundance of time', 'the art of creating intimacy', 'a warm embrace' or 'cocoa by candlelight'. But its so much more than that, it could be the smell of a pine forest, a hot bath, the caress of a brushed suede coat or something wholesome and nourishing like a bowl of porridge.
The ultimate winter picture of hygge for us is a chilly weekend spent with friends, sat around a fireplace in woolly jumpers after a long hike in the woods, listening to relaxing tunes in front of a crackling fire while sipping on or hot chocolate (or mulled wine). Bliss.
Yet before we reach for our scarfs and prepare for the sparkly season ahead of us, we wanted to share 10 incredible ways you can start creating a truly wonderful hygge home this autumn.
1. Immerse yourself in mood lighting
When those low energy, dark nights start creeping in, its all about the hygge essentials and mood lighting is vital to the hygge philosophy. Yes, Danes absolutely love candles, but they surround themselves with a lot of lamps to create soothing pools of light for reading or just lounging.
But there is something wonderfully magical and toasty about the flickering of a raw flame, a crackling wick and - personally - a nostril filling woody scent to give you that warm glow inside.
2. Hang a wreath
Hanging a wreath on ones door used to be an activity reserved solely for Christmas – but a display of other seasonal wreaths have grown in popularity over the years, and can now be spotted hanging on all of Instagram’s best doors. What's cheerier than being greeted after a long day to a stylish wheel of baby squashes, dried flowers and pine cones?
Of course, wreaths don't have to be reserved for front doors. An autumn wreath can be used almost anywhere in the house as decoration and could work particularly well adorning fireplaces, bannisters or even above the bed. Interested in being a bit creative, check out wreath making kits and make your own.
3. Plan a cosy night in
Evenings of zero plans are the best, but they don't often happen spontaneously as life admin and chores can quickly get in the way. After 6pm switch your phone to 'do not disturb', take your time to cook a hearty, but healthy dinner, wind down with a little music - maybe a glass of wine in hand (who cares if its Monday) and relax. Whether its a bath, face mask and a body scrub or a good book in bed with a thick blanket wrapped around your legs enjoying a hot cup of cocoa, make every moment of your cosy night in, up until that early night anyway.
4. Get baking
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so is there anything better than the smell of butter, cinnamon and sugar on a weekend morning. Fortunately most of hygge is about appreciating the little things in life, and one for us is the enjoyment of baking. Why not try Paul Hollywood's Kanellängd, a satsuma drizzled icing Swedish cinnamon bread that is something really special, or if its not too early for you, gorgeous homemade pinwheel mince pies.
5. Pull out all the blankets
Lets face it, the easiest way to create a feeling of warmth, comfort and hospitality in your home is with tactile, natural materials. So here are 5 Wonderfully British wool blankets and throws for a cosy, hygge inspired home.
Super Soft & Luxurious Merino Lambs wool by The Natural Blanket Company £120
Alpaca throw - by Alpaca Annie £99.50
British Made 100% Recycled Wool Throw - by The Future Kept £18
Izzy Lane throw - by Izzy Lane £165
Burnt orange mix tweed throw - by from the mills - £49.50
6. Bring the outside, in
Hygge is about harmony with the outdoors, through unfinished wood, pale neutral colours, and soft, unadorned fabrics. Autumn is also a wonderful time of year when you find dewy grass, fallen pine cones and beautiful amber and brown leaves that crunch underfoot. Its also the best time to bring the outside greenery in as it slowly disappears outside. Introducing a few easy-to-care-for plants can instantly add vibrancy and fresh feels to your home.
Its even been suggested that having indoor plants can reduce psychological stress, and faux greenery works too. Fill a vase, drape a bannister or flood a windowsill, but breathe in the calming beauty of nature and provide a sense of peace to your home. Plus, house plants will never go out of fashion, and perfect for any home.
7. Update your art
A quick and easy way to create a mood and update a room is to update your prints. And what better way to create a hygge environment than with winter warming pieces to help you create the perfect atmosphere for the cosy months ahead. Swap our an existing photo, or add some small artworks that can sit proudly on a mantel, a cosy fireplace, or a place it in a forgotten corner to brighten up a space. If you have a printer, you can even find some inspiring word art / typography and update pictures around your home which help lift spirits and inspire.
Getting lost in a book or magazine may not be an interiors addition, but it is an important part of making sure your lifestyle is a little more hygge. Turning off your phone, allowing you to disconnect from the world – even for just a couple of hours can transform a bad day into a great one (it also helps with sleep too). Reading is also a great form of escapism and invokes a number of emotions like being warm and fuzzy, which is everything that hygge encompasses. If you're looking for something new to read check out your local library, book shop or Waterstones.
9. Invite people over
Whether it's for coffee and cake or a simple conversation with your best friend over a glass of wine, you can embrace the hygge concept merely by enjoying every day of your life. But one of our favourites is to be around the ones we love. Chatting, putting the world to rights and just generally laughing until the early hours.
After a long day at work, it's a quick dash to get into the comfy clothes, thick winter socks and a fluffy cardigan, because how we feel is so important when immersing ourselves in the hygge lifestyle. Being comfortable and cosy is an immediate way to settle into relaxation mode. After all, more important than what hygge looks like is what hygge feels like.
And the best part, is it doesn’t cost anything and you most likely have everything you need. However you get into the cosy spirit this autumn, hygge is about slowing down to savour the simple things. I mean there has to be something in it, Denmark regularly top the polls for the ‘happiest country on Earth’ despite living in semi-permanent darkness. The answer - hygge.