How do you go beyond the candles and cosy blankets to craft a hygge life for yourself? How do you even make time for it? Are you comfy? Let's dig in.
I first heard about hygge (pronounced hugh-gah) as a Danish concept when I read ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking. I was in a difficult, stressful phase of my life and this was a comforting read.
As soon as I read that the word loosely translates as ‘cosiness of the soul’, I realised it gave a name to something I’ve instinctively done all my life - consciously finding ways to feel cosy.
Skipping a couple of chapters ahead in my story, an Autumn holiday in the Cotswolds with my husband and our beautiful boy planted the seed of an idea. A few months after, a dream tapped me on the arm in the middle of the night, in the form of Bramble & Fox, a hygge lifestyle shop to help others find pockets of cosy in each day.
What is Hygge?
Hygge is the warm, safe feeling you get when you’re snuggled up under the duvet listening to the rain smattering the windows, long summer evenings spent in the garden with friends and that feeling of creative flow when you’re doing something you love.
It's that Friday feeling when you turn your key in the door, kick off your shoes and reach for your comfy clothes.
It’s seen by the Danes as the key to happiness and has its roots in a Norwegian word for wellbeing.
I passionately believe that our homes are our sanctuaries, where we soothe away the stresses of the day, spend time with loved ones and let our true selves shine through.
Like birds that carefully fashion twigs, feathers and moss to create intricate nests, we can weave together the art work, blankets, pottery and homewares that make up the rich tapestry of our lives, to create homes that comfort us and spark joy.
Some stubborn myths have grown around hygge, like wild brambles claiming and concealing a stone wall. These myths can seem like a barrier to beginning, so let’s take our secateurs to them and prune them away:
- Hygge is something you only do in Autumn and Winter
- Hygge homes are minimalist and painted in neutral colours
- Hygge has to look Instagrammable
- Hygge is for people who have lots of time on their hands
Beyond the Myths
People often associate hygge with cosy blankets, candles and crackling fires, which is definitely true and fun to do, but hygge is about celebrating the little moments of cosiness in your soul in every day - regardless of the weather or the season.
A hygge home is one that’s as colourful, creative and unique as you are - you don’t need to be restricted to any particular trends or colour schemes. A hygge home is also comfortable, lived-in and relaxed, so apply those ideas to yourself and any wobbles you have about making your house look a certain way before people visit.
A particularly pernicious myth that's grown around hygge is that it has to be Instgrammable. You don't need to wander around corn fields in a linen dress trying to get the Instagram angles right. It just needs to be you spending a small amount of time each day doing something to switch off and feel more connected to yourself.
Hygge is a form of self-care and it can be integrated into your life, even if life is hectic - especially if life is hectic. How? By finding five minutes here or ten minutes there to celebrate the little things in every day that bring out those warm feelings of contentment.
I like to call them pockets of cosy.
Seasonal Hygge Tips
Spring is the season of hope and new beginnings, so it’s the perfect time to nurture new habits, as well as enjoying the beauty of nature.
- Drink your morning coffee outside or by the window and appreciate the signs of the season that you're in.
- Bring the outdoors inside by filling a mix of jars, bottles and containers with seasonal foliage, wild flowers and grasses.
- Celebrate the shift in seasons with a seasonal wreath. Decorate a door or wall, perch it on a mantel, add a bit of seasonal style to a dresser or use it as a table centrepiece complete with candles.
- Spring clean an area of your home that’s niggling you or refresh your room layout with a furniture switcheroo!
- Gather some blankets, mugs of hot chocolate and head out to the garden or local green space for a spot of star-gazing.
- Take inspiration from Audrey Hepburn, who said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” From a herb garden on your window ledge to an allotment, the possibilities are there waiting for you.
- Join in with #sundayhyggeclub over on Instagram @brambleandfoxshopuk