'Hygge' Your Home Like Scandinavians

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Watching the sun set before 5 p.m. is a serious buzzkill. But rather than crying into your lukewarm hot chocolate on an icy day, try taking a proactive approach to enjoy the darker days of winter. The approach we’re speaking of is called hygge — a concept heavily practiced in Scandinavia. According to the official Danish tourism website, “Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” It could be as simple as enjoying a warm fire or sharing a satisfying meal with loved ones. 

To help you learn how to hygge your home, CircleAround culled some advice from women leading very hygge lives in Scandinavia. 

1Create a Cozy Lighting Scheme

Anya Prevallet-Kinstles, a content marketer at eNavvi and a Girl Scout alum, grew up in California but currently lives in Sweden. “Hygge is very much necessary during winter months when you have little to no sunlight,” she tells CircleAround. One solution she’s learned to embrace is creating little light sanctuaries wherever possible.

She loves using candles of any kind all throughout her house — scented, tea lights, even candelabras. “Having small lamps helps quite a bit, especially in windows or adventsstjärna [advent stars] on/in window sills. Most Scandinavian homes have lamps in the windows.”

IKEA is a great place to start, with cost-effective lighting solutions like candles, pendant lamps, and lamp bases that you can customize.

2Make Your Home Greener

When the days turn dark and gray, Naomi Robinson, founder of Houseplant Authority, relies on the passion she’s made into a career: caring for houseplants.

“I currently live in Denmark, the home of hygge,” the Girl Scout alum tells CircleAround. “I've had to become an expert on hygge and have been well taught by the Danes on how to make my home as hyggelig as possible in the winter months.”

Robinson has found that filling rooms with greenery and houseplants is not only a big part of Scandinavian design, but a great way to help boost mental health.  

“Start with a small plant on your desk or next to your working space,” she advises. “Having that little plant next to you can be a really effective mood booster — not to mention that it can look great, too.”

3Invest in High-Quality Blankets

Take it from Hege Morris, a native Norwegian and interior stylist with Nordic roots: You can never have enough blankets. But not just any old blanket will do. Morris puts a lot of thought into the kinds of textiles she keeps around in winter to enhance the hygge sensation. 

“It’s a great way of adding gorgeous textures and colors, too,” she tells CircleAround.

She’s a big fan of Danish company Ferm Living. “Ferm Living has beautiful patchwork blankets  … that help create a calm and warm atmosphere,” she notes on her design blog. “The patchwork designs are in natural tones so will go perfectly with foliage or other natural decorations you make.”

The Bottom Line

It’s possible to combat the wintertime blues by embracing things that make us feel good, especially when we’re stuck inside on cold or snowy days. Adding a little hygge to your home can be a great way to feel cozier, happier, and brighter, even when the days are at their darkest.

Tags: Girl Scout, Mindfulness, Self Care, hygge

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA, and we make financial distributions to benefit the next generation of Girl Scouts. We strive to make the world a better place by supporting each other today and emboldening the women leaders of tomorrow.

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