The recipe for well-being: hygge

Ib Laursen, founder of the Danish home décor label, enjoying a picnic with son Peter (who now runs the business) and grandchildren

Most of us would like to live in a more mindful way, with more time for ourselves, our families and our friends. And we can achieve all this by imitating the Danes: Hygge is the Danish path to attaining well-being and contentment.

 Hygge is the current buzzword in interior design, but it represents a way of looking at life rather than a simple trend. Enjoying life, eating well, spending time with loved ones, creating a cosy home and appreciating the little things that make us happy – hygge stands for all this and more. It’s the Danish recipe for a harmonious existence.

It’s all about the simple things
Creating a warm, cosy home isn’t complicated. In point of fact, simplicity is the key element. The clear and unfussy Scandinavian style of interior design enables occupants to feel completely at ease. Renowned for their intrinsic feel-good factor, natural shades create an ideal environment for relaxation, with calming blues and greys popular alongside the palette of natural hues.

Opting for hand-crafted items
Hygge also means a comeback for hand-made decorative accessories crafted especially for your own home, such as felted coasters or crocheted poufs crafted from thick yarn. Many of these DIY projects demand little in the way of dexterity – all of us are capable of moulding candles, creating lanterns from jam jars or making lemonade. But it’s often the small things in life that bring the greatest pleasure.

Spending time outdoors with loved ones
Hygge warms the heart, pleases the eye and dispels the worries of everyday life. Candlelight is a key ingredient – few other things are capable of creating such an atmosphere of warmth and cosiness. It takes next to no time to arrange some pillar candles and tea lights on a tray. You can also add décor you’ve collected from your own garden or while out walking – fruits, pine cones or spices are all great choices. Outdoor activities like the above are similarly encompassed by the concept of hygge: rambling through the countryside with loved ones, then drinking hot cocoa and toasting marshmallows at the camp fire.

Good food is something else that’s high on the hygge list of recommendations. Preferably consumed with friends or family (but eating alone isn’t frowned upon either), the meal shouldn’t take too much time and effort to prepare. Just sit back, relax and enjoy a large mug of café au lait and a couple of delicious biscuits. And do it every day – without counting the calories!


An article by Tanja Müller

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