Create a hygge house with 7 simple tips for well-being

Do you hygge in your home? Relax. If you’ve ever unplugged from social media, stayed in your flannel PJs all day, and sipped coffee or tea in front of a roaring fireplace, then you have experienced a form of hygge — a Danish state of cozy contentment and well-being that embraces self-kindness and the simpler things in life.

Pronounced “hooga” according to the Visit Denmark site, author Meik Wiking sums up the concept as “what freedom is to Americans. . . hygge is to Danes” in his book The Little Book Of Hygge. The Danes (and their Scandinavian neighbors, including Sweden) have adhered to a hygge lifestyle since the 18th century, first to help offset long, harsh winters.

The hygge culture now influences everything from their health to the way they decorate a home. It seems to have paid off since Scandinavians are thought to be the most happy, content individuals on the planet. And the rest of the world is starting to embrace the pure mindset and way of living.

It’s easy to have a hygge home. Here are seven ways to create a hygge house for a healthy, peaceful existence:

  1. Put a welcome mat under your front door. It’s the perfect way to start things off right with a hospitable sentiment that conveys, “This is a hygge home that emanates warmth with open arms to all who enter here.”
  2. Make a minimalist statement. In a hygge house, design elements tend to be soft, neutral and uncluttered with the use of natural (think: wood, leather, wool, and plants) textures to produce a cozy, serene environment that allows the mind and body to relax. Hygee design tip: Make a less-is-more décor statement in one word with Not Your Typical Kitsch’s duotone matte, museum-quality poster printed on durable, archival paper.
  3. Recycle and repurpose. An important aspect of a hygge home is to recycle and breathe new life into old items rather than buy new ones — particularly furniture and other household goods that have been found or passed down through multiple generations. The goal is to reduce waste (and clutter) and achieve sentimentality, not perfection.
  4. Set the mood. Artificial lighting is harsh on the senses, so it’s no surprise that Scandinavians are particularly fond of natural lighting. This includes having lots of windows in their homes to let the sunshine in, but also flickering candles (real ones, not the battery-operated kind) to help set a hygge house mood that is calming and stress-free.
  5. Build a hyggekrog. That’s code for cozy retreat — and every hygge home should designate a space to achieve a hygge state of mind: a place or nook where you can escape, curl up with a book, or simply stare out the window at nature and daydream. You know what goes especially well with a hyggekrog? Snuggling up in a cozy and fashionable hoodie form Not Your Typical Kitsch’s line of sweatshirts.
  6. Stage a bedroom fit for sleep. Where you lay your head at night should resemble a sanctuary, free of stressors and responsibilities that visually and mentally chase you throughout the day. Keep knickknacks and other space-hogging and dust-collecting items to a minimum and build a slumbering refuge with fluffy, natural and neutral bed lines that invite peace, restfulness and a good night’s sleep.
  7. Start a communal fire with loved ones. It’s not uncommon for a hygge house to have a fireplace, which not only helps generate heat during colder months but also creates a focal point for memorable gatherings with family and friends to bond, share heart-felt stories and toast to good health.