In a world still dealing with a health crisis, you might find it challenging to create an environment that’s focused on peace and calm, on warmth and cosiness, on connection with family and friends. Little did you know, you might have already been practising hygge (pronounced “hyoo-guh"”), or the Danish concept of living with a sense of comfort, cosiness and peace. Have you been finding joy in drinking a warm cup of coffee or reading a good book? Do you look forward to curling up under the sheets or waking up to the sweet smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls on weekends? Or maybe you’re just unaware but you have gradually conditioned yourself to take it slow. That’s hygge.
Hygge conjures a cornucopia of meanings. For Poul Madsen, co-founder and CEO of Danish furniture label Normann Copenhagen, it means cultivating a specific cosy atmosphere. “Moments that I truly cultivate the Danish concept of hygge are when I spend time with my family or friends in the comfort of my home. To me, it means cosiness, warmth and relaxation. Whether it be a dinner party with friends, a quiet evening in front of the television with my wife and daughter or a slow morning with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, hygge is something that I, like most Danes, incorporate into my everyday life in different ways,” he shares.
To Marleen Uyecio, creative director of Kuysen (the exclusive distributor of home brands Zanotta and Muuto, among many others, in the Philippines), hygge means “to be in a space where I can be totally relaxed and comfortable [and where] I can spend hours of my time with my surroundings alone or with my family”.
Stephanie Coyiuto Tay, managing director of Casa Bella Home and Living agrees, adding, “Nothing feels more hygge than moments spent with the ones who matter the most, in spaces with furniture pieces that cultivate an atmosphere that emits warmth.”
American home furnishing brand Pottery Barn expresses the hygge lifestyle through not only creating a cosy atmosphere to enjoy with friends and family but also by making the home healthier and more meaningful with high quality, non-toxic and fair-trade pieces.
Ferdie Ong, CEO of Living Innovations, the company which brought the Italian furniture label Minotti to the country, defines hygge as “appreciating the simple pleasures in life”. Simply put, embracing the hygge lifestyle can bring us connection and comfort in our everyday lives.
In an article titled Benefits of the Cozy Wellness Trend Hygge, mental health expert Jodi Clarke describes hygge as “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people”. A hygge-focused lifestyle is believed to elicit happiness. In fact, the 2021 World Happiness Report reveals that Denmark, where hygge is widely practised, remains to be home to some of the happiest people on earth.
Additionally, hygge brings other emotional, physical and social benefits. A cosy living space, for example, helps us feel less anxious and promotes a sense of emotional well-being and safety. When we feel safe and calm, our body responds accordingly; we feel more relaxed, which results in improved sleep, less stress hormone spikes and for some, a reduced need for unhealthy coping behaviours like alcohol and smoking.
Having these benefits in mind, we list down some tips on how you can incorporate hygge into your home.