Long defined as one of those undefinable words, the Scandinavian concept of hygge took the world by storm when it became famous worldwide a few years ago.
Hygge has come to be associated with beige jumpers, soft lighting and cosy slippers, but the best definition is this: “hygge is about creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the little simple things in life.”
Summer turned into Autumn very quickly, and it’s already time to add an extra jumper or scarf when we leave the house in the mornings. At Colt & Willow, we love talking about all things cleaning (you’ll find all you need to know in our Knowledge Base), but we’re also passionate about helping you make your house a home.
If you’re feeling a little apprehensive about the approaching winter, don’t despair: with a few tweaks, you can turn your home into a cosy hygge haven you’ll love spending time in.
Bring out the cosy home decor
Let’s start with the most well-known hygge associations: cosy home decor. October is the perfect time to bring out your warm slippers, your hot water bottles, and the blankets you’ve kept stored away in the cupboard since last winter. We want to embrace cosiness here, so consider treating yourself to some new cushions or a warm dressing gown to make those freezing mornings a little more comfortable. And we can’t forget the hygge must-have: plenty of candles. Denmark is proud of its candle consumption—according to The Economist, “the Danes are Europe's biggest consumers of candles, burning through about 6 kilogrammes (13 pounds) per person every year.” Buy them in bulk, and burn them throughout the day to calm you down and help you feel grounded. Just don’t leave a flame burning unattended, and make sure candles are out of reach of adventurous pets or young children.
Consider every room in your home
The living room and the bedroom are the obvious points of focus when bringing hygge to your home, but how can you ensure the other rooms get the attention they deserve, too? As hygge is about enjoying the small things at its core, think about small touches you could add to your bathroom to create a calming space. Consider an essential oil diffuser, or hang some eucalyptus under your shower to give you that at-home spa feeling. Add some dried flowers to your dining room table, and light a nice candle in your kitchen while you’re cooking.
Keep your home clean and calm
As we spend more time inside, it’s particularly important to keep your home clean. A calm space is as decluttered as possible, so if you don’t have time for a full-on clear out, buy some storage boxes (IKEA’s are perfect—they don’t have to be fancy) and keep everything out of sight. That way, you’ll be able to style surfaces in a way that reflects your interests and makes you feel good. You don’t need to spend hours scrubbing, but schedule in 15 minutes here and there to keep things tidy. Make your bed every morning, and ensure dirty dishes don’t pile up. If you really don’t have much time on your hands, check out our list of 5 minute cleaning hacks: from vacuuming one room to dusting the book shelves, you’ll make your home feel much cleaner without having to spend all day.
Embrace cosy autumnal activities
Think: reading on the couch, watching a film under a blanket, or baking some cookies to share with the neighbours. These simple (and mostly free!) activities can keep the winter blues at bay, and help you make the most of the colder seasons ahead. It’s always sad to say goodbye to summer, but it helps when you’ve got a lot to look forward to in the autumn. Learn about seasonal ingredients, and cook a pumpkin risotto or forage for mushrooms.
It’s not just about candles
Hygge isn’t all about candles: it’s more of a feeling than a ‘thing’. Hygge is about slowing down and enjoying the small things in life, so where possible, eliminate stress, finish work on time, and enjoy quality time with friends and family. Getting out in nature is a hallmark of Scandinavian hygge, and if they can handle the frosty temperatures, so can we… Bundle up and go for a walk in the countryside, before returning home for a cosy night in. Consider hosting tea or dinner in your newly hygge space, or inviting friends over for a game night. You don’t need to cook a fancy meal: it’s about spending that time together and enjoying each other’s company.
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