Embracing Hygge: Turn Your Apartment into a Cozy Haven

Hygge, pronounced hoo-gah, is the Danish practice of slowing down and indulging in all of life’s simple pleasures. It’s all about engaging your senses with things that make you feel comfortable, cozy, and relaxed. Here are some tips for transforming your apartment into a cozy hygge haven.

Soft, Flickering Lights

Candles are probably the items most associated with hygge. It’s no surprise, since most residents of Denmark burn over ten pounds of candle wax per year. Candlelight adds a sense of warmth and romance to any space. Group them in clusters around your favorite reading chair, light your bathroom with them while you soak in the tub, or scatter some around your patio and enjoy some stargazing. Mix and match sizes to enhance the cozy feel, but be careful mixing scents. Overwhelming, contrasting perfumes are the opposite of hygge.

Candles add a lot to your space, but they aren’t always practical. If you have small children or a tendency to doze off while you’re reading or relaxing, opt for flameless LED candles or a few strands of fairy lights instead. String them above your bed or over a bookshelf to add a warm whimsical feel to your apartment.

Bring Some Nature Indoors

Embracing hygge means embracing nature. Bring natural elements like wooden furniture, live plants, and soft, all natural fabrics into your apartment. For ultimate coziness, keep things seasonal! And remember, engage as many of your senses as you can. Heavy wool blankets and socks and cotton fleece pajamas will keep you warm and comfortable during cold autumns and winters. Add seasonal fragrance with evergreen branches, or simmer citrus peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a small pot on your stove. If you have a wood burning fire place, use it! Cold months are also a great time to slow down and slow cook simple favorites like stew or mulled cider.

As it warms up, open your windows and let the fresh air inside. Swap your heavy blankets and clothes for cooler options like cotton and silk. Bamboo fabric is also a great choice; it’s lightweight, sustainable, and luxuriously soft. Plant a container cutting garden on your balcony or patio so you can bring fragrant bouquets indoors from spring until fall. Indulge in seasonal treats like fresh figs or berries, and replace your hot cider with chilled sangria. Invest in a quality outdoor fan so you can relax outside in comfort.

The Golden Rule of Hygge

Hygge is about personal comfort, so there’s only one hard rule: surround yourself with things you love. Keep your favorite tea and bubble bath on hand to help you relax after a long day. Make big batches of your favorite soups and stews and freeze some in individual portions so you can have a comforting meal when you’re too busy to cook. And decorate your space with things that make you happy instead of things that are in style. Sentimental items add an extra layer of comfort, so hold on to family heirlooms, gifts from loved ones, and even those ragged sweats you’ve had since college but can’t bring yourself to throw away. (It’s okay. We all have them.) Once you’ve surrounded yourself with your favorite things, take time to enjoy them. As the Danish have proved, a little self-care every day goes a long way!