what is hygge

What is hygge? Our guide to the Danish term

Hygge literally translates as ‘cosiness’ in English, but it really means much more than that to the people of Denmark. Hygge can be incorporated into all aspects of your daily life, from the way in which you style your home to the good times spent with your friends and family. Here’s how to hygge like a true Dane.

How to pronounce hygge

First and foremost, we must learn how to pronounce the Danish term before we can incorporate it into our daily lives. So, how do you pronounce hygge? 

This is a complicated one initially for non-native speakers. Your English-speaking instincts might lead you to say ‘hi-gee’, hee-gue’ or ‘hi-gah’, but in fact, hygge is pronounced ‘hoo-gah’.

The true hygge meaning

Simply put, hygge means to create a warm and cosy atmosphere in which you can enjoy the good things in life, surrounded by people who are good for you (often friends and family). 

Imagine cosying up on the sofa on a cold winter’s day. The wood fire is burning, you’re tucked away under your favourite blanket, sipping a hot chocolate and reading a good book. That’s hygge. Hygge has a different meaning for each person, but whatever makes you feel content or warm and fuzzy inside, can be described as ‘hygge’.

Where does the term come from?

Despite being a Danish term, hygge actually originates from the Norweigan language. The Norwegians first used the term to describe a state of well-being. However, in the 18th century, the Danes adopted the term and gave it a slightly different meaning – and it’s been around ever since.

Hygge is most-used in Denmark around the colder winter months and during Christmas. As the nights are long in Denmark throughout winter, the Danes create a feeling of hygge when the weather isn’t on their side. However, you can create a feeling of hygge all year round from the comfort of your own home.

How to hygge - the meaning

How to hygge at home

For some, a true state of hygge starts at home. It begins with your decor, furniture and lighting. Hygge at home is all about making your space feel comfortable and completely personal to you. Do you sit on your sofa in the evening and feel at peace, almost like you wouldn’t swap it for anywhere else in the world? Some might describe that as hygge.

Try not to worry if your home doesn’t feel like this yet – turning your space into a hygge paradise is simple. The interior of your home is key to creating a feeling of hygge. Think cosy yet contemporary, warm and soothing – white or block-colour walls and wooden ceiling beams spring to mind. The trick is to keep your furniture simple and elegant, like our magazine coffee table, and to add your own warming touches, such as cosy throws, cushions and warm lighting. 

Lighting can really make all the difference when it comes to hygge at home. We’re talking candles and cosy lamps, such as our Bell Floor Lamp or Kubik Table Lamp. At the end of the day, whatever you feel makes your unique space warm and comfortable, can help you to achieve hygge at home.

Browse our range of minimalist lighting and furniture to begin creating a sense of hygge in your own home.

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