Hygge, the Scandinavian word for a mood of coziness that make you feel content, warm and special, has become a bit of a design-lovers' catch phrase. (Just in case you're wondering, it's pronounced "hoo-gah.") But what happens if you take that lovely, basic sentiment at the heart of hygge and try to bring the warm comfort into your baby's room and around the house? Bonus points if you can arrange for picturesque snow swirling outside the windows as you lower them into their crib. Read on to find out how to do (but not overdo) hygge in your own home—and why you'd want to.
Why Choose Hygge?
Chrisiana Coop, co-founder of wallpaper line Hygge & West explains the concept "loosely translates to cozy, but means so much more. It’s about creating comfortable surroundings and experiences that you can enjoy with the people in your life. Hygge is also about living in and appreciating the small moments." Coop, who first discovered the word with her business partner Aimee Lagos 10 years ago, was drawn to it as a way to see the world and then translated it to their designs. "We felt that it captured the sense of home we wanted to create for our family and friends and thought it was the perfect word for the kind of feeling we wanted our wallpaper to evoke."
For a Nursery
You know you want your nursery to be a soft and welcoming space, but without creating a ton of clutter, how can you make it cozy? Coop suggests working with "color, pattern, texture, handmade goods. Kids are so creative so we’d focus on pulling together a cozy space in with objects and images that will stimulate their minds and create happiness and contentment." And that doesn’t have to mean just Scandinavian shades of cream, beige and gray. If bright hues fill you with joy and make you feel truly at home, then go with them! "We think that anything that makes you happy contributes to a hygge-led design," she explains. "It’s all about creating the most comfortable, personal space."
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Around the House
Ulrica Wihlborg, who has designed acclaimed home interiors and what has been hailed as the prettiest yoga studio in Sweden, commutes between there, where her children go to school, and Pacific Palisades, CA. When she approached designing her home, she went for a calming but durable effect. "I started with white walls (I prefer Benjamin Moore White Dove or Simply White), then created warmth and texture with natural materials in soft colors."
We love the wooly, a cozy little insert made from Australian merino wool. It's available for both our coco bouncer (above), which makes the perfect spot for baby in the nersery, and our fresco cradle/high chair (below), ideal for the living room and dining room.
Create Special Touches
Once you have the basics down, think about how you can embrace the part of hygge that focuses on special moments and warm feelings. Wihlborg takes her cues from Sweden's seasons. "In the wintertime, we hang little lamps shaped like stars or snowflakes in their windows. It lights up the house from the outside when we get back from school in the dark afternoons," she explains. Coop focuses on the deeply personal aspects of hygge, approaching any design she and Lagos do, with the individual in mind and what would make him or her feel contentment and coziness. Coop explains, "Because hygge originated in Denmark, we think some people might think that “hygge design” should be minimal or Scandinavian in feel, but we’d encourage people to incorporate hygge to reflect what it means to them and not try to emulate any one specific aesthetic."
Discover what it means to you and your family to embrace the feeling of coziness and happiness—and run with it! There's no right or wrong here, just what works best for you and yours.