Discover the Danish concept of Hygge and bring happiness into your home!
You may not have heard the phrase, but the concept of Hygge is having quite a moment. Although there is no direct translation of “Hygge,” the idea centers around you doing what you can to make yourself feel happier. It can be through everyday things that bring us peace and comfort in the moment. Whether it is taking the time to listen to the rain gently fall on a winter afternoon or the feeling of holding onto a toasty cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate on a cold day, Hygge is about savoring every minute. These simple moments of daily happiness can be introduced to your home and, when hosting an exchange partner, share this joy with them.
Because when you host, you prepare your home carefully for your guest to be as comfortable as possible. You love offering a warm welcome to them. Why not tell your guests about your favourite spot at home to read a good book? Or surprise them with your cozy decoration for Christmas? Or prepare a nice and traditional meal for their arrival? Because Hygge is about enjoying the simple things in life.
Here are a few tricks on how you can make your home a little more Hygge for you and your guests.
Less is more
Simplicity is one of the key aspects to Hygge decor. Consider tidying things up and opting for a more streamlined aesthetic, maintaining elements that you like and make you feel happy. Forget about hoarding thousands of things you may never use again, instead, focus on the most important elements and give your mind a little more space to breathe.
Focus on lighting
When in doubt, incorporate natural light. It is one of the main reasons you’ll find such large windows in Danish homes. Let the light in by using shades with soft colors or something that is slightly translucent. Or, fully embrace the concept and do what Nordic people do and forget about using curtains or blinds altogether!
At night, soft lighting, such as candles, provides a cozy and inviting atmosphere that emphasizes comfort. What’s better than long conversations over the delicate flickering of a collection of candles?
Embrace soft colors
Sure, it can sometimes feel a little sterile, but white is the ideal color to open up a space. If that’s too stark for you, consider going with a light gray or beige to incorporate into your calming environment. By choosing softer colors, you also help to reflect the light and make a room feel warmer.
Utilize natural elements
Make a point, bring some of Mother Nature into your home by introducing plants into a room. Flowers and greenery will bring some added happiness and make your home feel more “alive.” You might also want to incorporate some wood, a fundamental element of Hygge design, as it can give the air of being more grounded.
Harness your inner bookworm
Stories have a great way of embracing the reader, so books are a must-have. Whether on a bookshelf, on the table, or in a dedicated library, surrounding yourself with stories is a perfect way to bring the world into your home. You might even extend the offer to have your exchange partner bring their favorite book with them. How much fun would it be to build a whole library with titles provided purely from your various exchanges?
When the weather starts to turn, a warm atmosphere is an ideal way to inspire feelings of relaxation and comfort. You might light a fire in the fireplace, or pull out some cozy sweaters and blankets, or put on a kettle for some warm beverages. Leaving your exchange partners a selection of your favorite teas or coffee is a perfect welcome gift. It’s one of those little details that show thoughtfulness and can make them feel at home.
Make relaxation sanctuaries
Where you can, try to establish nooks in your home dedicated to activities for relaxation. It could be a special corner for reading, a space for meditation, or making your bathtub a private haven. By creating these spaces, you can find a respite but also inspire your exchange partners to do the same. That perfect chair for curling up with a book? It might just call out to your guest and give them the space to do the same.
We know that we said “Less is More,” but don’t forget to give your home some personality - comfortable cushions on the sofa, photos and souvenirs on the shelf, your favorite scented candles, or an armchair that practically screams “sit here!”. When coupled with a welcome message, your happy home will be the perfect destination for an exchange partner to feel the Hygge from the moment they open your front door.
We hope these tips help you to find the Happy in your home and whether on an exchange or not, bring some added comfort especially at the end of the year.
Ready to offer your warmest welcome to your guest?