Each time we think we have mastered a lifestyle trend, another one comes along. Marie Kondo’s decluttering theory probably has to scoot over to make room for hygge, the latest lifestyle craze. Hygge is so en vogue that there are more than 1.6 million #hygge posts on Instagram and it was shortlisted for the 2016 Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year.
Hygge (pronounced as hoo-gah) — a Danish word — is basically a characteristic of Danish culture that is associated to indulgence, relaxation and gratitude. Deriving from a 16th century Norwegian term, hugga that means ‘to comfort’ or ‘to console’. It is related to the English word ‘hug’ as well. In the Oxford Dictionary, the word hygge has been defined as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that kindles a feeling of contentment or well-being.
Hygge is described by The New York Times as “a national manifesto, nay, an obsession expressed in the constant pursuit of homespun pleasures involving candlelight, fires, fuzzy knitted socks, porridge, coffee, cake, and other people.”
Some refer to hygge as an art of creating intimacy either with yourself, friends and your home. The latter is especially true for the Danes since they spend a lot of time in their homes due to the country’s weather, and the interior design aspect of a home has become a branch of hygge although the lifestyle is anti-materialistic.
Given that Denmark frequently tops lists of the happiest countries in the world in surveys conducted by the United Nations — consistently beating Sweden and Norway — there must be some truth to practising hygge.
The Scandinavian lifestyle trend has taken the UK by storm and there are signs that it is going to do the same to the US. The New Yorker reports that at least six new books on the subject of hygge were published in the US alone last year, with more to come in 2017.
It’s no surprise that this relaxed and soothing concept would soon rise in popularity around the globe during these high stress and high anxiety times. Based on the report about families in the UK by market research company Mintel shows that 57% of parents agree that families are not as close as they used to be because busy lifestyles have taken a toll on family time.
“The UK’s adoption of the Danish concept of hygge poses opportunities for brands to help stressed-out Brits relax and bring busy families back together,” says Jack Duckett, Mintel’s Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst.
While hygge is more of a lifestyle than a product, but it hasn’t stopped major retailers from using the buzzword as a mean to make a buck. Recently, Swedish furniture giant IKEA compiled a list of things people can do to get the hygge feeling at home.
We agree that hygge is more of a lifestyle but a cosy house is still a home that exudes some form of warmth. Here’s our list of five things that will make your home feel more homey:
Create a sensual surrounding in your home with this beautifully designed limited edition Rosa Mundi scented candle by Diptyque. The exclusive floral motif expresses the duality of the two roses — Damascena, the Damask rose, and Centifolia, the May rose — used in this scented candle. It has fruity and fresh notes like currant, bergamot, lychee and geranium. RM175 for 70g and RM295 for 190g, KENS Apothecary.
Nothing spells cosy more than furry blanket you can wrap yourself with. Or even better, if you can cuddle up with a loved one. This throw comes in only white but its neutral colour will go very well with any other coloured furniture in your home. RM139, IKEA.
Create the perfect surrounding with lavender scents that will keep you calm and relax anytime during the day. While it can be used for aromatherapy, it can even be used moisturise any irritation and roughness on the skin. The benefit are abundant, from relieving insomnia and many forms of headaches to repelling insects. RM62, Sephora Malaysia.
Perhaps furry and fluff is too much for some people. How about a patterned carpet to go along with other colourful and patterned furnitures? It will definitely add a touch of hygge in your home too. This could be ideally placed in the living room or under the dining table with its flat-woven surface. RM399, IKEA.
KNITTED CUSHION COVERS
Instead of furry stuff, all things knitted also have a warm-cosy effect for your home. This simple and beautiful cushion cover that just radiates a balmy feeling although it’s in a shade of dark blue. It also comes in two other colours — grey and beige. RM89.90, H&M.
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