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HYGGE | A Danish Philosophy

by Sophie van der Drift

A year ago

As winter is upon us we anguish over seasonal afflictions of dropping temperatures, ceaseless rain and drowning in too many layers. Though our winter months hardly compare to that of our friends in Scandinavia, why are we experiencing the marks of seasonal affective disorder? How do the Danes, with temperatures well below zero and a depravity of sunlight hours stay well-balanced (and sane) through the winter months? Hygge is how.

Hygge a Danish term, has no direct translation in English though it is, according to an article in the New Yorker, ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.’

Whilst Hygge conjures Scandinavian imagery of woollen blankets, cinnamon pastries, fireplaces and cabins hidden in snow clad forests, the term ultimately refers to a state of mindfulness. A means of making ‘essential and mundane tasks dignified, joyful, and beautiful, how to live a life connected with loved ones.’

Here are three ways we intend to become a little more hyggelige this winter:

  1. Modest indulgences

    We require sustenance carry us through the cooler months. Mid-July is no time to deprive oneself of the nourishing foods and warming elixirs that keep us both nurtured and spirited throughout the melancholy winter.

  2. Time spent with friends and family

    Hygge can manifest in moments of solitude, though the Danes believe Hygge is most evident in warm moments shared with friends and family. Opt for dinners around the dining table with close friends or sitting around the fire place in preference for the over-stimulation of the outside world.  

  3. Creating cosy inside spaces

    Consider the spaces in your house that could use some warmth. Whilst the virtues of simplicity ring true all year round, winter warrants the mindful addition of candles, woven throws, hand crafted ceramics and woollen cushions to make your home more open to Hygge.

Whilst winter is but a moment in time, integration of the Hygge philosophy can make these months more tolerable and, dare we say, enjoyable!


Clockwise from top left: Oh Side TableCamomile London Duvet Cover
Atrium House by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, forest image from Pinterest, Alchemy Wild Fig Flask Candle, Dedo Wooden Storage Box, Ghost Wares Milk Jug, Cook Your Dream Sourdough Bread, Nodi duckegg linen and grey felted wool cushion cover. Cover image from Tumblr

Shop the winter curation here


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