Unless you’ve fallen way behind the times, by now, you’ll have heard of the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”), which has ingrained itself into the country’s culture and self-identity.
What is hygge, though?
Hygge is about slowing down and enjoying the present moment, not just experiencing it. Although the common English translation of hygge seems to be “cosiness”, hygge encompasses much more than cosiness. People use many other words to describe it, such as “security”, “comfort”, “reassurance”, “contentment”, “happiness”, “charm”, “kinship”, “familiarity”, and “simpleness”.
Interior design provides immense scope to create hygge vibes. Textures, colours and light are all opportunities to explore and inject high levels of hygge into your resting space. If you’d like to hygge up your bedroom and other parts of your home, this guide is for you. We look at the origins of hygge, the concept and how you can bring it to your space. This is the Bedstar Guide to Creating a Hygge Bedroom.
Who invented hygge?
Although the Danes receive the glory for the concept of hygge, the word itself originated from the Norwegian language. It translated roughly as “wellbeing” and, in the 18th century, spread to Denmark. Since then, it has become a key part of Denmark’s culture and self-identity.
The presence of hygge in Danish everyday life is significant during winter. Winters in Denmark are cold, just like in many other countries, but they’re also incredibly dark. A Danish winter day has up to 17 hours of darkness in it, which can seriously impact mental health. Despite it, the Danish have earned a reputation for being the happiest people on Earth. Some people believe the concept of hygge could be the secret to this success.
The hygge lifestyle
Many of us practise the hygge lifestyle without even realising it. Do you enjoy a lie-in on a Sunday morning? Before the lockdown, were you inviting friends round for dinner and spending the night chatting around the table? Maybe you’re just curling up in front of a warm fire somewhere while you read this? Congratulations: you’ve been embracing the hygge lifestyle!
There are other ways to do this. The Danes embrace simple rituals that create hygge and transform personal and home life into an art form, not something they feel a need to escape. The regular pursuit of hygge becomes a natural extension of their life, rather than an event they endure because they have to.
A hygge-inducing ritual could be something as simple as buying flowers on a specific day each week or making fresh tea with genuine china. It’s about deriving pleasure from little moments in life.
How to create a hygge bedroom
Your bedroom is your sanctuary. The more cosy and comfortable you can make it, the better. Follow the tips below to develop a suitably hygge bedroom and get that vibe flowing:
Build a simple base
In somewhat hygge fashion, make life straightforward and start by focusing on the largest item of furniture in your bedroom: the bed. This will be the foundation of the bedroom’s hygge design, so choose a bed that features clean lines. Accessories will then really sparkle within the overall design.
Since hygge is all about being cosy and comfortable, you might wish to add a new Sleepeezee Jessica mattress to your bed. These ultra-comfortable mattresses offer lots of support. You won’t be able to wait to get to sleep!
Choose strong wooden furniture
Think “rustic”. Wood brings natural warmth to the room, generating real cosiness. Choose a strong wooden bed and other wooden touches that convey warmth throughout your bedroom. They mustn’t be too overpowering or too dark, however. That would work against the hygge you’re trying so hard to create.
Lots of blankets
Now get some nice, cosy blankets to go over your bed. The more you have, the better. They should be soft, touchable and made from warm, thick materials. You can lay a throw or several throws on the end of the bed. You might want to set up a quilt stand in the room or place a chair in the corner of your bedroom to store your blankets.
Generally, it would help if you were thinking about comfort, though, so consider putting lots of pillows on your bed, too. They’ll support you while you cuddle up to your partner or settle down with a good book.
Install a fireplace
If you have space and the resources, install a fireplace in your bedroom. It doesn’t get more hygge than that. In fact, if you can install one in your living room, again you should do. In Danish homes, people gather around fireplaces, which represent warmth and togetherness.
Of course, a wooden fireplace might not be practical in your bedroom, but you don’t have to miss out. You can set up a gas fireplace, which will look just as good as the real thing. Failing that, you can harness the power of the internet and stream a virtual fireplace onto your TV. Netflix, for instance, offers the “Fireplace for your Home” series.
Pay attention to your lighting
Lighting is another big hygge element. You don’t want harsh lighting, which may diminish the feelings of warmth and comfort in your bedroom, so choose dimmer switches to control the amount of light in your room.
Lighting should be warm but subtle. That means table lamps, in which you replace the white light bulbs with something more yellow-ish. You can even set up a few (scented) candles, which you can place on a bookshelf and trigger instant wellbeing. Fairy lights are another hygge-inducing option. Oh, and mobile phones — switch them off when you go to bed, so the blue light from your screen doesn’t disrupt the vibe.
Keep it tidy
Hygge is about restricting yourself to the things that make you happy. Less is more, so consider getting minimalist. Besides, a messy space will cause you stress. Keep any clutter away from your bedroom, including paperwork or washing. It will just make you feel anxious.
Rugs, blankets and throws all create texture in the room. They’re soft, thick and maybe the first thing you think of when it comes to making your bedroom cosy. Mix some textures up. Layer them. You’ll feel relaxed and comfortable when you achieve the right combination.
Choose natural materials
The use of natural materials is an important part of inspiring hygge. Stone, natural fibres and wood are all materials you could use in your bedroom. Natural fibre baskets, thick woollen blankets and wooden furniture can produce feelings of hygge and give your bedroom the necessary touch.
Get hygge with your décor
Bright colours will make it harder to relax. Choose neutral colours, such as white, grey or beige, transmit a sense of serenity and calm. It’s part of the hygge style, really.
Note that it’s important to decorate your bedroom. Sometimes people neglect it because it’s their private space, and no one except themselves and their partner will view it. It’s your sanctuary, however. The room should make you feel good when you enter it.
Add statement pieces
Throws, pillows and cushions introduce statements and inflexions into your bedroom’s interior design, but they’re not the only way. You don’t have to stay strictly hygge, however, either. The hygge spirit lives on in some other design styles, such as Japandi, a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design. Both styles favour elegance, minimalism and the use of natural materials, so they blend well together.
You can breathe life into your space with plants. The bright green foliage will infuse the bedroom with some dynamism against any darker tones in it. A little fragrance won’t go amiss either, which you can add with some honeysuckle.
Making the rest of your home hygge
So far, we’ve seen that hygge involves natural materials, soothing neutral colours, minimalism and, generally, adding cosy touches to the room. Here are some tips for inspiring hygge in other areas of your home:
Creating a hygge living room
The living room is another important area, precisely because people spend time together there.
- Think about your past. Heritage pieces, books, LPs and other items from the past work well as part of hygge. Combine them with Scandinavian furniture to achieve real hygge. Note that electronics look harsh, so you should cover up any tech you use to play music or watch TV etc., by storing it in a cupboard or cabinet, if possible.
- Use small tables. Don’t cram a huge coffee table into a small living room. Instead, use small nesting tables. You can take advantage of the tables to create various atmospheres.
- Create a nook. Every hygge home needs a little place in which you can curl up with a blanket, a tasty cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Why not make it a corner of your living room? It doesn’t have to be, though.
Shaping your hygge kitchen
A kitchen provides a stellar opportunity to generate comfort. Try the following to hygge up your kitchen
- Warm metals. Stainless steel and dark metals don’t fit into a hygge kitchen. They’re too harsh. Softer, rosy metals, however, bring warmth and a shine to the kitchen. That means metals such as copper, which allow you to make a statement in your kitchen. The taps offer a glorious opportunity to do this.
- Crockery. In your kitchen, off-white, grey and cream colours will work well, but you can extend the hygge to your crockery. Some white crockery can keep the hygge effect going as well as fit in with the design.
- Warm drinks station. A warm drinks station will make your kitchen more inviting. Equip the station with a coffee machine, cups, saucers, kettle and teapot so guests can make their own warm drinks if they wish to. You can also set up a little cake stand in your kitchen, so you and your guests have something to nibble on while they sip their drink.
Injecting hygge into your bathroom
A bathroom isn’t just a space to wash and use the toilet. You can relax while you’re under the shower or in the bath. Here are some tips for bringing a little hygge to your bathroom.
- Play with textures. There’s nothing like slipping into a thick bathrobe or wrapping yourself up in a fluffy towel after a long soak in the bathtub. Nor is there one like stepping out of the tub onto a soft bath mat. Plush textures will make your bathroom more hygge quickly.
- Add hidden storage. Clutter is the last thing you want in a hygge bathroom, so incorporate some storage items into the bathroom. The less conspicuous, the more hygge. Vertical storage, such as a bathroom ladder shelf, can save you floor space and preserve the hygge vibe. You could also fit a small shelf in your shower.
- Create mood lighting. Install some dimmer lights and, if you feel like it, why not some candles? The bathroom is a perfect place for candles and experimenting with scents to create that spa-like atmosphere.
A few final words on hygge for your bedroom
Don’t forget to enjoy the space you’ve worked so hard to create. Hygge is different things to different people. If something helps you to unwind, it’s okay to make it part of your space.
That being said… the one thing to be aware of is not everything you might like is hygge. Shutting yourself away completely in winter isn’t hygge; it lacks the togetherness that hygge embraces. Neither is buying something just because it’s on-trend hygge. Hygge is about creating an atmosphere, so expensive items aren’t necessarily hygge.
With the tips above, you can hygge up your bedroom and other areas of your home handsomely. You might even start to feel as happy as the Danes themselves. Why not give it a try?