Above: ‘Natures Collection’ Finnish reindeer hide, $479, Norsu Interiors.

As winter sets in with its cold, grey mornings and the sun disappears a little bit earlier each day, beat the winter blues this season and take a lesson from the Danish in the art of ‘hygge’.

Despite having long and cold snowy winters, Denmark has been ranked the world’s happiest country in the 2016 World Happiness report. So what is Denmark’s secret?

The answer can be found in their cultural phenomenon known as ‘hygge’. Pronounced “huegah”, the most common English translation is ‘cosiness’.

 

‘Newport Cloche’ candles, £29.95, One.World Trading Co.

What is Hygge?

Hygge is the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simplest pleasures in the cosy company of friends and family. It’s the warm feelings that are conjured up with the thought of Christmas but enjoyed all year round. It’s the art of creating a warm and inviting space for friends and family to linger together, sharing in warm food, drink and conversations. Yet, it’s also the enjoyment one finds in curling up to a good book on the couch with a hot cup of tea.

Danish hygge proves that your overall happiness can be improved by making small changes to your everyday living space.

 

How can you incorporate hygge into your home?

  • Decorate with candles, and lots of them! They’re an inexpensive way to instantly create hygge in your home. Set candles on your dining table, coffee tables, kitchen benches, bathrooms and sideboards. Be mindful the flame won’t catch on anything nearby like overhanging curtains. Pick spice-scented candles that will make your rooms smell like warm, fresh baking.
  •  Add faux-fur throw rugs to snuggle up on your sofa or bed.

‘Plush shaggy’ rug, £114.00,  The Rug Seller

  • Take to the floor – soft shaggy floor rugs will have you feeling hygge from head to toe.
  • Think in textures. Cable-knit cushions add that comfy, chunky feel to your sofa

‘Escala 4′ floor lamp, $595, Beacon Lighting

  • Illuminate your room with hygge cosiness by using lamps for warm mood lighting.
  • Add antique and heirloom items into your interior styling for a nostalgic homely feel. These quirky items can be interesting conversation starters with your friends and family – a true hygge moment!

A large mirror reflects natural light into all corners of this living room to brighten the winter weather.

  • Hang mirrors strategically in your room to reflect natural light to keep your room feeling light and warm.
  • If you don’t have the luxury of a warm fireplace and stacked firewood, try incorporating wooden furnishings and decorations to re-create the warm, earthy, natural feeling of a Nordic log cabin.

‘Samora’ cotton bathrobe, £45, ‘Asola’ cashmere slippers, £49, ‘Java’ laundry basket, £135, URBANARA

  • Take a long bath with a hot cup of tea and sink your feet into the plush warmth of a thick bath mat.

‘Greenland British Fine Bone China’ mug, £20, ‘Greenland British Fine Bone China’ plate, £25,  B Goods

  • Get baking – anything from cake to cookies that will give you an excuse to invite over a friend and share the cosy warmth of hygge this winter.

For more hygge inspiration, check out this home that masters the look: