Getting Hygge With It

Easy tips for tapping the Nordic notion of cozy.

Most of us by now have heard the Nordic phenomenon “hygge” (pronounced HOO-ga), a Danish word expressing the feeling of cozy intimacy and simple pleasures. But it’s not all book-and-a-coffee-in-a-cabin snuggling. Hygge can be taking time to share a pastry and catch up with a friend, baking with your kids, setting mood lighting in a too-bright room, hosting dinner for friends—it’s about cultivating an eye and making time for connection and soul-satisfying pleasures.

Here’s a cheat sheet for creating “hyggelig” settings and moments in your home and personal life.

Texture: Nubby, fuzzy, soft, heavy, time-worn. Think popcorn-stitch knits, flannel, an old leather chair.

Color: Warm, unexpected, joyful, surprising. Like sunny orange or deep cranberry.

Light: Twinkling, glowing, soft. Seek firelight, paper lanterns, tea lights, strands of twinkle lights, beeswax candles.

Food: Hot, comforting, sweet, filling, nourishing. Try bread puddings, pots of soup, aged cheeses, ripe fruit.

Relationships: Nurturing, attentive, joyous, charming. Make time for informal gatherings, game nights, cuddling with a partner, a stroll with a pet.

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