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Hygge: Inspiration in Coziness

With the rise of hygge (pronounced HOO-guh), a Danish lifestyle trend that encompasses coziness in all its forms, the focus on Nordic life and culture continues to inspire. Loosely translated, hygge is a holistic approach to creating intimacy, connection and warmth within ourselves and with those around us. It is finding the happiness and joy in the small things in life — finding magic in the ordinary.

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Hygge has been intricately entwined in Danish culture for centuries but has recently taken the design world by storm, possibly due in part to the continuing popularity of Scandinavian design. And, for the last three of four years, Denmark has been rated the happiest nation on Earth by the UN World Happiness Report. Several key elements help to incorporate the hygge lifestyle:

Lighting

Denmark has long, dark winters; therefore, natural and artificial lighting, including the use of candles, are key to brightening up spaces and maintaining a serene atmosphere.

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Contrasting Fabrics and Textures

The balance between cozy and hard materials, cool and warm colors, and light and dark contrasts provides key elements to hygge. Chunky knits, soft weaves, quilts, flannels and linens provide a softness, while
lighter woods, marble and ceramics infuse sleeker, harder lines.

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Nesting Spaces

Hygge is about nesting, locating that favorite spot in your home and luxuriating in the quiet and stillness. This key element also includes what you wear — so pull on your favorite sweats and enjoy the solitude.

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Photo Credit: Dunn-Edwards Paints

Community

Gathering together is key in hygge, as it’s believed that comfort is best shared with friends and family.
Movie nights, brunch, hiking or any number of other activities incorporate the best of the hygge lifestyle.

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Comfort in Food and Drink

All five senses are included in the hygge lifestyle, andthis includes food and drink. Warm tea, coffee and mulled wine, as well as pies, stews and other comfort foods round out the key elements of hygge.

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Images by iStock except as noted above