Longer nights and freezing temperatures might have you dreaming of a beach getaway. But instead of fighting cabin fever, do as the Danish do and embrace the concept of “hygge” (pronounced, roughly, hoo-ga).
Although hygge has no direct translation in English, the idea conjures up images of blazing fires, cozy cabins, and the most romantic qualities of winter. At its core, hygge is about finding pleasure in small, everyday moments and achieving that feeling of simple Scandinavian coziness.
So even if you can’t afford a ski chalet, that doesn’t mean hygge is out of reach—small touches can take a cold, dark room and make it positively hyggeligt (yes, that’s the adjectival form of the word). We’ve rounded up some of the most hygge-friendly home decor out there. Whether you’re living in a picturesque forest or a tiny New York apartment, this hygge shopping guide will help amp up the comfort factor.
A chunky knit blanket:
Chunky knit blankets are everywhere these days and for good reason; the merino wool is soft, lightweight, and simply gorgeous. We love the Ohhio store on Etsy where giant handmade blankets start at $250 and come in many different colors. You can also buy the specialty yarn ($59-$109) and make your own.
Drinking a cup of coffee by the fire is about as hygge as it gets, so upgrade your old tired mugs with something new. We’re fans of these handmade ceramic glazed mugs glazed ($23.90), which come in different colors.
More picks: Crate and Barrel Ora Stoneware Mug, $10.95 (currently on sale for $8.76); Vintage Scandinavian Mug sold by Stonevere, $20; Soul Vessel Designs handmade coffee mug, $42 (currently on sale for $37.80).
Or a tea set:
If tea is more your thing, invest in a stoneware tea set that will help you live hygge for years to come. The version pictured above is an egg blue vintage Scandinavian set from the 1970s.
Everything just looks better in candlelight, and these clean burning coconut wax candles by Voluspa bring instant coziness. With some starting at just $10 and the three-wick version pictured above priced at $22, you can afford to buy a few. New to decorating with candles? Check out our guide here.
Put those candles on a pedestal:
If you don’t have a fireplace, the easiest way to create a similar ambience is to place your candles at different heights. These candle holders from Iittala evoke a sleek-meets-cozy vibe that’s perfectly Nordic (they’re made in Finland).
A sheepskin throw:
Whether you use this grey sheepskin blanket as a rug or a throw, it’s sure to add depth and luxurious texture to any room. This one from JordHome uses wool from an Icelandic rare-breed sheep.
The right pillow can make or break a cuddle session, so opt for something soft or textured, like this affordable Decorative Cotton Knitted Pillow Case available on Amazon for $16.98;
Hang a living wreath:
Just because hygge is about coziness doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little bit of nature inside. Check out this delightful succulent wreath from World Market.
Part of hygge is about cultivating contentment in your daily life, so try journaling. We love a classic Moleskine journal, available in a range of sizes, styles, and prices on Amazon, like this set of three Cahier Journals for $9.34.
Add small reading lamps:
For extra-homey lighting, turn off all those harsh overhead lights and instead opt for small wooden table lamps, like the Mini Abacus Table Lamp for $99 (currently on sale for $79).
Don’t forget the books:
Reading, of course, is the ultimate way to snuggle in for an evening. Don’t miss our collection of 101 fantastic recommendations from urban experts and Curbed contributors.