Well, it’s still winter! And we’re still standing, right? Today I thought I would share how I’m keeping my spirits up through the cold and dark of a Canadian winter by utilizing the concept of “hygge” in my living room. Not sure what that is or how to get it? Read on!
So, what exactly does it mean to live a hygge lifestyle? Hygge is a beautiful Danish word that’s hard to translate into English, but it’s essentially a deep sense of coziness and well-being. Picture being cuddled up next to your fireplace surrounded by calming neutrals and natural texture materials while you read a book and drink tea by candlelight. That’s hygge!
I’ve been trying to embrace this Danish concept during these cold, Alberta winter months by baking more comfort foods, enjoying the company of my family and friends, doing lots of crafts, and decorating with my favourite cozy essentials. Let me share how I’ve decorated our living room for winter and 5 things that will help you create your own cozy, hygge space in your own hygge home!
This post is sponsored by Duraflame.
5 Essential Elements of Cozy, Hygge Decor
There are certain things you just HAVE to do if your goal is to hygge-ify your space! In this post, I’m going to lay out the essentials so that when you’re done taking my advice, you’re sure to end up with the hygge space of your dreams. Let’s do it!
1. Declutter Mindfully
One thing you will notice about Scandinavian design (which includes the concept of hygge) is a serious focus on minimalism. Rooms that are full of stuff that has no home are almost never described as cozy! So, the first thing you should do is make sure you declutter the space you are hoping to turn into a haven of hygge using whatever method you like best. It could be as simple as tidying up and putting things away and in the right rooms, or you could get really serious about it and do a complete overhaul. I really fell in love with the Ski Slope Organizing method because it spoke to how my brain works. Other people might prefer Marie Kondo’s method, or the 20/20 rule of decluttering is interesting too. Find something that works for you and get to it!
2. Create a Cozy Reading Nook
Once you feel like your room is a clean and tidy blank slate, it’s time to get started making it feel cozy! Here’s how our hygge-style living room looks this winter. I was going for a warm and soft feel that invites me to snuggle up on the couch with some throw pillows and my girls and read a good book! It’s so nice to have a cozy nook to retreat to when it’s chilly outside. Not sure how to create a great space to read in? I’ve got some tips and tricks to creating a space anyone would want to curl up in with a book and a cup of tea.
3. Warm Layered Lighting
An essential element of hygge is how you light a room. Bright lights just simply won’t do! Lighting always sets the mood, and the proper hygge way of lighting creates a warm glow rather than an intense glare. There are several ways of achieving this type of lighting, and if you layer a couple of them at the same time you will get the perfect effect.
Lighting a group of candles on the coffee table creates a calming atmosphere, and I personally enjoy at least one scented candle in the bunch to make our home smell delicious too! According to Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge, “No recipe for hygge is complete without candles”. So, take this one seriously! If you’ve got littles and real open flames are just not possible, there are some excellent faux candles out there whose tiny light bulbs mimic the warm light of a candle just fine, so don’t feel like you have to leave candles out entirely just because your kids are young.
Another source of warmth and cozy lighting is using twinkle lights or string lights in your decor. Instead of packing them all away with your Christmas decorations, keep a string or two out to keep your home feeling warm and happy. I found these lit birch trees over the holidays and I kept one in our living room to combat the darker days of January and February.
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, lighting a fire is the ultimate way to add some hygge light and warmth to your space. There’s nothing like the crackle of logs to instantly add a cozy feeling to any room! I use duraflame® stax® Crackling Firelogs in our fireplace because they are easy to light and they have the sentimental crackling sound that I love! The logs are shaped like split wood and have the same charred appearance, but they burn better than regular firewood and they’re made from 100% renewable resources.
4. Embrace Soft Textures
There’s nothing cozier (and therefore hygge) in the winter than soft, warm blankets to snuggle up in. This could be a great excuse for a DIY project, and you could make your own chunky blanket, a soft and pretty faux fur blanket, or you could even hack an IKEA blanket into a fun and beautiful pom pom throw, all at minimum cost and with minimal skills necessary.
You can also add in soft texture with throw pillows, which you can DIY to save money! I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas for DIY throw pillows, whether you can sew or not! One of my absolute favourites is my faux fur pillow you see below. If you’re unsure about how to style all those pillows you created, No worries! I can teach you how to mix and match them to perfection.
If you are looking for a different way to incorporate faux fur into your living room, take a look at this Scandi-inspired DIY faux fur stool! A sheepskin rug would also be a nice touch. I hope you’re getting the idea that texture is easy to incorporate for a true hygge feel this season.
5. Nature-Inspired Decor Accents
Hygge is all about natural textures and materials and a neutral palette of colors. So when you are thinking about adding decor to your space, make sure you keep the colors and texture of nature in mind!
There’s just something about real wooden decor accessories that adds character and warmth to a room! Adding in elements like natural wood tables, wooden branches, a grapevine wreath, and wicker baskets will make your space feel very hygge. Other ways to add nature-inspired elements to your room include making a beautiful pinecone wreath that would be perfect for hanging above your mantel or creating a centerpiece with natural colours and a hygge feel. Or, this centerpiece I made from a thrift store glass bowl with brass accents that combines candlelight with fresh winter greenery would be absolutely perfect for that natural feel too.
Here’s a video tour of our cozy, hygge living room:
Introducing all of the elements presented above into your space will create a beautiful, warm and inviting room to share with friends and family this winter, I promise! Once you’re done making over your space, whip up your favourite comfort food for dinner, invite some people over, and then share the evening together by the fire enjoying each other’s company.
If you love the comfort that a hygge living room brings, take the coziness up a notch with a hygge bedroom like I did here.