Ski holidays may be off the table this winter, but you can still create that cosy Alpine lodge feel in your own home. Over the last few years, the Danish idea of hygge has gained a cult following here in the UK, and now we’re all under new lockdown restrictions, this year could be the one we all embrace our inner Viking.
What is hygge?
Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, this Danish concept is all about encompassing the cosy contentment of just ‘being’ in winter. It’s about staying present, and enjoying this time of hibernation, before the first flush of spring arrives again. And there are some simple things you can do to bring this feeling of cosy contentment into your home.
Keep the heat in
Is there anything cosier than coming home to a warm house after a day out walking in nearby countryside? It’s crucial to make sure your living room is well insulated for the winter months and is able to retain the heat. Whether you’re investing in an all-new central heating system or your trusty log burner does the trick, you can’t fully embrace hygge if you’re freezing. Windows tend to be the main culprit for heat loss, and if they’re ill-fitting and draughty, it might be worth replacing them. While there will be an expense in having new ones fitted, you’ll be amazed at how much you could save on heating bills in the long run.
Add in soft textures
Feeling cosy is all about being comfortable and able to snuggle, and there’s nothing more comforting than watching a film wrapped up in an oversized blanket. Whether you choose wool or fleece, a couple of throws in a winter palette can instantly transform a room. Switch up your regular cushions with some faux fur ones, and don’t forget to add a faux pelt rug to take centre stage, and really enhance the Alpine atmosphere.
One of the easiest ways to create a cosy feel is to up the ambiance. Instead of switching on the ‘big light’ come dusk, use table lamps to create a soft glow around the room. Warm white bulbs should be used instead of bright white ones. Little pockets of light from lamps dotted around the room create a soft haze and instantly give a feeling of warmth. Dimmer switches are great additions to uplights, and of course, the soft warm glow – and crackle – from a fire helps to fully envelope the room in a blanket of cosiness.
Use wintry scents
While suntan lotion and coconut are smells evocative of long, lazy summer days, wintry scents like cinnamon, bergamot and frankincense can instantly transform your home into a snug idyll. Not only will these scents match the rich tones of the autumnal landscape, but they’ll remind you of childhood Christmases, transporting you to another time.
Cook up a storm
Once you’ve set the scene for your home, you’ll want to fill it with warming winter delights. Choose rich dishes like stews for evening meals, and come the weekend, embrace the continental style brunch, with warmed patisseries, fresh bread, and meat and cheese platters. And for nights spent watching family-friendly films you’ll want an indulgent hot chocolate with a marshmallow or two.