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How to embrace Hygge this winter


You have made the wise choice to select Scandinavian chairs for your home.  You now want to translate this into the complete Hygge interior design.  Here we explore how to embrace Hygge this winter and create the look that will feel like the perfect Christmas gift to yourself. You can turn your home into a shelter from the worst that winter nights can offer – drawing on interior design to provide relaxation, reducing stress levels and making us happier.

What is Hygge?

Well, first, you are likely saying Hygge wrong.  It is not a harsh sound “hig”.  Instead, you should pronounce it “hoo-ga” or “hue-gah”.  It derives from the Norwegian term for wellbeing – and has obvious connections to the English word “hug”.  In the cold and desolate months in Norway, much work needed to be done in the inhabitants’ homes to make use of what little light there was and to bring comfort where there might be depression.

Hygge is most commonly adopted in Denmark, where the inhabitants are considered to be the world’s happiest people – despite living much of the time in darkness.

Although close to the word hug, there is no direct translation into English.  The best description for its meaning is cosiness or togetherness.  In short, the Hygge interior design approach is mainly about creating a feeling or a moon.  You are working with your mental state rather than trying to create a physical representation of your taste.

Hygge should be considered an art form in creating intimacy. It is the creation of a space for sharing with loved ones – where you experience warmth and contentment in the company of others.  With the stresses, strains, pace and intolerable pressures of our modern technological society, Hygge demands simplicity and calmness that is welcomed by most.

Achieving the Hygge look in your home

Now you know the basics, the feeling or mood of Hygge, it’s time to offer tips on how to complete the look.


If you want to sell candles, then you should move to Scandinavia.  Its people are the largest consumers of candles in the world.  You may think that a part of the world cast in constant shadows, there would be a reliance on artificial light.  However, the stark and vibrant lightbulb is replaced with the warming glow of a candle.  To keep a sense of chill outside, you should live by candlelight.  As a fundamental of Hygge design, you cannot hope to achieve an intimate mood without purchasing some candles.


Hygge is a sensory experience.  Therefore, to create the cosy interior look, you need to introduce lots of soft textures.  Think about the surface of your favourite sweater and how the feel of the material against your skin makes you feel as you hug it close.  This feeling is what you are hoping to achieve in your home.  You need faux fur throws and woollen rugs.  You should consider cashmere cushions or chunky knitted covers.  The hope is that your room will invite people to sink into it, to feel that tactile experience of your furnishing.


There should be no extravagance in your Hygge room.  There need not be any dependence on high-class brands and classy antiques.  You should not be afraid to sink into this room; to lounge around anyway that feels comfortable.  The simple design of Hygge is best compared to your Sunday slouch clothes – everything should work to make you feel safe and comfortable.

Remember, Hygge is never about extravagance.  You can indulge your whims, but you should not extravagantly spatter your design with objects.  Everything should invite people in to be themselves and feel they can enjoy the laidback charm of the room.


Hygge is best enjoyed with your friends. Although everything about Hygge seems to suggest hibernation, nothing is further from the truth.  To feel safe and comfortable, to draw on the mood of intimacy, you need to invite the people you love into your space.  Therefore, an essential of the Hygge interior design is the gathering area where you will eat and chat. It might be a huge communal table by an open fire or a series of sofas and cushions for cosy chats.

The point of your space should be to bring happiness to others, help them feel uplifted and welcomed, as you indulge in the mood created by the Hygge design.

Edward Sloane

Edward is the managing director of Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs. He is an expert in quality, comfortable upholstered chairs.


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