Though now I do.
Indeed – there are whole groups of people, an entire country even, (Denmark, “hygge” is a Danish word), who promote and embrace the idea of hygge: originating from a Norwegian word meaning “coziness”. Though hygge encompasses much more than mere coziness – it means to surround yourself with things, experiences (smells, textures, sights, flavors, sounds), and people you love; creating an atmosphere of comfort, well being, acceptance, relaxation.
(Pronounced, so I’ve read, heurgha. Go ahead – I’m sure you can do it!
I try my best with “hue-gah” or “hoo-gah”.)
There are many interpretations of the concept. I have a pinterest board devoted to hygge – and things I find hygge-ish. (Yes I just made that word up and yes I know it looks silly.
I probably wouldn’t use it in public if I were you.
Especially in Denmark.)
For myself, well I’m planning to devote some time during the lovely, upcoming deep-winter months to delve even deeper into hygge. Learning more of its origins while celebrating all those hygge things I already embrace: candlelight, comfortable chairs, pools of warm lamplight, (as opposed to that horrid, harsh overhead lighting), teatime, books, leisurely dinners with friends and family, warm blankets, the fire crackling in the stove.
Naturally I want to share.
So – to start – here are a few of the most popular hygge spots in our house. (I’ve discovered we have many such spots since I’ve begun looking. More than I would have imagined.)
First off, some Mason jars and votives. Candlelight, no matter the size, is classic hygge.
My Lovely, (much of it in tatters), Smushy Chair.
(And yes, that’s its official name.)
I’ve had this chair for well over fifteen years. (Actually I very nearly gave birth in it thirteen years ago. But that’s another story!)
It has a very pretty rounded, “roll over” back and is tufted. Its fabric is a tea strained, cabbage rose print – originally rather gorgeous and now – as we say – very well loved. Meaning the arms and front of my smushy chair boast some good sized thin spots and downright holes. Unfortunately I don’t actually sew (though give me a glue gun, a packet of safety pins, and some fishing line and it’s amazing what I can accomplish), still I’m planning on ordering some fabric and attempting a slipcover in the near future. (One of those loose, shabby chic numbers – hopefully helping hide any, um…imperfections, my slipcover will undoubtedly have.) But for now Smushy Chair remains covered with a large quilt and is happily comfortable.
This is where I read – on my own and to my kids. (I was reading this book to my older sons when my water broke with my youngest – incredibly -thirteen years ago.) Watch tv, write occasionally, sip tea, gaze at the fire, stare out the window. I’ve even been known to fall asleep here on occasion, (especially on late Christmas mornings, following the early rush.)
The pink gilded lamp on the table is an antique, (it belonged to my step-grandfather’s mother – I fear I’ve a complicated family history). The table itself was my tea table as a child, (its two matching captain’s chairs are on my writing loft). Scott made the ottoman, and we recovered it with the toile a few years ago.
As you can no doubt tell, nearly every object in our house has its own story. A little, extra bit of something making it that much closer to our hearts. A bit more joyful.
The book filled peace basket, (one of our too many book baskets), contains our current reads – a few naturally, Christmas Reads.
More of those are kept in this sleigh which sits by my family room desk.
(And which will all be put away to await next Christmas when the holidays are over).
This cozy spot is also in the family room,
(And no it isn’t your eyes or screen – this picture looks fuzzy to me too.
No idea how that happened…)
And, yes, that’s an ektorp chair from Ikea. (After all, Sweden is close to Denmark, home of hygge!)
It usually has a throw or two tossed over it, (they were no doubt in the washer when this pic was taken). You can see the Christmas Tree reflected in the windows and the city beyond, A couple of books from afternoon reading time on one of our own, (another Family Business), “Stump Tables”.
Don’t you love serendipity?!
The kitchen table is surprisingly cozy as well.
This is an all purpose table: schoolwork, computer work, drawing, hanging out, crafts, and even the eating of meals all happen here. Often all of those on the same day.
It’s looking unusually tidy in this pic, taken a couple of weeks ago just before my bookgroup was set to arrive. Usually it’s a piled up hodge podge.
(That odd looking tree in the background is our “grateful tree”, still in place since Thanksgiving – though at the moment also adorned with some special Christmas ornaments.)
And here’s where I’m sitting at this very moment – my family room desk.
We installed the cupboards shortly after moving into Witt’s End. The top middle one holds all the electronic gizmos and gadgets which make our surround sound work. (Evidently surround sound is imperative to have in today’s world.
Hmmmm… I don’t think surround sound belong in my hygge world.
Gonna have to think on that one…)
The other cupboards hold desk supplies, a printer, and a good deal of the various books, dvds and such which we use in our homeschool on a daily basis.
I recovered the bulletin board years ago with some fabric I’ve had for ages, (I don’t know if you can make out the large leaf pinned near the top – my youngest. Rory, brought it home from our 2015 Autumn Pacific Coast trip and it’s still holding together.)
The basket behind the desk is where, (believe it or not), I put all those “important papers and stuff I don’t wanna lose.” Amazingly enough, when I put them there they stay put.
An odd system, but it seems to work so…
This is where I do nearly all my writing – a fan for noise control year round, a small space heater by my feet during the winter months.
While in front of my desk stands “Mom’s Book Basket”.
(Too) filled with all the inspirational, motivational, “pondering reads” I occasionally mull over. (As well as a stack of bookmarks and a few empty journals I intend to fill up as soon as I find time.
And there’s another post.)
And of course there’s always a cuppa tea sitting on my desk. Usually black, with a bit of sugar or perhaps some Italian creamer. Though I have been seen sipping Sleepy Time tea of late, with a generous dollop of honey added.
This particular “Christmas Trailer Mug” (as I think of it), is a gift from this year’s “Family Christmas Box”. And though I bought and wrapped the mug, (yes – tagging it to myself), it was still fun to open and is lovely to use.
Successful hygge, I’ve found, depends a fair amount upon attitude.
And that’s the end of this longish tour!
Wishing you hyggeligt days till next time,