We kept hearing a word thrown around in 2016 in relation to creating a cozy and welcoming home. The work, hygge [pronounced hoo (or hue) -gah], Danish for “coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being,” is one of the Oxford English Dictionary’s words of the year. In Denmark, an entire way of life is built around hygge, creating a comfortable ambiance – a home where you can relax and into which guests are welcome. You don’t have to completely buy into the entire lifestyle, however. A few simple tweaks and additions to your home can help to create your own cozy atmosphere.
During the winter months, creating a cozy home becomes more important as your abode becomes a refuge in which to escape the harsh weather outdoors. By creating a sanctuary inside your home, you can enjoy being indoors while remaining warm and comfortable. Although it may feel a little daunting to completely make over your home for winter, aim to concentrate on the area that you use the most to sit and relax – usually the family room and the bedroom. Read on to discover our top tips for creating a cozy ambiance in your home this winter.
Lighting is incredibly important when it comes to creating a cozy atmosphere. Harsh and bright overhead lighting tends to emit a cold light that exposes every corner of the room. Softly diffused light from table lamps placed in strategic positions (next to the chair that you like to snuggle up and read on or illuminating dark corners) can help to create a warmer ambiance.
To truly feel cozy, however, the natural glow of candlelight is the best way to light your room. Fill your room with candles of different shapes, sizes and scents, placing them on sideboards, shelves, and coffee tables to allow the flames to flicker all around you. Try placing large church candles or tea-lights inside glass lanterns which reflect the light beautifully, amplifying the effect.
Once you’ve got the lighting right, the next thing to consider is the textiles in the room. Soft, warm, and furry materials will help you to create a cozy nest to snuggle up in, on the sofa or on your bed.
Add an abundance of softly textured pillows (stick with velvet, wool, or faux fur fabrics that are soft and warm) to the room with a “more is more” attitude. Drape blankets or sheepskin throws over the back of chairs and across the bottom of the bed. Consider the comfort of potential guests as well as yourself and ensure that you have plenty of cushions and blankets to go around.
Don’t forget the floor – bare wooden floorboards can feel cold during the winter months. Lay thick pile rugs or more sheepskins on the floor to keep your feet warm at all times.
Choose Warm Colors
Color can have a huge impact on your mood and also on how you perceive a space. Cooler colors such as white, gray, or blue can make a room feel larger and more spacious but aren’t the best options for a cozy ambiance. Warmer tones of mustard, red, and orange make a room seem smaller and therefore create more welcoming spaces for snuggling up indoors during the winter months.
If you have white walls and cool-toned furniture, try introducing accessories in a warmer hue to warm up your room. Mustard and terra-cotta tones are currently on trend, and just a few simple touches such as pillows, ceramics, or lamp shades can make a huge difference.
Keep Things Simple
Creating a cozy ambiance isn’t about fuss, it’s about embracing simplicity. By keeping things simple, you can ensure that the items in your home are all things that you love and that are intrinsic to creating a comfortable home.
Consider the simple pleasures in life that you love, such as reading a favorite book, drinking a cup of herbal tea, or listening to your favorite music – and ensure that you have everything that you need to indulge in these activities. That could mean having a collection of rustic ceramic mugs, preparing a comfortable armchair with a pile of blankets and a reading lamp, or purchasing a record player.
Create a “Nest”
The Danes call this a hyggekrog, a place in your home where you create a cozy corner to sit and relax. If you have a window seat, this is the perfect place to create your nest, layering several blankets, sheepskins, and pillows to create a comfortable spot to sit. Other options could be a favorite armchair or even creating a little nook on the floor. The purpose of this space is to create a warm and cozy spot where you can curl up on your own, sip a warm drink, read a book, listen to music or watch the world go by outside the window.
After all, that’s the definition of cozy, isn’t it?