The Complete Guide to Hygge:
20 Cosy Touches to Add to Your Decor


Scour the Oxford English Dictionary, and you'll never find a single word comparable to this one. It just does not exist.

How to...
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Charlotte Grainger
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December 10, 2016

There’s no direct translation for the Danish word Hygge (pronounced ‘hug-uh’) and maybe there’s a significant reason for that. It may be because the very essence of the word is something that for far too long has been absent from traditional English life.

What with overbearing technology, work leaking into our home lives, and the constant pressure to be using our time with purpose, there’s little room to just stop.

Breathe. Think. Live.

Yet, that’s just what this word signifies; a pause. It’s about taking the time to look at the world around us, the homes we’ve created, and truly take pleasure in them.

It’s about comfort and appreciating the small things we have in our lives from our family to our cosy home decor. It’s about mindfulness, and being in the moment; every moment.

This very notion is at the heart of Danish culture. Since the Danes are often times referred to as the happiest people on the planet, perhaps we can learn from them. Sure, hygge is a fad right now, but it’s by no means fleeting.

Here’s a concept you can apply to both your decor and your lifestyle by just making a few changes. If you’d like to add a little simple comfort to your home this winter, here are 20 tiny touches to include.

 

Expose yourself to the elements

How To Hygge: Natural Elements
Image via Barker and Stonehouse

 

One of the great flaws in modern home design is that all too often there’s a lack of natural elements. Your abode ought to ooze comfort from the very moment you step through the door.

Too many designers seem to have an unthinkable lust for overly complicated pieces. Do away with busy design styles, and embrace the great elements of nature.

Juxtaposing materials in this fashion makes for a daringly bold impact on any space. Including a little branch of nature, in the form of a large indoor plant, ties the look together perfectly.

 

Create a light focal point

How To Hygge: Lighting
Image via Made.com

 

Whilst many fail to realise it, the way in which you light your home has a vastly important charge over the complete aesthetic of the room. When it comes to how to create a cosy living room, it’s somewhat essential that you remember the lighting.

Of course, you may be lucky enough to have a wealth of natural light which floods the room each day. Still, you might want to consider creating a light focal point within the sitting room.

A cluster of Scandi style lighting fixtures is not merely a functional addition, but also a piece of art in itself. This piece will serve as a talking point when guests visit your home and gives any room the definition that it may otherwise be lacking.

 

Adorn your garden space

How To Hygge: Garden
Image via Tumblr

 

The nights may be chilly, to say the least, but that’s just no reason to neglect your outdoor space. Creating a chill-out area outside extends your living space and can look whimsically charming.

Now, you may wish to use some of your cosy sitting room ideas within this space. Layer throws, blankets and cushions upon your outdoor furnishings to create an enticing, comfortable seating area.

You will also want to add a little glitz to the space with some chic hanging lights or even lanterns. Imagine you’re creating the ultimate romantic setting just outside your home.

This is the area in which you will spend garden parties and long evenings with your loved ones. There’s something so utterly refreshing about escaping the confines of modern life and pitching a place in the great outdoors.

Add a few candles and even incense sticks to complete this beautifully bohemian feature of your home.

 

Craft a unique gallery wall

How To Hygge: Gallery Wall
Image via Pencil and Paper Co.

 

At the very heart of hygge is a lust for things that personally touch you in a meaningful way. So, with that notion in mind, it would be something of a crime to neglect the arts within your home decor.

You don’t have to be an expert in the field to pick out some pieces that speak to you on an emotional level. This is by far one of the most vital cosy lounge ideas you will come across when designing your home.

Choose pictures, portraits, fashion campaigns that you adore gazing at. Pick pieces that you could stare at for hours and never once feel bored. Those very images are the ones that you ought to include in your living space.

 

How To Hygge: Gallery Wall
Image via Stylecaster

 

Before you begin, you’ll want to create a warm colour scheme definition either within your art or on the canvas, aka the wall. If you’re opting for colourful, dazzling artwork, your feature wall should be plain, muted, and likely white.

On the other hand, should you choose black and white prints, you can get a little more creative with the wall itself. In this case, you must not shy away from warm paint colours that draw the eye to the feature.

Of course, there is really no right way to go about this. Simply put, this is an opportunity for you to express your art tastes in a clear, concise way. By restricting the pictures to just one feature wall, you prevent the entire room from seeming busy and unkempt.

Instead, you and your family will be able to enjoy and appreciate the art while never once allowing it to dominate your home as clutter.

 

Include rustic elements within your decor

How To Hygge: Rustic Elements
Image via Alex’s Closet

 

Many people make the mistake of believing that cosy and rustic features are direct contrasts. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While considering cosy lounge ideas, including just a few rustic and charming features could make all the difference.

This repurposed worn, wooden ladder might have been something of an eyesore. When embellished with hanging lights, though, it transforms into a chic, stylish addition to the room.

Creativity is a must when it comes to home design. Often, that truly means finding the natural beauty in ordinary items that others may pass over without a thought.

 

Invoke a warm colour palette

How To Hygge: Warm Colour Palette
Image via Emma Fiala

 

The inclusion of a warm colour scheme definition is essential when basing your interior on hygge.

Keep in mind, if you will, that this style is centered around the notion of comfort and cosiness. There’s just no room for dingy, cold looking colours within it.

That’s not to say that you can’t use blues, yellows, and white. Indeed, here is an apt example in which these three colours have taken a rich and luxurious tone.

Before you begin the decorating process, it’s worth considering the colour scheme and what effect it will have on the final project.

 

Meddle with metallics

How To Hygge: Metallics
Image via Barker and Stonehouse

 

Since Scandi design would be nothing without a few well-placed metallic pieces, now may be the right time to choose a few for your home. This is one of the more experimental cosy lounge ideas as many don’t believe that metallic pieces can be aesthetically pleasing.

Opt for just a few stand-out pieces, such as a lamp, a mirror, or a vase. These highlights should draw the eye as you look around the room and add a certain sense of style to the entire area.

It’s worth investing in pieces with a gloss finish rather than a matte one since these are far more contemporary.

 

Keep things plain and simple

How To Hygge: Keep It Simple
Image via TheROOMedit

 

In truth, hygge is not about extravagance. No, it’s about enjoying the sheer simplicity of your immediate environment. You may wish to include warm paint colours throughout your home, but ensure that each room has a clear, thought-out theme and style.

Clashing too many tones will create havoc rather than peace in your home. The point is that you ought to be able to sit back, relax, and simply seep up the homely atmosphere within your abode.

That’s why you really must not overcomplicate any of the decor. Planning ahead to make sure that the entire look works seamlessly will help achieve this goal.

 

Embrace simple home accessories

How To Hygge: Home Accessories
Image via Property Pal

 

When accessorising your home, opt for simple pieces which add a splash of colour to your living area. Each piece should have a warm colour scheme so that it works fluidly with the rest of the home.

What’s more, it’s important that you choose pieces that suit the hygge philosophy. That means that everything must be at once beautiful and functional. You needn’t include pieces just for the sake of them. Doing so will lead to clutter and mess.

Instead, you should question what each tiny accessory brings to your abode and whether you could truly do without it. Opting for Scandi style pieces like these ones will make for an authentically minimalist look.

 

Use ornaments sparingly

How To Hygge: Ornaments
Image via BoConcept

 

When we consider how to create a cosy sitting room, it’s dangerously easy to get sidetracked by adding far too many ornaments to the space.

Sure, these tiny features can add to the room, but you need to be cautious of how, when, and indeed why you use them.

Each piece that you choose to include in your living room should bring you joy in some way. Whether it makes you smile or reminds you of some long forgotten memory, each ornament you choose should have a reason. It’s honestly that simple.

You should include pieces sparingly and really consider whether each is necessary. Using this cardinal rule you can avoid going over the tip when it comes to your decor.

 

Afford yourself a little luxury

How To Hygge: Luxury
Image via Murals Wallpaper

As we’ve already discussed, the hygge rule of thumb is that there is just no need for extravagance. With that in mind, though, you can afford yourself some small luxuries now and then.

Within your bedroom space, it goes without saying that you should opt for warm paint colours, but how can you elevate the look of the room?

Well, including some small feature pieces, such as these patterned cushions or even just some candles can transform the space into somewhere very special.

 

Get creative with some candlelight

How To Hygge: Candles
Image via Pinterest

 

We’re about to let you in on a very small secret. The truth of the matter is that cosy sitting room ideas don’t have to be world-changing. Even the smallest details can help to create a living space in which you feel utterly relaxed and zen.

Candlelight is often overlooked when designing a space like this. You may think that this throwback to times gone by has no real place in the modern home.

What you’re missing, though, is the fact that candles are not merely functional objects; they are also things of great beauty. Lighting candles and turning out the main lights creates a warm, enticing environment like no other.

Why not get creative with your candles? Rather than merely positioning them on a plate, pop them in a large jar. Doing so elevates them to feature pieces for your home.

 

Feature the fireplace

How To Hygge: Fireplace
Image via Pinterest

 

Snuggling up by the fireside is the epitome of comfort which is why you must never neglect this feature within your home. This always appears first on the list of cosy lounge ideas, and for good reason.

The warm, flickering light that fire casts upon a room is comparable only to magic. While most people use their TV as a focal point in this space, your fireplace should be the central feature of your living room.

Of course, a freestanding fire like this one is ideal for this purpose. From the very moment you walk into the room, you will find yourself inexplicably captivated by it.

If you simply don’t have the space for such a piece, there are other ways to draw attention to your fire. For example, a heavy, wooden mantle piece will frame any fireplace and create the illusion that it’s larger than it actually is.

 

Include a little flora in your home

How To Hygge: Floral
Image via Freshome

 

If you have a natural appreciation for the great outdoors, there’s no reason that you can’t display that in your home. Including not just small houseplants but also larger pieces is a sure way to make your abode look unique and welcoming.

Here, you can see that the designer has included hints of green throughout the space as well. These little touches help to complement the flora in the room whilst also adding some colour to the otherwise plain area.

 

Consider some faux fur

How To Hygge: Faux Fur
Image via Pinterest

 

Traditionally, in Danish homes, you would likely see sheepskin and other furs around the place. These were used as both functional and decor pieces; they kept people warm and cosy while adding a little something to the area.

While browsing cosy lounge ideas, you’re certain to have come across this one before. Mimic the original look by investing in some ultra chic faux fur pieces. You could include mats or even throws within your living space.

Remember, it is worth spending just a little more on these features. Large faux fur features such as this rug will serve to enhance the room.

 

Indulge your interests

How To Hygge: Indulge Your Interests
Image via Brit + Co

 

When we were younger, we indulged a whole wealth of interests. Our parents were keen to ensure that we had enriching hobbies and pastimes.

Still, as we grow older, the constraints of adult life often hold us back and stop us taking pleasure in the things we once loved. If there’s a passion you’ve been neglecting, now is the time to spark it once again, and there’s no better place to start than within your home.

Take this gorgeous little reading space, for example. Few people dedicate an entire area of their home to simply reading but doing so is a wonderful idea.

Notice the warm paint colours here; this is a place dedicated to the art of literature and relaxation. Including the things you adore in your home, such as books, creates a sense of ownership over the space.

 

Make a welcome wall

How To Hygge: Hallway
Image via Houzz

 

Heavy patterns can look overbearing when used liberally. You want to avoid that at all costs. Having a so-called welcome wall means that you choose a small space of wall or alcove to feature.

Within this space, you’re free to get creative with the patterns and colours that you choose to use. Think of the area as a piece of art in itself; only this is one that you have the pleasure of designing.

Here, the designer has chosen to include a busy angular rouge print but has broken up the space with a large mirror. Note that the use of the mirror means that the area looks stylised and less hectic.

 

Opt for sculptural knitted pieces

How To Hygge: Knitted Pieces
Image via Pinterest

 

When welcoming hygge into your home, woollen pieces are an absolute must. These can work as cosy sitting room ideas but can be equally endearing in the bedroom.

It’s worth taking the time to choose pieces with varying textures. Doing so creates a cosy, comfortable ambience. The large tassels shown on this blanket here only add to that effect.

In the bedroom, it’s crucial that you include as many layers and features as possible. From fluffy little cushions to large, bulky throws, you need to ensure that there is a whole load going on here.

 

Use throws throughout the home

How To Hygge: Throws
Image via Pinterest

 

Throws and blankets don’t only belong in the bedroom. Since the days are shorter than ever and the nights are cold, you must ensure that every member of the family is warm and cosy.

You may want to use a wicker basket to store your many throws in the living room. Failing that, you could have a shelf for them somewhere. These are meant to be as cosy looking as they happen to feel.

Choose blankets in the same colour palette but be sure to vary the texture and style of each piece so that it doesn’t look unbearably uniform. Don’t forget you’re going for effortless style, not regimented themes here.

 

Personalise your wall space

How To Hygge: Walls
Image via Brit + Co

 

If there’s a wall in your home that looks particularly bare, you will love this idea. Take the opportunity to personalise it with snapshots of those nearest and dearest to you.

Here someone has used some beautiful hanging lights to jazz up the wall just a little. What’s more, they’ve customised the piece by clipping little polaroids along the wiring.

This look is all about appreciating what’s dear to you and what you appreciate in life. This subtle feature is what makes your home unique to you; that in itself should never be underestimated.

So, what do you think? How many of these touches will you be including in your decor this winter? If you enjoyed this article, please don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.

 

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte is a freelance writer living in Sheffield, UK. Her interests include gender issues, kittens and the Gilmore Girls. In her spare time, she also writes poetry and drinks copious amounts of red wine and coffee.