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12 Simple Ways to Hygge Your Home

By: Susan Finch
August 7, 2020

Ready to make your home feel warm and cozy regardless of the time of year? Envelop yourself in the cozy world of hygge right in your apartment. You’ll capture feelings of contentment and wellness with this trend-setting style.

What is Hygge?

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word that depicts a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality. Pronounced “hoo-gah”, hygge is all about boosting feelings of wellness and contentment in your life and dwelling.

The concept lends itself perfectly to one's home. It can help turn your apartment into the welcoming environment you’ve always wanted.

You can trace the origins of the word hygge back to the 16th-century Norwegian term "hugga" that means to comfort or console. In English, we would use a word like "hug" instead. The Danish also embrace the word hygge to describe that cozy feeling, style, decor, and lifestyle that boosts feelings of contentment.

There's even a book called The Little Book of Hygge that shares the simple secrets to happy living. Maybe the Danes know something we don't.

But you don’t need to travel all the way to Denmark to find out what hygge is all about. You can recreate the style and mood right in your apartment and boost your feelings of contentment at the same time.

How to Embrace Hygge in Your Home

Home is an essential element of hygge. Choosing the right decor can usher in the hygge lifestyle and warmth you’re searching for.

Not sure where to get started? Here are 12 ways to transform your apartment with hygge.

1. Bring in the Natural Light

Hygge is all about soft, natural light and an ambient glow. The more natural light you can infuse in your apartment, the better.

Your eyes will thank you for it. The extra boost of Vitamin D will also help improve your mood.

However, not all apartments come with an endless supply of natural light. Try hanging mirrors across from windows. That’ll create the sensation of more natural light than you actually have.

Adding crystals above your windows can also help refract the light. That’ll enhance those hygge feelings.

2. Add More Candles

Once the sun goes down, keep that ambient glow going all evening long with the help of candles. Choose white and neutral candles with light, buttery smells that make you feel positively relaxed.

Instead of reaching for the reading light, try firing up the candles. That’ll create a soft glow to read by instead.

Living in an apartment requires an abundance of caution when it comes to candles. Try electronic, flickering candles that look just as good as the real thing without worrying about the fire hazard.

3. Focus on a Neutral/Warm Color Scheme

Hygge’s color scheme is simple and straightforward that anyone can recreate. Soft white, beige, natural woods, and grey all complement the hygge style you love.

Pick and choose your favorites. Then, blend them together in soft layers.

Paint a wall creamy white and add a few mirrors with grey frames. Try adding a soft, beige rug to your natural hardwood floors. That’ll make for a cozy and welcoming feeling that celebrates the hygge.

4. Create Cozy and Comfortable Spaces

One of the best parts about hygge is creating cozy and comfortable spaces to spend a lazy afternoon.

Start with a reading nook in that awkward corner in your apartment that you don't know what to do with. Include a comfortable armchair or add a window bench that doubles as book storage inside. A few throw blankets, pillows, and a pair of slippers transform your nook into your new favorite space.

5. Get Nostalgic

Hygge is as much about the feeling it evokes as the way it looks. Focus on getting nostalgic with your hygge decor with your favorite artwork, framed photos of your loved ones, or an impossibly soft blanket that reminds you of your childhood.

Fill your home with your favorite smells like pumpkin, apple spice, butter cream, rose petals, or wild mint. Arrange a collection of scented candles on your fireplace or mantle. You could also set up a diffuser with your favorite hygge-inspired essential oils.

6. Add Light Fixtures

Your hygge transformation should include more light fixtures around your apartment. Instead of the generic options, add simple chandeliers or pendant lighting that illuminates the warm tones you love. Swap out your bulbs for warm, soft hues and skip the ultra-white LEDs.

Remember to focus your attention on areas that often go overlooked in your apartment, like your entryway, bathroom, and closets. The more you can create the cozy, hygge feeling around every corner in your apartment, the more content you'll feel.

7. Incorporate Soft Textures

Hygge decor is celebrated for its fuzzy, soft blankets and pillows that turn boring couches into relaxing retreats. Try swapping out your bedding for a glorious chunky knit blanket or soft, white duvet.

You can't go wrong with piling throw pillows on your bed, couch, chairs, and empty corners of your apartment to create quiet reading spaces.

Beyond the blankets and pillows, add soft rugs to your living space or bedroom. Fluffy towels and bath mats are also a must for your bathroom. That way, you can enjoy that hygge feeling from head to toe.

8. Bring in the Natural Elements

Hygge doesn't need to be expensive to recreate. It also doesn’t require a trip to IKEA. Add more plants in stone pots and simple wood furnishings to your apartment to recreate this cozy style.

Fresh, white wildflowers and simple twigs in a glass vase wrapped in a light brown ribbon are also cost-effective, straightforward ways to bring more hygge into your life.

9. Bake Up Some Sweet Treats

There's something about fresh cookies, simple pies, and fragrant breads that transform your apartment into a hygge paradise. The sweet smells create an instant feeling of comfort and nostalgia.

You also end up with lovely, edible table decor to share with roommates and neighbors. Or, you can keep it all to yourself.

10. Focus on Simplicity

The concept of hygge should never feel complicated. It should serve to simplify and enrich your life with the simple things. Focus on creating that feeling of wellness by aligning simple decor choices around your hygge lifestyle.

Grab some baskets made from natural twigs to stack up your books and magazines. Hygge will also inspire you to declutter and tuck away TV and stereo wires to keep the focus on your inviting and warm decor. Donate your mismatch of colorful blankets, towels, plates, and artwork to help refine and simplify your choices for your hygge lifestyle.

11. Put Your Phone Aside

Hygge is both a feeling and a decor choice that allows flexibility to enhance your lifestyle. But hygge isn't about staring at your phone and obsessing over the latest social media posts. Hygge allows the feelings of relaxation and comfort to wash over you.

The apartment decor and design choices you make should enhance those feelings. However, the activities you choose also lend to the hygge lifestyle.

Spend more time connecting with friends and neighbors, reading by the fireplace, listening to quiet music, and savoring the stillness of your comfortable, cozy home.

12. Transform Your Outdoor Space

Hygge can also extend beyond your apartment and transform your outdoor space. Even a small Juliet balcony is roomy enough for a pot of flowers and illuminated string lights.

Need patio ideas? Decorate patios or balconies with plants, bistro tables, outdoor rugs, and weather-friendly blankets. That’ll help you to recreate hygge outdoors.

For a relaxing evening in your outdoor space, add a portable projector to watch your favorite movie against your apartment wall. Simply watching the stars come out while sipping a hot drink also captures that magical hygge feeling.

Ready to recreate the feeling of hygge in a new apartment for yourself? Apartment List can help you find the perfect apartment to embrace your new lifestyle. Just get started with the quiz above!

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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