Planning a trip to Denmark this September has me reading a lot about their culture and what is hygge. Inspired by the happiest countries in the world and in the pursuit of a well balanced, happy life, I decided to embrace this idea and apply it in my Floridian home. If curious, you can read why I’m even thinking about hygge here.
So… what does hygge mean?
Best put by Wikipedia: “Hygge (/ˈhjuːɡə/ HEW-gə or /ˈhuːɡə/ HOO-gə) is a Norwegian and Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.” I’d like to emphasize that hygge is a mood. It’s not necessarily a requirement to buy cozy blankets, warm candles, or decorate completely in neutrals. But! If those examples result in hygge, then you’re accomplishing the mood. For me, I infused these examples into my everyday. Fortunately for a person in the pursuit of a hygge lifestyle, I really effing love candles and soft blankets.
Hygge comes from a region – Norway and Denmark – that gets pretty cold. And Florida, well… it doesn’t. At least in my part of the state, the average low is approximately 57 degrees. In general, when you read about hygge, it’s recommended to use candles, warm blankets, coziness, all of which just ooze wintertime or the holidays. Despite how it feels outside my home in Florida, I feel like my hygge inspired applications still work.
Let’s start with the living room
This is the most used room and deserved the most effort. Within 48 hours of moving into our new apartment, I traveled, consulted, and furnished our entire apartment. Scouring many thrift stores and online shops, I found decor that fit the “Floridian-Mid-Century-Randomishly-Bohemian-Utterly-Fox-And-Babs” vibe that we were hoping for. And before swiping our tired credit card, I just made sure it fit these checkboxes:
- Do we need it?
- Does it make us happy?
- Does it add purpose rather than adding clutter?
We have a repurposed yellow and floral print couch with the softest blankets. My favorite is the off white knitted throw from IKEA. I snuggle up in this blanket… every, single, night. I seriously was on a long pursuit to find this blanket. There were a few contenders, but this was the winner. And I feel like I’m winning every night this is wrapped around me.
We purchased an incense burner at a local shop which sits on a side table inherited from my great aunt. It does the job but seriously drops ash all around it. But the candles on the side table (a gift from my sister – it was once a wine bottle!) and main coffee table (a gorgeous, but silly expensive candle from Target) makeup for its lack of cleanliness. I light these when I get home from work and I’m ready to wine down (aka – winding down but with wine).
Speaking of soft light, I love my owl lamp. I found this gem in a thrift shop back in Baltimore. It was only $30! When the sun sets, we turn this hoot on and gently welcome the night. When the candles are also burning, the entire room has a soft glow that really helps the transition from day to sleepy time.
Every guest can immediately speak to the impact of our gallery wall. We’ve always made it the hero of the living room and one of the first sites you see. It’s filled with art directly from the artists around the world (mostly from our own travels but a few are gifts from friends), art reproductions from our favorite artists, knick knacks from our travels, and favorite photographs. I’d like to specially point out our special narwal, which was awarded to me as a 5-year Anniversary headstone at my old marketing agency. Seeing that narwal reminds me of happy times there and then laugh because of how silly it is.
We keep art throughout our entire home. In fact, in the dining room we have large paintings by my grandmom – Dr. Luz Ramirez. In Jeremy’s office, you will find paintings and a sketch drawing by yours truly. And really… anything that makes us happy and reminds us of our history, our love, and our appreciation for beautiful things. (And psst! For you Harry Potter fans, our “Room of Requirement” – aka the bathroom – is HP themed.)
Regardless of region, everyone can embrace plants in their home. For me who does not have a green thumb, it’s taken a while to figure out which plants I can keep alive. But these have been successful so far!
In the living room in a dark-ish corner. I’ve read somewhere that they can be poisonous for animals, so it’s tucked away high above our dog’s capabilities.
I replanted this dude the moment he came home, and he’s been healthfully snaking it up.
This one’s been alive since Maryland!! I never replanted him, but simply dropped him into an IKEA pot. He’s super low maintenance and adorable.
That about wraps up our hygge inspired Floridian home. Now, inspire me! What do you do to comfy up your space?