Hygge, a word that’s brand new to most of us, has increased in popularity over the last four years during winter months - especially in the U.S.’ colder climates.
How do you even pronounce it? And what does it have to do with your small apartment?
Pronounced “hue-guh”, hygge is a Danish noun that describes anything as exhibiting a feeling of contentment, coziness, or well-being. Just to list a couple examples, used in a sentence one could say “This home is hygge” or “Would you like to come over for tea and hygge?”.
Anything can be Hygge: your morning coffee, your favorite rocking chair, the weather…
...and even your apartment.
That’s why we’re going to cover a few ways to bring the beautiful concept of hygge into your apartment, large or small:
Focus on “what feeling does my apartment give?”
The purpose of hygge is to give a feeling of coziness.
A great place to start creating apartment hygge is to stand by your door, look at your apartment, and figure out what feeling your apartment is giving you right now. Is it cluttered? Dark? Unkempt? You have to acknowledge your home’s current state before it can get better.
As you’re making your home more hygge, your aim is for it to display a feeling of contentment. After you know your apartment’s vibe, it’s time to figure out what it needs in order to get to a state of hygge.
Bring in as much natural light as possible.
Vitamin D? Yes please! This is step one.
Natural light is not only good for your body - it’s good for your soul. It can improve moods, helps with focus, and can greatly improve any seasonal affective disorder you might encounter throughout the winter.
Natural light isn’t always abundant in a small apartment. If this is your scenario, try hanging large mirrors or incorporating a white shag rug into your apartment; the mirror will reflect light to the rest of the room and more white tones will naturally make your space feel larger.
Use natural elements in your apartment.
Greenery is relaxing. If you’ve ever walked around an arboretum or a greenhouse, you’ve experienced the rest that plants surrounding you can bring.
Buying some plants to hang or put around your living space will give your space a sense of completion, not to mention the air-purifying capabilities of plants. When debating whether to purchase live or fake plants, keep in mind your lifestyle and if you’d be able to maintain a green thumb. (If you decide to go with live plants, we recommend succulents because they are so easy to take care of!)
Not many of us can describe it, but nature brings hygge!
Don’t be afraid to get some big (and small) rocks as centerpieces, too - rocks are perfect examples of stillness, and when you’re experiencing hygge, you will want as much stillness as you can get.
Make a space for ultimate hygge.
Ah, the cozy nook. There’s nothing quite like having a space that’s designed exclusively for you... and your hygge! Whether you like to read, draw, or pray and meditate (and let’s be real - watch TV), this is going to be your spot to do all of that. Most small apartments don’t have a perfectly-picturesque window sill for reading, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a place like the one pictured!
A chair is the first thing you’ll need, so make sure you pick your favorite chair for your spot. This chair can be in your main living space.
But it’s also the things you have around you that make this place the perfect convenience for you: A side table for your coffee? A place to put your book when you aren’t reading? A blanket next to you? These are all things to consider when building your ultimate hygge space.
The more convenient the area is and the better the view of your apartment from this vantage point, the more comfortable you’ll be. Exciting!
Use candles and a couple warm-toned lights at night.
Nighttime is important for winding down and it’s the time you'll most likely want to rest, so picking the right mood lighting to help you end your day in hygge is key.
Small apartments don’t usually have much lighting built into them, so the more lamps in your home decor the better. But what about when you’re in your hygge spot? This is when you’ll want only one (or two) lamps on.
It’s not much, but that’s the point! Candles can also contribute to your rest; there’s just something about the elements that can help you feel at peace. (Be sure to check your apartment lease or community rules to see if candles are permitted.)
Keep cookies nearby to enjoy with your favorite warm drink.
Hygge’s cherry-on-top comes down to the sweets.
When you’re experiencing hygge it’s a great thing to have your favorite foods next to you, but one of the biggest mistakes most people make is in the sweets area. Your favorite candy might be sour patch kids, but sour patch kids are more of a comfort treat than a hygge treat - so you want to reframe and maybe download an easy recipe or two so you can experience hygge like never before.
Examples of comfort treats perfect for hygge are cookies, crackers and cheese, grapes, pie, bread pudding, or muffins. Making some hot chocolate, coffee, or tea to pair with your favorite comfort treat can create the perfect blend of enjoyment, too.
Experiencing hygge is one of the best ways to find the rest you’ve been looking for in your life. Creating the perfect environment by refining your space to fit your needs can be difficult if your apartment is small, but it’s extremely rewarding in the end if you’re intentional about it.
We hope these tips can help you make the perfect space that you’ve been searching for!