This post covers 10 must-have hygge items for a cozy winter home.
As the new year approaches, we face the prospect of the home emptied of seasonal decorations. There’s always something so hollow and empty in the home once the tree comes down and the tinsel stored for another year.
It’s time to create a cozy winter home for wellness and comfort.
The great thing about a hygge focus is it’s not about accumulating. It’s about simplifying and focusing on those sensual experiences that evoke a sense of cozy comfort, safety, and intimacy with a strong thread of nature running through your surroundings.
No wonder I’m hygge obsessed!
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The Little Book of Hygge
Meik Wiking, the author of The Little Book of Hygge, defines the term as the are of creating a nice atmosphere. Here, let me let him explain…
Hygge has 5 dimensions that we should keep in mind as we collect items that create a cozy winter atmosphere this winter.
Hygge tastes of foods that are familiar, sweet, and comforting.
Hygge is quiet and calm. So much so that you can hear the small sounds, like rain pattering on the rooftop or the purr of the cat curled up next to you.
The smells of a hygge atmosphere evoke a memory of a time that was particularly beautiful and safe, like fresh-baked bread.
Hygge feels like warm and inviting textures. think a warm mug held in the hands, or a soft and old wool sweater.
The dining element of hygge may very well be the quality of light in a room. It must be diffuse and natural, like candlelight or the light from a fire.
Hygge’s secret sauce perfect for cozy winter spaces: Safety
There is one final, pervasive dimension to hygge, a sense of trusting the place and people around you.
However you choose to decorate your cozy winter spaces, be sure to add elements that convey a sense of trust and safety for yourself and visitors. I think this is done by removing clutter, having a healthy cleaning regimen, and focusing on natural fibers.
A word about zero waste living…
While this post is, in essence, a shopping guide, I want to urge you to first go through your closets and storage spaces and find long-loved items that can be given new life for creating cozy winter spaces.
You see, hygge isn’t just about the thing, but also about the memory of the thing.
10 Must-Have Items for a Cozy Winter Home
OK, now that we’ve defined hygge, gone through our old items, and really thought about the art of creating a nice atmosphere, it’s time to add a few special items to our cozy winter spaces.
I have always loved candles and burn them every season. A few years back, I started making my own soy-based candles. They are either without fragrance or scented with essential oils. It’s an easy and very gratifying DIY project that can save you a good bit of money as well.
As for the hygge factor, handcrafted candles have an intimacy about them. There’s nothing like being surrounded by your own creations for a sense of abiding safety.
Here are my recommendations for candles that help make life cozy this winter.
Throw pillows are perfect any season, but especially in winter when the impulse to snuggle is compulsive. Like with my candles, I’ve begun crocheting covers for my old pillows. It doesn’t take long, and I can have more control over the quality of materials in the pillow.
3. Throws and Lap Blankets
One of my favorite memories from my last trip to Germany was a B&B we stayed in. It had a long porch that overlooked a river. It was March and chilly, but the owners wanted guests to enjoy that spectacular view, so every rocker on the porch has a lap blanket. Bob and I have taken their lead with our own porches – rockers and blankets at every turn!
Throws are another DIY hobby I highly recommend. YouTube tutorials abound and make it very, very easy. But, if you are not crafty and your cupboard is short on throws, check out these cozy winter must-haves!
4. Hyggekrog Nook Chair
We have several hyggekrog spaces around the house.
Hyggekrog is the Danish word for nook. It implies a small area designed for extended periods of time feeling safe and comforted. You probably have a space like this – a favorite chair for sipping tea and reading, perhaps.
If you are a thrift shopper, this a perfect item to find second hand, or perhaps in grandma’s attic. Start there and then use the links below if you come up empty!
Lighting is important for these little nooks, and we’ll deal with that next. For now, let’s make sure we are seated cozy comfy for a long sit with a favorite book.
5. The Perfect Lighting
The Little Book of Hygge spends a lot of time on lighting. The book seems to suggest that the entire notion of hygge might be tied to some historical Danish light engineers and designers.
Check out this link on vintage Danish lighting design and you will see lamps with intention. the lighting fixtures are intended to throw a diffuse warm light that mimics natural light.
The best word to describe it is…you guessed it! Cozy.
Honestly, lighting is an area I struggle with here at the farm. Bob likes bright, overhead lights. I hate them. I’m happy to walk around in the near dark before sitting under electric light. Ahh, married life!
Anyway, here are my recommendations for both of us as we seek to create cozy winter moments once the sun goes down.
6. Coffees and Teas
Coffees and teas! How would we survive the winter without them?
I think the mug is as important as the drink. How about you?
Serving sweets with those warm drinks is particularly hygge. I can’t think of a better way to spend a winter afternoon than watching the snow fall with a warm cup of coffee in my hand and a plate of sweets. Can you?
8. A Good Book
What better way to enjoy your hyggekrog than to make it the perfect book nook?
9. A few Good Friends
Hygge is about an intimate and safe connection to place and people. Once your cozy winter space is created, be sure to host small gatherings and share the nice atmosphere you created!
10. A Warm and Welcoming Fire
I can say with all authority, my house would not be a home without its fireplace. We also live outdoors by our firepit any day the weather is amenable.
With fire, you have so many essential hygge components in one element: light, sound, aroma, texture…
There’s nothing cozier in winter than a fireplace!
Be sure that as you tend to your surroundings, you also prioritize winter wellness.
Hygge is about happiness, and happiness is grounded in wellness. I know you have a lot on your shoulders these days. Be sure your mind, body, and soul are ready for what the world throws at you this winter!
The Seasonal Living Framework
Seasonal wellness asks that we learn to trust nature and our bodies to guide our self-care practices. Whether learning the skill of handcrafting herbal teas or taking up a meditation practice, seasonal wellness is about the slow approach to making our wellbeing a priority.
Basically, nature-based wellness practices are contemplative. They need time set aside to experience moments in nature, and in our interior landscape. These practices can be solitary or in community, solemn or festive. They always bring us into direct contact with the present moment. They inspire an internal sense of purpose and peace.
If this resonates with you, I invite you to explore the Seasonal Living Framework with this post and the downloadable workbook.
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