HYGGE – A Cozy Danish Concept

The word Hygge is everywhere these days. It had us wondering what it means and most of all, how to pronounce it. It’s a Danish word that roughly translates to “well-being” or “cozy”. Pronounced “hoo-guh,” there is no direct translation in the English language, but Collins English Dictionary defines it as, “a concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cozy and convivial atmospheres that promote well-being.”

A new buzzword, Hygge was even the runner-up to the Collins English Dictionary word of the year in 2016. We have also seen multiple mentions and books from our suppliers about the concept of Hygge.  Many of our favourite blogs are full of discussions about how to incorporate it into day-to-day life. So we thought we would do some research to learn more.

Hygge is a concept associated with relaxation, coziness and gratitude. It can be achieved through something as simple as sipping tea in front of the fireplace, a night in with friends or family, indulging in freshly baked sweets, or lighting some candles and curling up with a good book. It seems to convey that self-care and a bit of indulgence can go a long way towards happiness. The Danes seem to be onto something because they are often voted the happiest people in the world. We think Hygge is a concept worth embracing, given the long winter nights. This Scandanaivan concept embraces long winters, small moments and creating a cozy environment and has developed into a way of living.

Here are some ways to add Hygge to your home:

 

1 Embrace cozy. A key idea is to enjoy the environment you’re in – especially your home. Add texture with chunky knits and soft textiles. Create a warm and inviting space to relax in after a long day or to hang out with family and friends. Cozy-up your living room with faux fur rugs, soft pillows, and woolly throws. We love this warm and inviting living room from one of our favourite suppliers, @Indabatradingco:

 

2 Candles. Perhaps the easiest way to achieve Hygge, a simple lit candle is seen as one of the most fundamental Hygge moments. Make the long winter nights more enjoyable with the cozy flicker of candlelight. Scented or unscented, take the time to create a warm and inviting atmosphere when the sun goes down early. Indulge in a candle-lit bath, or simply light some candles for weekly game night. We are obsessed with these Paddywax candles from their Hygge collection (They’ll be arriving at Above & Beyond in March):

 

3 Enjoy the small things. This can be accomplished in any room in your home, but we especially adore the concept of taking pleasure in your morning cup of coffee. Many of us are caffeine dependent, but take the time to indulge in your coffee and appreciate the warmth, flavour, and soothing morning ritual as you start your day. Treat yourself to new mugs for home or the office, or opt for a new brewing method that makes an optimal cup of coffee.

 

 

Instagram Accounts to Follow for Design Inspiration

We get our inspiration from many different avenues. Magazines, hours of HGTV, our customers, the buying shows, blogs, Pinterest – and of course, Instagram. We love how Instagram provides us with daily visual design inspiration to scroll through at our leisure. This week, we’ve compiled a list of our must-follow suggestions for some snippets of design inspiration. Go ahead and click follow!

  • @stevenandchris
    @stevenandchris
    Steven Sabados offers us a glimpse into his life and his S&C line that we love so much here at Above & Beyond. Follow for some great decorating ideas from Steven's new CBC show, The Goods.
  • @nateberkus
    @nateberkus
    The world was first introduced to Nate Berkus during his inaugural appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002. We have been fans ever since and so has the rest of the world! He has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers and we adore his philosophy that, “Your home should tell your story. What you love most collected and assembled in one place.”
  • @apartmenttherapy
    @apartmenttherapy
    Apartment therapy claims to be saving the world, one room at a time. And we tend to agree! This account is a treasure trove of inspiration for small small spaces with its countless apartment and home tours.
  • @designmilktravels
    @designmilktravels
    Follow this account to add some wanderlust to your scrolling. A travel guide for the modern design enthusiast, this will leave you wanting to plan your own getaway.
  • @pantone
    @pantone
    The other leader in colour, Pantone claims to be the worldwide standard for color communication and inspiration since 1963. Their account is full of fun (and coulourful) photos - including many snaps of their colour of the year, Greenery.
  • @benjaminmoore
    @benjaminmoore
    Leaders in paint colour, Benjamin Moore's account is a go-to for paint colour inspiration. Follow for 2017 Colour Trends and how to incorporate their Color of the Year 2017: Shadow 2117-30 into your own design.
  • @houseandhomemag
    @houseandhomemag
    Follow House & Home for daily decorating inspiration. We love the glimpses into homes, trends and products from across North America and around the world.
  • @houseplantjournal
    @houseplantjournal
    Don't have a green thumb? Worry not! Follow this Toronto-based blog for plant watering tips (and gorgeous images of plants). This account is your go-to for responsible plant parenthood.
  • @thejungalow
    @thejungalow
    Add some greenery to your Instagram perusal with The Jungalow. Author of the New York Times best-selling book The New Bohemians, L.A. based designer and blogger Justina Blakeney posts pictures that celebrate colour, pattern and plants!
  • @paddywaxcandles
    @paddywaxcandles
    We love Paddywax candles! Many of you may know them from the very popular candle that we can't seem to keep in stock - Tobacco & Patchouli. This account shows us how to re-purpose the reusable vessels the candles are poured in to brighten your home.
  • @savoygardens
    @savoygardens
    Add some garden inspiration to your scroll through Instagram. Savoy Gardens posts stunning gardens and estates that will help get you through these long winter months until gardening season is here again.
  • @elledecor
    @elledecor
    Elle Decor is one of our trusted go-to's for ample pictures of up-and-coming trends. The account posts all sorts of design styles from modern to traditional, contemporary to eclectic. Go ahead and hit follow!
  • @archdigest
    @archdigest
    From dreamy house tours that grant us access to celebs' homes, to stunningly helpful how-to's, the visual inspiration to be found on Architectural Digest's account is endless. Whether you're looking to renovate or just escape into a realm of beauty, this account is definitely worth the follow.
  • @em_henderson
    @em_henderson
    Emily Henderson is a stylist, New York Times Bestselling author of STYLED, and runs a daily design blog that we adore. She offers a transparent and honest look at how to decorate without rmaking the world of home decor seem intimidating. Her designs are fun, colourful, and never look unattainable. We love her site for how-to's!
  • @mercanaartdecor
    @mercanaartdecor
    This is another one of our favourite suppliers and a fave amongst our customers. Mercana sells excellently curated fine home furnishings & decor, and their Instagram account is just as well curated!

 

Let’s be friends on Instagram! You can find us at @abovebeyondhomedecor.

How-to: Decorate Your Home for Winter

With this weekend’s snowfall, it looks like winter has officially arrived. Perhaps you’ve resolved not to hate winter as much this year, or maybe you’re just looking for ways to enjoy it while it’s here – we’ve got some suggestions to help decorate your home for winter! Now that the Christmas decorations are put away, we’re feeling like our homes are a little bit bare and could use a some of that cozy glow for the rest of these long winter months. So, this week we’ve compiled a list of ways to winterize your home decor.

1. Get cozy. Add lots of layers and warm textures to your furniture this season. Think woolly pillows, chunky knits, fluffy blankets, and faux fur accents. Add textured rugs to cozy up underfoot. Sheepskin rugs are the perfect way to make a bedside or reading nook warm and inviting. Adding texture to couches, chairs, and to your bed will immediately cozy up any room and make the space look and feel warm and inviting.

2. Add a pop of colour. The landscape outside is looking pretty monotone these days. We recommend adding a pop of colour to infuse some life back into your space. Introduce colour into your space by adding colourful accent pillows, throw blankets, new art, or even some colourful curtains. Looking for a low budget way to add colour? Think about adding some colorful books on side tables, shelves or coffee tables.

3.  Style your fireplace. The weather outside may be frightful, but the fire [can be] so delightful. If you have a fireplace in your home, make it a focal point during the winter months. Style the mantel with wintry objects – don’t be afraid to leave your snowy garland out for a few more months. Or, add some of your favourite collected knick-knacks from over the years. Create depth and texture by stacking books, adding glass pieces, candles, pictures or older treasures. Around the hearth, add some cozy texture with logs and baskets (at a safe distance, of course).

4.  Add some life to your home. We mean plants! There is no better way to liven up a room than to add some greenery. Think about adding large, leafy floor plants if you have the space. A simple succulent on a side table can go a long way to infusing some colour into your home, too. And that kitchen table of yours? Add a big colourful floral arrangement to the centre of it to brighten up your day (and your room).

Source: Paddywax

5. Lighting. The days are short and the nights are long. But we might as well take advantage of that. Introduce accent lighting into your home that makes it cozy and inviting. Think about adding more lamps to side tables, and lighting those candles you’ve been hoarding away. We also love the look of battery powered strand lights in a cloche or a decorative bowl – they’re not just for Christmas.

6. Add some fragrance to your space. Don’t underestimate the power of smell to curate a cozy and warm space! We already mentioned candles, but we can’t stress how much we love them. Lampe Berger is also an amazing way to add scent to a space. We recommend a warm and sweet fragrance, such as the ever-popular Orange Cinnamon, Gourmet Vanilla or Mystery Patchouli. Longing for those summery days? Try adding a fresh scent to your home with Citrus Leaves, or Ocean Breeze.

Holiday Gift Guide – For the House Proud

This week we thought we would share a gift guide for those who love to decorate, adore home decor and are always looking for that perfect piece to add to their living space. Here are some gift ideas for the House Proud:

 

All of these gifts are now available at Above & beyond. Click HERE for the full-sized gift guide. Happy shopping!

Holiday Gift Guides – Men’s Gifts

Today we’re bringing you the latest installment of our Gift Guide! We know it can be hard to shop for the men in your life, so we have compiled a list of gifts to inspire you.

mens-gift-guide

All of these items are available now at Above & Beyond. Click HERE for the full version of our Gift Guide for men’s gifts that go beyond new dress shirts and tools.

Artcraft – Beautiful Residential Lighting

Light fixtures are an integral part of a room’s design and function. We’re very excited about a new line of lighting we have at Above & Beyond. It’s called Artcraft Lighting and it is both functional and beautiful. One of the main reasons we love this line is because it truly has something for everyone.

Artcraft has lighting for all spaces and all styles. With the addition of this line, we now carry a wide array of pendants, flush mount, semi-flush, vanities, pendants and sconces – and the list goes on. Their lighting styles range from modern to traditional, and is suitable for all rooms from the bathroom to the bedroom. Here is an assortment of our favourites:
One of the reasons we started carrying Artcraft is because it also has a gorgeous collection of outdoor lighting. This is a great way to brighten up your home’s exterior and add some style. The perfect lighting can also help to create a welcoming entryway to your home. Try adding sconces on either side of your front door to create a statement. Or, add some task lighting to your front porch or walkway.
Looking to add a focal point to your living room or foyer? A chandelier is a beautiful way to add a statement to your room – and it need not be a stuffy affair. Chandeliers are no longer just for formal living spaces. Try adding a chandelier to a living room for a bit of glam. They are also a trendy addition to a bedroom or above a bathtub.
Wondering how low your lighting should be? When choosing lighting for your kitchen and dining room, be sure to hang pendant lights no lower than 35-40 cm above the kitchen counter or island. Lighting above your dining table should be no lower than 30 inches above the surface of your table.
Art craft has been around for 61 years and we are excited to introduce it to our store. Their catalogue consists of designer lines we love and have carried before at Above & Beyond, such as Steven & Chris and Cobi Style. Interested in adding some new lighting to your home? You can browse Artcraft’s extensive product line by clicking here. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about this line. Drop by the store or call us at 902-895-1445. If you’ve already made up your mind and found the perfect piece of lighting for your home, we can take your order over the phone. Happy shopping!

 

Spring is in the Air.

Its time to say goodbye to winter and hello spring. As you pack away your winter clothes the same should be done for some of your home decor. Find a tote for your winter pillows and cosy throws and save them for next year. When you revisit them in November you will love that the old feels new once again.

Nothing says spring like fresh throw pillows, a new throw and some spring coloured decor. Create a living space that is light and, airy to reflect the outside. Spring is the perfect time to clean and declutter. If you know you’re not going to use it again be sure to donate it to a charity.

At Above & Beyond Home Decor we believe that your home is an extension of you and your personal style. So depending on your style you can add some great colours like coral, yellow, blue, red and this seasons favourite colour: aqua.

A great way to choose your colour is to figure out if your current furniture and wall colour is in the cool or warm zone. If your colours are cool try adding a splash of this years trendy aqua or teal blue. Aqua is a clean, tranquil colour that always makes a home feel fresh.

If your colours are more in line with warmer tones some great choices would be orange, yellow, coral and of course gold. Gold is a huge trend in home decor once again. If you are unsure of where to place it simply mix your gold and silver, they look great together.

Creating a soft, neutral pallet with white, beige and grey is always a clean and calming colour choice. Don’t feel you have to add colour to any room in your home. This picture from Sunpan, one of our furniture lines, and as you can see it is simple and fresh for spring.

Sunpan Furniture

Sunpan Furniture

With so many choices and suggestions for decorating, one thing we know for sure is that if you buy what you love you will love your surroundings. Drop by and visit us and be sure to follow us on Facebook at AboveBeyondHomeDecor. We are always posting decorating ideas and suggestions.

Personal Style

Well, hello, there!! I’m Lori of Farm Fresh style. I may have met you in Above and Beyond before Christmas, if so, good to see you again and if not, it’s nice to meet you!!
Liz and Anne invited me to be a guest blogger over here and I’m excited to be able to do just that!
Today, I’m going to talk to you about Personal Style. In all my years of being a decorator, I believe personal style is the key in home decorating. So does this lady named Sarah Richardson – maybe you heard of her? Here is a quote from the introduction to her book, Sarah Style.
“I strive to make every home a genuine reflection of its inhabitants and provide a backdrop for the stories that will be told within it. No matter how simple or grand, your home is a sanctuary, and you have the power to define how you want to live in it.”
Sarah Richardsonsarahs-cottage-master-bedroom1
Sarah Richardson 
Finding your personal style is the best place to start when thinking about decorative your home. There are so many different styles out there. But are they for you? Does your home reflect who you are, who your family is? Our homes should be as individual as we are. If I walked through your door, could I get a feel for you are by looking around your home? I could decorate your house with ALL the trends and newest styles but if it doesn’t reflect you, will you feel at home there?Mercana
Mercana
One way of finding your own style is by going through magazines and tearing out pictures that appeal to you. Maybe grab a pen and jot down a few notes in the corner so you’ll remember why it attracted you in the first place. If that is too low tech, try www.pinterest.com or www.houzz.com, both excellent websites for nailing down what your style is. Use these sources as your guide to building your room. You will see common factors emerge and you will be able to refer back so you don’t lose focus of where you are heading.
A mood board is another great idea. It could include fabrics you love, colour chips that appeal to you, pictures of a room or furniture that catches your eye. Maybe a postcard or a photograph that has inspired you could be included, too. The nice thing about a mood board is that it can be very dynamic and ever-changing as you and your home evolve over time.
Mood Board - Rustic
Let your life experiences and heritage show, too. If you have hobbies that you are passionate about or souvenirs from a trip that changed your life, put these things on display. They are a big part of who you are. My husband is a hunter and for long time I fought having aspect of him that included in our home, but I’ve come to terms with it and now I looked forward to decorating the antlers on a seasonal basis.
One of the things I love about being a decorator is hearing the stories people have to tell about their space, their experiences and their belongings and using these bits to build a decorating plan for them. There’s nothing better than walking into your own space and saying, “Now this feels like home!”
That’s all for now! You can visit me over at www.farmfreshstyle.ca if you’d like to hang out!
Lori

Gleaming with Gold.

The new trend in home decor is gold. Yes, it is back. The old saying is true..”If you wait long enough every trend will return.” We are still waiting for the plaid bottoms on jeans. If you remember this trend from the Bay City Rollers era then we now know your age.

The decor magazines and the top designers are certainly showing off lots of gold this year. One of the things you will notice is that it’s a nicer look than previous years. It’s all about glam. Placing something gold and gorgeous in a spot in your home that needs a boost it exactly where the gold should go.

If you are going for gold know that you don’t have to put your silver away. Mixing gold with silver is very trendy right now. Not to mention practical. I love my silver and I am not prepared to get rid of it. I hope you feel the same. I also wanted to mention that you decide to go gold you don’t have to change out all of your light fixtures, door knobs, etc. Show off your gold, and let it stand alone.

We have been bringing in gold home decor for spring at Above & Beyond and it has been selling as quickly as it comes in. Just remember if we don’t have what you are looking for in store mention it to us as it might be on its way or we may be able to order it in for you.

I have added a few photos for you so that you can see how great mixing gold and silver really looks.

Happy Decorating,

Liz