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.

Mid-Century Modern – Everything Old Is New Again

Mid-century modern is back. A lot of you ask us what trends we are seeing at the buying shows and how they can be incorporated into everyday living spaces. This week we thought we would talk about the design style that has become popular decades after its inception. Mid-century modern is everywhere right now. It has become more prominent over the past decade, and its popularity shows no signs of fading.

You’ve probably heard these design-world buzzwords tossed around a lot, but what exactly is Mid-century modern? It is a term used to describe the design movement within architecture and interior, graphic and product design in the middle decades of the 20th century. It is a broad term, but it applies to the modern design movement from roughly the mid-thirties to the mid sixties. Looking for a visual reference? Think Mad Men.

Here is a picture of the award winning set design from the hit AMC show:

thumbs_80588-matthew-weiner-mad-men-0414-01-jpg-770x0_q95_crop-smart_upscale

SOURCE: http://www.interiordesign.net/projects/10007-welcome-to-1969-mad-men-s-award-winning-set-design/

In particular, mid-century modern furniture is very trendy right now. It is characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes and functionality. We are seeing this style of furniture popping up in all of our suppliers’ catalogues, including the custom-made furniture company, Stylus.

jets-sofa-mdJets sofa

myer-sofa-mdMyer Sofa

Our lighting suppliers also offer fixtures inspired my mid-century design. Look for Sputnik inspired shapes or wire frames.

Click HERE for more mid-century modern lighting.

We understand that some people are hesitant to incorporate this design trend. Trust us, we understand. It seems like we were just getting rid of the second-hand furniture that we grew up with when this design style became trendy again. Or maybe you decorated your living room accordingly the first time mid-century was around.

Here is an example of mid-century modern design, as shown in House Beautiful issues from 1960.

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/4/8/9973300/why-everyone-is-obsessed-with-midcentury-modern-design

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/4/8/9973300/why-everyone-is-obsessed-with-midcentury-modern-design

However, the reinterpretation of mid-century that we are seeing today is a bit different. Gone are the days of the olive greens, browns, oranges and mustard yellows of the sixties. We are seeing furniture in neutrals -plenty of greys- and in fun textures, like velvet. In furniture, look for boxy sofas, clean lines and walnut finishes. The revival of this design style can be incorporated into a room in big or small doses. Incorporate golds or silvers, and contemporary lamps and accessories to keep your room from looking dated.

We love this Brooklyn apartment that incorporates mid-century modern into a beautiful living room:

SOURCE: http://cupofjo.com/2015/03/our-brooklyn-apartment/

SOURCE: http://cupofjo.com/2015/03/our-brooklyn-apartment/

If you’re not ready to re-do your entire room in this style, you can mix and match pieces to add an eclectic or curated feel to any room. Try adding a mid-century modern wooden accent chair, or an accent table.

These gorgeous pieces are from one of our furniture suppliers, Neuvo Living.

Although mid-century modern is popular again, the truth is that many mid-century pieces have transcended trends. In fact, some never went out of style – or production. The Eames chair was designed in the 1950’s by the husband and wife duo, Charles and Ray Eames. It remains popular today and has never gone out of production and has certainly inspired many knockoffs, too.

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/9/28/9916438/eames-chairs-buy

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/9/28/9916438/eames-chairs-buy

Love it or hate it, it seems as though mid-century modern is one style that is not going anywhere. What do you think? Will you be incorporating this trend into your living spaces?

 

 

  • Feature image SOURCE: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/neutral-mid-century-living-room-vignette?_sft_category=styling

Design on the go – Apps for decorating & inspiration

Apps! They make our lives so much easier. Banking, restaurant reviews, Pokémon… they’re part of our everyday life. They can even help when it comes to re-decorating! This week, we’ve rounded up four fun (and helpful) apps that can help you finish that project you’ve been working on – or perhaps motivate you to get started!

behr 1. ColourSmart by BEHR™ Mobile – Have you ever been wandering around and see the perfect hue of your favourite colour? The perfect colour for that new bathroom reno? And then, you end up going to the paint store and search through endless swatches of paint, unable to find that perfect shade you set your eyes on. Well, Behr’s app helps you with that problem! This app is easy to use because it helps you find the closest matching BEHR colour simply by taking a photo and tapping on the image. We also love this app for its ability to help you envision a colour throughout a room. The app allows you to choose from a gallery of room images and styles and paint the image with Behr’s touch-and-tap technology.

photomeasures2. Photo Measures – Will this beautiful sofa fit in the living room? Is this print too big for above the fireplace? How big is my decor that I already own? Ah the ever-present re-decorating conundrum! We’ve seen it countless times with our customers. Don’t you hate it when you’re out shopping, stumble upon the seemingly perfect piece for your home and cannot determine if it will actually fit in the room where you envision it? Well, Photo Measures makes shopping and decorating so much easier! This app allows you to take a picture, or download one onto your phone, and then add your room’s dimensions to it. Then, simply take your room’s measurements and the picture of it with you while shopping, thus making it easier to determine if the decor catching your eye will actually fit in your space.

level3. iHandy Level – This one is just so practical! And free! The iHandy Level app is just like the level in your tool box – but on your phone. It’s beautifully designed and super easy to use. We love it for its convenience and practicality. iHandy Level makes hanging artwork and shelving easier and unlike a level, you always have your phone around.

screen480x4804. Moodboard – This app is great for planning. If you’re looking to re-decorate a room, this is a great place to keep your inspiration and plans all in one place!  You can choose from a variety of backgrounds and then import photos from the web and your own camera roll. You can layer, crop and duplicate photos and then save as a PDF and share with friends for feedback. Moodboard is great because it allows you to keep pictures of your paint colours, swatches and furniture options together with aspirational pieces for your project. This app is supported by iPad.

Go ahead and start downloading!  These apps help you plan renos and decorating projects on the go and easily share them with friends. Be sure to show us your plans when you stop by Above & Beyond.