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.

 

 

Don’t Wait For Spring Cleaning! Helpful Tips to Get Your Home in Shape This Winter.

It’s hard to believe it’s the last full week of January already! We are in the midst of Winter and sure, spring is coming, but there’s no need to wait for spring cleaning to get your home looking its very best. Many of us focused on fitness and self improvement for our New Year’s resolutions, but maybe it’s time to think about some home improvement, too. Here are some helpful tips to get your home in shape as we enter the second month of 2017:

1 Declutter. The start of a new year is also a great time to do some decluttering. Put those long nights to use and go through your closets, cupboards, drawers, etc. Consider tackling one room per week to make it seem less daunting and donate unwanted items to a local charity here in town. As tax season nears, make sure your office is well organized to make year-end goes as smoothly as possible. Don’t be afraid to tackle that bedroom closet of yours. Investing in some baskets and shoe racks can really help tidy up a closet (we love under-shelf baskets). If you haven’t already, think about keeping your favourite accessories and clothing in sight so they are easier to keep in rotation. This will help you asses what clothing you really need when Spring finally arrives. Most importantly, a well-organized home will help contribute to a sense of calm – and accomplishment.

 

 

2 Safety first! Change your smoke detector battery and check your CO detectors. This is a task that needs to be done annually. Be sure to replace the batteries and make sure your smoke and CO detectors are still working properly. It is recommended that you replace your detector every ten years to ensure it is working at its optimal capacity. This is also a good time of year to check in on your fire extinguisher. Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher and it should be located in an easily accessible location. If it needs to be charged again, have it re-charged or purchase another one to keep your family safe for another year.

 

3 Deep clean! Clean the lint traps. This is another annual task that should be performed to ensure your home is operating at its best capacity and reduces risk of fire. Clean lint traps and the hood above your stove and fans in the bathroom. While you’re at it, clean your humidifier. The cold winter months can be harsh on your skin and on the air quality of your home. Be sure to clean the humidifier so that it will continue to combat dry air for the duration of the winter.

4 Create space to work out. Sure, the weather has been great so far this winter. But some days it’s just too cold to get outside and exercise. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution was to get in shape? Think about creating a space in your home where you can get a workout in. Maybe it’s a corner in your home office, a space in the TV room to do some yoga, or even a home gym in a spare room. Do whatever works for you! But, creating a designated space for you to exercise may help you stick to those fitness resolutions.


5 Organize your pantry. Take stock of your kitchen cupboards. Those cans and boxes that have been pushed to the back won’t stay good forever. Do some meal planning around the items that are going to expire the soonest and you may also see your grocery bill dip over the next week or so. Think about replacing your spices, too! They may seem immortal, but over time, spices lose their potency and ability to flavour your food as intended. Be sure to keep them sealed in air tight containers. A general rule of thumb is that whole spices should be replaced after 4 years, ground spices after 3 years and dried leafy herbs after two years.

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.