What is Hygge & How Can You Hygge Your Home?

by Jasmine Savery

If you’re feeling the winter blues, you might need a touch of Hygge in your life to help create a deeper sense of meaning and enjoyment out of everyday life. The Danish home decor concept has gained popularity over recent years, and we can see why. In this article, our home gurus explain what Hygge actually is, how you can make small changes to feel the benefits, as well as our favourite Hygge living room ideas.

So, what is ‘Hygge’? Hygge is a Danish concept that means a cosy and warm atmosphere and enjoying the little things in life. The word emphasises several key elements to help people achieve Hygge in your home: 

  • Ambient lighting throughout the home
  • A neutral colour palette and natural textures in homeware
  • Creating spaces for friends and family to use 
  • Keeping your home organised and clutter-free

  • Read on to find out more about making your living space feel cosy, as well as our top picks for matching homeware.

    Jump to...

    What Is 'Hygge'?

    How To Hygge Your Home

    Declutter & Organise

    How Else Can You Integrate Hygge Into Your Every Day?


    What is Hygge?

    Hygge is about creating a space and rituals that encompass your definition of cosiness, comfort, and contentment. It’s about taking time to enjoy life's simple pleasures and giving yourself breathing space from the often busy outside world.

    Oxford dictionary defines Hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’) as - “the quality of being warm and comfortable that gives a feeling of happiness.”

    The word originates from Denmark and perfectly showcases what they value within society - taking time from the rush of life to get enjoyment out of the everyday. Denmark’s cold and wet climate, and particularly short summers, makes Hygge the perfect go-to when needing a bit of rejuvenation. Hygge has also acted as an inspiration for homeware, books, fashion, and everything in between. 

    There are many ways that you can incorporate Hygge into your lifestyle, whether that be through taking up a mindful hobby, wearing a warming fragrance, or adding small elements to your home to make it feel like a place that you want to unwind. The great thing about the Danish way of living is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. You don’t necessarily need to cosy up by the fireplace each evening watching your favourite show, but instead, you could sit outside on the patio with a steaming cup of tea listening to the bustle of nature. 

    How To Hygge Your Home

    From wicker baskets to shopping from a small business, mood lighting, and more, we’ve outlined our top tips for creating a cosy Hygge living room, no matter your space or budget.

    Stick To a Neutral Colour Scheme 

    Hygge is all about softness, and this is best created in spaces that stick to warm and neutral colour pallets. Think of colours that you’d usually find in nature, such as whites, beige, warm brown, amber, and sage greens when shopping for your home. Think about upcycling your favourite pieces with a fresh lick of paint, or look for items made from rattan, wicker, willow, water hyacinth, or seagrass.

    Go For Ambient Lighting

    Your home’s lighting can make all the difference, with little to no effort (or cost) required. If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful fireplace, make the most of the warm and cosy vibes by lighting the fire each evening. For those of you who don’t, utilise the warm glow of candles and fairy lights around your room for extra warmth. At Christmas time, light-up decorations add a special twinkle that can create a cosy Hygge home. 

    Integrate Natural Textures 

    Nature is often seen as restorative, offering several qualities of Hygge, which is why we recommend integrating a number of natural elements into your home design. Bring the outside in with small bouquets of fresh herbs and flowers, which can be placed in beautiful vases around your home. Our favourite way to add texture to our home is through the use of wicker, rattan, or willow. Use handmade wicker baskets to store kindling, blankets, laundry, linens and more. Or perhaps use wicker decorations as an alternative to man-made materials. We love the stunning log baskets and wicker Christmas decorations stocked on the Northern Willow website. 

    Plan Your Space Carefully 

    Even if your house is on the smaller side, there is always a way that you can arrange your communal spaces for optimal Hygge and Feng Shui. Hygge is all about spending time with your loved ones, often partaking in activities away from screens, such as board games, drinks around the fire, or general entertaining. Think about this when you are planning your space;

    • Ensure sofas and chairs are placed so people can see one another (i.e.. not all pointing towards the TV)
    • Don’t block essential walkways to other commonly used spaces
    • Ensure you place coffee tables next to where people sit and ensure there are enough of them!

    Shop Sustainably For Your Items

    The best Hygge living room items are those that are made with love and with the environment in mind. Saying that we’d always prioritise shopping from small businesses for your home. Not only does this help to support local business owners, but it also means you’ll have a collection of pieces that are one-of-a-kind or unique to your home!

    Declutter & Organise

    Tidy homes create tidy minds - and we couldn’t agree more! When your home is mess-free, with storage solutions that work with your routine, you’ll find more time to enjoy other activities that bring you joy. Look for storage solutions that combine natural elements with practicality. For example, use a rustic magazine holder to place your favourite books in a convenient spot by the sofa, or use a wicker log basket to store kindling by the fire. We also love using wicker baskets in the kitchen or bathroom to help add an element of warmth to the space.

    If you'd like to find out more about how to declutter your home in an easy way, why not read the top tips that we outlined in our most recent blog - 'How To Declutter & Organise Your Home'

    How Else Can You Integrate Hygge Into Your Every Day?

    Hygge isn’t just for the home, but the concept is something that should be integrated into all elements of your everyday life, from fashion to food, to scents and more. 

    Food & Drink

    Indulging in your favourite food and drinks is an excellent way to feel Hygge - when enjoyed in moderation of course. Making yourself a hot drink, whether that be a warm coffee or a herbal tea is an excellent way to unwind after a busy day. Food-wise, we love anything that feeds a crowd, whilst making your home smell amazing. Why not make a soup from seasonal produce displayed at your local farm shop, or bake homemade cookies to share with visitors?


    When embodying the Danish lifestyle, it's important that you not only make your home look welcoming, but that you ensure all of your senses are satisfied. Scents are one of the easiest ways to add a sense of calm, whether it be a scented candle, diffuser, or a cosy perfume to wear. We’d recommend looking for notes of lavender, vanilla, tonka bean, cinnamon, or fresh herbs. 


    Hygge isn’t complete with activities to enjoy. As the darker evenings make an appearance, why not try these ideas to help boost your mood:

    • Hosting a dinner party or games night with family and friends
    • Snuggling up on the sofa with a hot drink and a new book
    • Baking a new sweet or savoury recipe 
    • Going on a long winter walk in nature

    Beautiful Hygge Homeware From Northern Willow

    If you’re looking for sustainably made Hygge homeware, look no further than Northern Willow. We’re a family-owned business that handmakes a range of wicker products from baskets, to storage solutions, hanging decorations, gift hampers, and more. Not only that, but we ship UK-wide, with free shipping available on each and every order.

    If you have any questions about our products, or you would like to speak to one of our team, please feel free to get in touch with us via the Contact Us page, or by email - we’ll be happy to help!

    How Do You Pronounce Hygge?

    Hygge is pronounced like ‘hoo-gah’, and almost sounds like the English word ‘hug’.

    Is Hygge Danish Or Norwegian?

    Hygge is something that originated from Danish culture, with the term coming from the word ‘hugga’ or ‘hug’. The word Hygge first appeared in the 18th century, and has since become a worldwide phenomenon that is embraced by thousands of people. We explain more about the Norwegian equivalent of Hygge below. 

    What is the Norwegian Equivalent of Hygge?

    Koselig, or Kos for short, is often seen as the Norwegian equivalent of the Danish Hygge, and essentially means the same thing, but with a larger emphasis on time with your loved ones and making the most of outdoor activities (think skiing, walks, or ice skating).