Hugging Your Home - Let's Hygge! (hue-gah)
On this Sunday morning, (well, now afternoon, thanks to the daylight savings switch), a rare dusting of snow has me puttering around the house to put back the finishing touches after some recent TLC has been given to several rooms. (Lots of sanding and painting can add to the expanding spring-cleaning lists. Oh the dust!) A nester by nature, it's my cup of tea, or coffee, as it were, to bring order and calm.
My nesting instinct brings to mind a lifestyle and design trend, Hygge, which has been all of the buzz in Europe, and now being applied in the US. It's about slowing down, simplifying, and creating moments through gatherings or quiet rituals of self-care. Since there's no equivalent word in English, this is a simplified version. In Denmark and other Scandinavian countries, it's typically referenced to coziness and kinship - a state of being. A great post from The Kitchn shares, "No matter how hard you may try, you can't buy yourself into hygge." (Pronounced Hoo-gah or Hue-gah) I think it sounds a lot like sharing a 'hug', don't you?
Perhaps my Norwegian ancestors aptly passed along this gene, as it seems to be present in my everyday living. Taking care of the home, bringing in fresh flowers, savoring a cup of coffee over a good conversation . . . it's like breathing to me. Who knew I've been living this "trend", all along? The thing is, in our western world of deadlines and rush-rush, I've almost felt a bit guilty as if I was losing productive time when altering the pace to savor my surroundings.
When designing for my clients, I've recognized a strong desire to bring this concept into their homes. It's not in effort to add anything else to their workloads; although, I often hear a lot about "don't bring in anything I can kill" - aka - live plants! No, this is more of an effort to help those busy executives, corporate types, super engaged families or retirees to create moments within their own dwellings to connect with one another and their surroundings. Rather than having to go out to dinner to have an "experience", we can create designs where that experience can be found within home spaces . . . to feel the "hug" or hygge because of the warmth existing between beauty and order.
Regarding hygge - some other names may be interchanged for creating a/an: sanctuary, respite, place to nest, escape, or retreat. Again, it's not so easily translated into other languages. You just have to "feel" it! Oh, yes, I'll bet there are a few of you reading this who may not think you're that "feeling type", but trust me, it's within almost all of us.
Today's the perfect day to go hygge. For professional home-hugging, leave that up to me!