Urban Form: Hygge Keeps You Happy

In 2016, the Collins English Dictionary named Brexit the word of the year. The runner up is hygge ...

Winter is the perfect blend of two things: hibernation and socializing.

How can our physical space encourage those parts of our lives to exist in balance? How do we stay healthy in a long winter and a pretty depressing time of year?

In 2016, the Collins English Dictionary named Brexit the word of the year. The runner up is hygge, which they define as: “the practice of creating cosy and congenial environments that promote emotional wellbeing.”

While many promote it as a state of mind, the way we design and craft our surroundings plays a strong role in keeping our emotional wellbeing in check. In that spirit here’s a list of 11 things you can do to get a bit more hygge in your life:

ONE

Let the light in. Keep your curtains open and avoid placing things that block the light right in the window. Lightly coloured objects enhance the light. Keep your walls light, and avoid dark coloured furniture or art near windows or in rooms without much natural light.

TWO

In the night time, let the light out. If you’re not into open curtains, use sheers. Share that glowing yellow light to warm up the streets. Well lit streets are safer and more social. The light from your home is nicer than most street lights.

THREE

Natural materials like wood and wool are warm to the touch, look cozy, and make me feel a bit closer to nature. Keep ‘em around, tear up that laminate floor or put some driftwood up on your wall.

FOUR

Cozy up. Put on a thick sweater,knit socks, and wrap a blanket around you. Keep these things around so you can imagine that coziness and encourage guests to do the same. Things that look soft and like you could curl right up in them evoke that same feeling.

FIVE

Fill your home with the people and things you love. Put only the most special objects on display, and make sure they remind you of happy memories.

SIX

Light a fire. If you don’t have a fireplace or wood stove, get some candles. That soft flickering light is so magical. (Stay safe though, make sure to keep that flame away from things it can catch, and blow it out before you go to bed.)

SEVEN

Bake or cook. It makes your home smell lovely, and the stove warms it up. Doing dishes is better in the winter because it means you can submerge my hands in hot water without seeming wasteful.

EIGHT

Don’t be afraid to move your furniture. Put felt pads on the legs and change the arrangement to suit different situations. Get close, it’s warmer.

NINE

Echoes feel cold, keep your space acoustically muted. Absorptive things help do this: curtains, pillows, rugs, people.

TEN

Invite those you love to share in this hygge. Create more cozy memories that will keep shining a light long after those snowflakes have lost their beauty and we are all so very fed up with winter, in June.

ELEVEN

Look out the window. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll get the courage to bundle up and get out there. hen come back, drink a hot chocolate and bask in the hygge.

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