Scandinavian winter comfort – Hugge


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Despite the cold climate, dampness and lack of natural light from October to March, the descendants of the Vikings do not lose heart and live for their own pleasure. Moreover, they lead the list of the happiest countries in the world. In particular, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Sweden traditionally occupy the first positions in the rating. What is the secret of their happiness? Not the last place in achieving a high level of well-being is associated with their worldview, even when it comes to little things.


Accustomed to the cold, the inhabitants of the northern countries do not perceive winter as a time of the year, which must (always with complaints) go through, wait, endure. No, they, on the contrary, quite enjoy all its unsightly sides. On this occasion, the Danes have a saying: “There is no bad weather, the clothes are simply unsuitable.” For them, like their neighbors, the arrival of winter & # 8212; this is an excuse to remove warm cotton or knitted wardrobe items from the closet, take skis and skates out of the closet and, of course, modify the interior of your home for the winter, creating that warm and cozy atmosphere that is possible only in the cold season.

Concepts such as Danish hygge, Norwegian koselig, Swedish mys, Icelandic gluggavedur and Finnish kalsarikännit, although they describe different phenomena, states and philosophies in general, are based on the contrast between the cold and threats that lie in wait on the street, and warmth, calm and the coziness that envelops the home. They arose from and exist in opposition to the harsh winter, rainy days and the cover of twilight. These words are very common among each of the named nationalities, respectively, but it is in the cold season, in particular in winter, that the frequency of their use increases significantly. As paradoxical as it may sound, it is December that is the most comfortable, the best season in the Scandinavian countries. Because comfort is more felt and appreciated when there is something opposite. Suffice it to recall the pleasant feeling that envelops when you enter a warm house from the cold.

All this could not but affect the house & # 8212; interior design, the principles of correct lighting and “warming” of the visual and tactile. Scandinavian designers were almost the first to talk about the fact that the interior should not only be stylish, but also one in which one could feel happy, because, as noted by Mick Viking, founder and head of the Research Institute of Happiness in Copenhagen, the house is the headquarters -apartment hygge. This is one of the reasons why the Scandinavian style remains one of the most popular today. Of course, the design of the room & # 8212; it is not all that ensures the well-being of northern peoples, but it is key among the factors that make them feel happy. To derive a formula for the happiness of Scandinavians, first of all, you need to pay attention to the criteria that they adhere to in the arrangement of their homes.

Fireplace & # 8212; hearth symbol

The fireplace can be called the most suitable work of applied art for a hygge of all time. Usually located in the living room, it is the central element of the interior and gathers around it all household members, friends and relatives. It is impossible to imagine a more hyggy sound than the crackle of sparks in a fire, it is no less pleasant to watch the dance of fiery tongues. The only negative of the fireplace & # 8212; this is something that not everyone has it. However, you can install a false fireplace, electric fireplaces with the effect of a living flame. Also, in many houses you can still find fireplaces, stoves, which are also components of the hygge. Candles can be an addition or alternative to living fire in your home.

Artificial lighting in strategic places

The Scadinavians are obsessed with light in principle, which is understandable, given the short and cloudy days almost all year round. Svetomania they are in the sense that they are chasing the right lighting. If you happen to host a representative of any of these nationalities, and the lighting in the house would not correspond to the ideas of the Scandinavians about its correct location, then do not be surprised when a guest chooses a hotel with more bearable lighting.

What could be wrong? These are bright white bulbs at 5000 K, direct directional light, general central lighting & # 8212; all this should be avoided, for otherwise you will not come close to comfort. One upper light source can be replaced with several side ones, that is, instead of general lighting, use a chamber one. To create a hygge interior, it is worth using the three-level lighting rule, which provides for general lighting, local light sources and spotlights. Reasonable arrangement of artificial light sources will create functional areas, fill the space with light and create an atmosphere of comfort. Feel free to use lamps, floor lamps, sconces in the same room. Note that whichever you choose, the lighting should be warm (yellow), not blinding white. The softest lighting sets on the hygge.

Soft and warm & # 8212; “Outfit” for home

The same & # 8212; radiating heat & # 8212; in the winter interior there should be an “outfit” for furniture, floors and pillows, and even & # 8212; for lighting fixtures. For example, if you wish, you can put on the lampshades of table lamps or floor lamps in knitted things. That is, in winter in the apartment it is important not only to have heating, which is necessary, but also “warming” decor items. By them we mean pillows and blankets that can be put on the back of a chair or armchair, the back of a sofa or a wide window sill where you can organize a separate hygge seat. If you are strict about the issue of things left “scattered” on furniture, then a blanket or a whole set of them can be kept in a basket, which is also no less hyggy.


Many decorators advise complementing a Nordic interior with high-pile carpets, given their “warm” texture and hyggy feeling from touching them, as well as another way to zone the space (for this purpose, they often use carpets of dark shades, since furniture is mainly made of light wood) … It's hard to disagree with this & # 8212; on such carpets it is really a pleasure to walk or just sit. Felt and cotton carpets are no less popular. Another option for covering the floor is called sheep and deer skins, which can be laid out on windowsills and chairs.

»Thematic pillows with images or knitted covers.

The only “insulation” that can and should be omitted & # 8212; these are curtains made of dense material. Purely windowed textiles as such are almost never used. Firstly, in order to get more lighting into the room; secondly, due to the fact that the window sill is often a relaxation zone; thirdly, because of fire safety, since candles are on the windowsills. After all, Scandinavians don't like to hide.

Neutral palette and warm accents

The palette in the Nordic interior follows the shades of the nature of the northern edges & # 8212; snow, green mountains and forests, gray skies and blue sea waves. Therefore, the design is dominated by pastel cold shades, which could be called calm and muted, radiating the peace and leisurely lifestyle of the Normans.

The walls are painted white, beige, sand, light gray, light green, blue. They visually increase the space and reflect the sun's rays better. Warm shades, on the contrary, absorb it, for which they are used as accents, namely, brown, terracotta, lingonberry, yellow, orange, golden. You can also add accents with deep greens and blues. The wall painted in the last shade will have a spectacular look.

By the way, classic blue became the main color of 2020. Need more arguments for it?

Textures that are nice to touch

It should be remembered that hygge is felt not only at the visual level & # 8212; through sight, but also on the tactile & # 8212; through touch. Therefore, we choose finishing materials and decorative elements taking into account their tactile properties. That is why high pile carpets are often preferred; however, if you do not want to regularly and thoroughly clean them of dirt, then you can do without them altogether when the floor is wooden.

The use of wood is not limited to one surface. Walls and ceilings can also be treated with wood. Since the tree & # 8212; it is a natural, ecological, pleasant to the touch and smell and an affordable material, it is widely used in decoration. In fact, it is with wood that the Scandinavian style is most associated.

Other materials that give a hygge feel: ceramics, cotton, wool and leather, matte surfaces and rough rough objects furnishings or decor. The wall in which the fireplace is mounted is usually faced with bricks.

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