The Language of Comfort
There’s a word you start to hear as the days grow shorter and the weather gets frostier. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish concept that describes an aura of cozy contentment that carries you through the long months of fall and winter. Think of that feeling you get when you’re curled up in your favorite chair with a good read or chilling by the fire with a toasty beverage and your best companion. The word may be a recent addition to our lexicon, but we all know the benefits of slowing down and embracing moments of comfort that relax away the stress.
A little rearranging and a few thoughtful additions will transform your home into a hygge oasis. Create a nook for snuggling into the season, placing your comfiest chair near a window or fireside. The Danish have a word for this too--hyggekrog is that special corner of the room where you wrap yourself in your softest blanket and lose your cares for a little while. Thick socks and sweaters, favorite mugs for warms drinks (hot toddy anyone?), a can't-put-it-down page-turner, and home-cooked comfort food (take-out works too) complete the scene. Candlelight is a hygge essential. Dim the lamps and turn off the screens for that natural glow that makes every room more inviting. Twinkle lights and oil lamps are also great for ambience. And don't forget the kitchen. Work spaces deserve love too.
If the holiday season is bringing out-of-town guests to your door, you want them to walk in and feel immediately at ease. Resist the temptation to make everything “just so.” You’re not staging for a photo shoot, and more stuff doesn't equal more comfort. There’s a Swedish word that's the perfect complement to hygge. Lagom (pronounced la-gum) loosely translates to “not too much, not too little.” Think balance and moderation. You likely have everything you need to cozy up your decor. Family heirlooms, mementos from your travels, that special something that caught your eye at the local market or antique store. If it’s meaningful to you, it has a story. A story you can share with your guests as they unwind and make themselves at home. Add a pot of your grandma's hearty chicken soup recipe simmering on the stove, and they'll never want to leave.