As a nation, we love to improve our homes. A recent study tells us that a massive 73% of homeowners in the UK have made improvements to their homes within the last 5 years, spending over £41 billion in total over that time. Around 39 per cent have plans to redecorate in future too.
Redecorating isn’t the only priority though, when it comes to decor and how we turn a house into a home. Over the years, lots of home improvement styles have a much deeper basis than a passing trend, aiding mental health and happiness, alongside a desire for a beautiful and functional aesthetic. Feng Shui is one extremely popular design style that has been around for thousands of years but became very popular within the last 30 years because of its connection with a deeper aesthetic than the sheer visual impact of a space.
More recently, with the widespread interest in Swedish Minimalism and general Scandinavian attitude to, well, everything (Finland was just listed as the happiest country on earth in the UNSDSN 2019 World Happiness Report) Hygge is the new hot trend when it comes to happy living in the home. This great attitude to life and getting those lovely feelings from your home and life in general, has proven to be the decor buzzword for 2018 and continues to be incredibly popular in 2019 too.
Maybe with the heaviness of world politics and the shocking statistics from MIND UK charity that annually, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem, we are all seeking anything and everything to give us those feel-good vibes as often as possible, especially in the place we spend the most time.
Just living isn’t enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” -Hans Christian Anderson – Louisa Thomsen Brits, The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well
Hygge is defined by the dictionary as:
“A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).” – Google Dictionary
And so, naturally, that delicious, cosy feeling at home is often thought to apply in the warmer, cosier months. A blanket and steamy hot chocolate is a true Hygge moment, but does that mean you can only enjoy this attitude to your decor in winter? Definitely not. Hygge can be embraced and enjoyed whatever the weather. So with summer coming up, it could be a great time for you to embrace this Scandinavian approach to collecting ‘special moments’ in your home.
Here are our 5 top tips on how to Hygge your home this summer:
1. Create Zen Areas
Just because it is warm doesn’t mean you can’t have those ‘cosy’ moments, they will just revolve around comfort in a different way. A corner with a cool weave blanket and pillow, perhaps a fan or the perfect spot in the breeze for a read or a nap sounds very Hygge to us.
How about keeping the curtains closed in your bedroom to keep it cool and shady, so when you’re ready for an afternoon chillout session there’s a cold comfy spot in the house with your name on it.
Hosting and enjoying time with loved ones is extremely Hygge and it’s so much easier in summer because of barbecues and picnics! Create a feast and bring your loved ones around for memorable hazy summer evening together.
3. Utilise The Outdoors
Hygge revolves a lot around light and nature, so it makes sense that in the summer you take advantage of your outdoor space in full, without having to just look out at it because of bad weather. Open your back doors up, mow that lawn and enjoy some earthing on that soft, warm fluffy grass. Utilise your outdoor space whilst you can.
4. Remain Focused On Your Fire
Fireplaces are a huge part of the Hygge way of life because they are social, very raw and ‘back to basics’ and quite literally provide a warm feeling. Fires don’t need to be devoid of purpose in summer, in fact, they are still very much a part of life in summer. Just think about all the happy memories you have camping around a real fire with loved ones? At the very least a chiminea in your garden with a cosy cushioned, blanketed area around it is a gorgeous way to bring your family and friends together for lovely Hygge evenings toasting marshmallows and making memories. At the most, why not consider a wood stove for your outdoor sheltered area? Or perhaps invest in a modern wood burning stove in your home as a focal point for summer that will start to provide winter cosiness come autumn/winter.
5. Get Sensory
Hygge is about special moments and feelings and in winter it tends to be a cinnamon diffuser or a hot bath with an expensive bath bomb. In summer, freshen up your sensory treats with local cut fresh flowers that spread their scent far and wide, or perhaps an expensive livening candle with lime, mint and other awakening treats for your nose. You can still enjoy sensory treats in summer, they are just more in keeping with the season.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard
Hygge is a wonderful approach to life that serves a purpose at all times of the year, including the summer months. You don’t have to be on holiday or, in a picture perfect home, you don’t have to spend tons of money or even have people around you. It just comes down to a will to catch those magic moments when they happen, and perhaps to make a few adjustments that might make it more likely for those moments to happen.