It’s that time of year again—time to say hello to luxurious throws, steaming hot chocolate, cozy rustic decor, and rich, warm colour palettes. It’s also time to embrace hygge, the Scandinavian concept of taking pleasure in life’s simple joys, like the presence of gentle and comfortable things.
This quality of calm and coziness has been mastered particularly well by the Danes, who embrace hygge in every aspect of their lives—particularly in the cold, dark months of winter. Adding these elements of warmth to your home is simple—here are a few ideas to start:
Re-Centre Your Focus
Winter nights are often spent huddled on the couch. And while there’s nothing wrong with indulging in an evening of television, this time of year also presents an excellent opportunity to reflect on your post-work activities and look at where you spend the most time in your home.
As colder months set in, consider rearranging your living space to centre around areas where the focal point isn’t a screen. Or, simply spruce up neglected, underused corners that have cozy potential. Whether this means throwing luxurious rugs and oversized pillows around the fireplace and settling in with your favourite holiday drink, or adorning a reading nook with soft blankets and ambient candles, recentring your space will bring you back to enjoying the simple things this winter.
Pile on the Layers
Layers of texture evoke a sense of warmth , comfort, and coziness. Select textiles in various knits and in soft colours for your throw pillows and blankets, duvets, and even rugs. Layers can make the room feel plush, however, you’ll need to find the right amount, as too many layers or pillows can take up too much room on your chair, chaise or sofa and instead cause discomfort.
Add Natural Aromas
Summertime is perfect for stocking up on homemade candles at local farmers markets, and the winter months offer a prime time to put them to good use. Bring an autumn glow into your home by burning natural candles that are reminiscent of winter—scents like rich musk, vetiver, and cedarwood make for a truly homey atmosphere.
On the chilliest nights, simmer a pot of scents using ingredients like cinnamon sticks, apple peels, cloves, vanilla, anise, and nutmeg. Whether you’re planning to host friends or enjoy a peaceful pre-bed bath, adding calming scents to your home elevates its coziness.
Stock Up the Pantry
Winter is time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures and nourish the soul. This can mean different things for different people—whether it’s time spent with family, a brisk walk in nature, or simply visiting a beautifully designed space. That said, there is one thing that’s sure to please everyone—and that’s exquisite cooking.
As winter sets in, it’s time to make room in the pantry for a whole new set of ingredients. Start stashing your holiday baking necessities, and any herbs, spices, or specialty items you’ll need to create your favourite cold-weather comfort foods. Stocking up the pantry also means stocking up the bar. Whether you’ll be sipping turmeric lattes, brewing up a batch of homemade eggnog, or mixing up cranberry martinis, make sure you’re ready for a season of festive fun.
Embrace Earthy Elements
While summer calls for bright florals and blooming bouquets, winter offers a chance to introduce rustic elements and natural materials into your home. Beautiful wood feature pieces like artisan crafted side tables or a live-edge headboard let you bring the outdoors in. Meanwhile, for a simpler touch, stock up on cedar boughs, pine cones, and birch candles for a beautiful table centrepiece. Adding earthy tones and textures to your space, will bring that homey, gather-around-the-toasty-fire cabin feel to life.
Winter presents an opportunity to embrace long, cold nights and enjoy the comforts of home. And with the addition of a few simple pieces and some minor rearranging, you can spruce up your favourite spaces for the winter season to come.
This article was originally published on January 6, 2018 and has been updated on December 6, 2022.