11 Essential Hygge Tips For Winter Vibes [Unique Ideas Inside]

11 Essential Hygge Tips For Winter Vibes [Unique Ideas Inside]

October 20, 2020 0 By Jeffrey Quinn

Ahh, fall. Winter. Holiday vibes! Isn’t this honestly the best time of year? I mean, I readily welcome the cooler weather as it transforms my home into a sweater-inspired, hibernation hut. But one thing’s for sure – I cannot do without my Danish design superstar, Hygge. It’s an incredibly simple and powerful way to create the comfort-inducing retreat that I so look forward to each year. So I’m so excited to share with you my top hygge tips for winter vibes!

Now, as the September weather quickly turns to autumn awesomeness – and the leaves start doing their thing – I can’t help but get all inspired to also change my interior design.

I mean, come October, doesn’t everyone really just want pajama-level comfort, stressless relaxation and hot cups of coffee readily available for 12 hours out of the day?

I know I’m not the only one!

So this post is dedicated to my fellow lovers of fall and cohorts in comfort. These hygge tips are sure to bring a little warmth your way this holiday season (and beyond).

And be sure to read through the tips because I include a few unique ideas that I haven’t found anywhere else!

Now enough small talk, let’s get started!

Outline

  • Hygge: What It Is & Why It’s Awesome
  • Hygge Tip #1: Lighting
  • Hygge Tip #2: Soft Textured Blankets, Pillows & Rugs 
  • Hygge Tip #3: Dressing For Hygge
  • Hygge Tip #4: Family Portraits & Personal Décor
  • Hygge Tip #5: Decluttering & “The Blank Slate” Approach
  • Hygge Tip #6: Warm Drinks & Fresh-Baked Goods 
  • Hygge Tip #7: Candles & Fireplace Vibes 
  • Hygge Tip #8: Bringing Nature Indoors 
  • Hygge Tip #9: Entertainment
  • Hygge Tip #10: Scents & Sounds 
  • Hygge Tip #11: Unplug 

Hygge: What It Is & Why It’s Awesome

As far as buzzwords and trending design hacks go, Hygge (pronounced hyu-guh) is definitely up there. And a quick Google search will definitely give you the basic idea of what it is – comfort, warmth and tranquility (plus maybe some plaid pajamas, wool socks and a roaring fire).

It’s been widely adapted worldwide but has Danish origins and is most popular during the fall and winter months (which makes sense).

But more precisely, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people (Visit Denmark).

Or put another way, hygge is the quality of coziness, comfort and conviviality that brings about a feeling of well-being.

Hmm, sounds pretty cozy, right?

OK so now that we’ve established a working definition, let’s dig a little deeper on why exactly hygge is so great. Is it purely aesthetic? Is it simply the comfort of warmth? Or is it just that je ne sais quoi?

Whatever the reason, hygge offers some serious perks. Just take a look at these potential benefits that Emily Waters for PsychCentral talks about:

  • Promotes a sense of calmness and tranquility
  • Reduces stress
  • Promotes optimism and mindfulness
  • Supports better sleep
  • Promotes better self-care
  • Creates feelings of comfort and safety
  • Improves relationships
  • Increases intimacy

Alright, now to the good stuff. Keep on reading for my top hygge tips for winter warmth and cozy design success!

Hygge Tip #1: Lighting

Lighting goes a long way. From obtrusive, bright office-like lighting to the warmth of a natural fireplace glow, choosing the right lighting for your hygge space will set the mood in a huge way.

Obviously, we don’t want intrusive, bright lighting to overtake the hygge goals of our winter huts. So be sure you’re opting for something much more relaxing and mood-setting.

I recommend choosing warmer, soft lighting. For example, try hanging “fairy” lighting or string lights that only give off a light glow.

Or, if you’re feeling extra lucky, you could even consider adding a fish tank with colored lighting.

Maybe it’s just me (since I’ve literally never seen fish tank lighting recommended anywhere else), but the combination of blue light glows, water and fish extends the whole atmosphere of relaxation.

And really, that’s what hygge is all about.

Hygge Tip #2: Soft Textured Blankets, Pillows & Rugs

I mean, maybe this goes without saying, but warm blankets and pillows are a must for hygge. But consciously paying attention to this detail can take this standard design element up a notch.

To get the full experience of winter hygge, choose a mixture of blankets, throws and rugs that are both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. We’re starting to get into color psychology for interior design a bit, but coordinating your blankets and pillows around a color theme will definitely support the visual aspects of hygge.

So what do I personally recommend?

Well, it’s both a personal choice and a strategic one. Personally, I love light blues, dark woods, greens and whites. Throw in some pops of red and darker hues and you’ll be set.

Hygge Tip #3: Dressing For Hygge

This is essential and personally, one of my favorite parts of hygge. Choosing comfortable, relaxing and breathable clothing is crucial for optimal hygge vibes.

After, if we’re not starting this whole comfort endeavor with ourselves by choosing the best possible threads, then no amount of blankets or candles can fix that!

So, while the majority of the other tips focus on external, environmental elements, this aspect of hygge highlights the importance of getting yourself feeling as comfortable as possible. My favorite way to do this?

Loose-fitting, still-stylish pajamas and anything that’s light and breathable.

I’m a big believer that what you wear dictates how you feel. So I actually bought completely new “hygge chill outfits”. Mentally, my mind has started to naturally associate these new items with my hygge sessions.

It’s a win-win really.

So make sure you’ve got your hygge garb all sorted out to fully optimize your chill out experience.

Hygge Tip #4: Family Portraits & Personal Décor

A big part of hygge is family and relationships. No doubt, we tend to put focus on the aesthetic elements of hygge design, so let’s not ignore the crucial part of family and relationships when making our space relaxation-ready.

Adding these familial elements will definitely promote positive relationship-building, emotional warmth and a general “good vibes” atmosphere.

We can simply add a few portraits of our family, friends and/or pets on a side table or a nearby wall to instantly make the room hygge-approved.

Hygge Tip #5: Decluttering & “The Blank Slate” Approach

So this is just a great design tip in general, but clutter causes chaos. It’s been shown that a disorganized space can cause stress and anxiety, so let’s be sure to not let our winter hygge fall victim to general house entropy.

So basically, the idea here is to ensure a clean, organized space – free from clutter and too much “stuff”, which will only force us to press pause on our relaxation and clean.

So what’s the blank slate approach?

Well, since we’re already cleaning and decluttering, this takes the whole process one step further. Essentially, the idea here is to remove everything “non-hygge” and adding things back in with hygge in mind.

It’s design with intention.

Hygge Tip #6: Warm Drinks & Fresh-Baked Goods

Hot cocoa, hot toddies, hot coffee, oh my! Plus some fresh bakes goods, of course. I mean seriously, these things may very well be the best part of hygge.

This could just be my opinion, but coffee is definitely one of the main highlights of my mornings. Especially in the fall and winter months! So couple this with hygge design and the other tips in this post and we’ll be in relaxation nation.

So the idea here is to have some fresh-baked breads or desserts along with warm drinks to promote the cozy winter vibes we’re aiming for. Whether it’s just a simple cup of warm coffee or an all-out bakery-worthy spread of breakfast desserts, having something to eat and drink will complete the hygge aesthetic in important (and practical) ways.

I mean, hey we gotta eat!

Not sure what to bake, try our simple and healthy banana bread recipe here!

Hygge Tip #7: Candles & Fireplace Vibes

This section sort of echoes the lighting tips from above, but I thought a brief look at candles and fireplaces deserved their own spotlight (no pun intended).

Let’s be honest, candles and fireplaces add some serious tranquility to a space. And since we’re aiming for total hygge relaxation, we really can’t skimp on this mood hack.

We don’t need to go crazy or anything with the candles, but a few of these fiery coffee table accents can really put the finishing touches on a hygge space.

And if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, then you’re more than ready for a hygge-filled winter.

But! Even if you don’t have a chimney at your home, you could even purchase an electric fireplace to get the job done here.

Either way, whether you’re using candles, a fireplace or both, this hygge hack is a simple way to make your space more relaxing and inviting.

Hygge Tip #8: Bringing Nature Indoors

Natural wood accents and plants are just a great design tip overall, but when it comes to hygge and relaxation, adding a little of this nature to your space can be a simple way to add an impactful, organic layer to your design.

For starters, I (always) recommend getting some larger plants for a home. Adding these living additions to your home not only looks great but also purifies the air and supports a tranquil sense of being.

Beyond plants, opting for natural wood colors (such as furniture choice) and even nature-inspired, fresh-looking artwork for your walls can bring an important natural element to your winter hygge.

Hygge Tip #9: Entertainment

OK, so let’s say you’ve got everything set up and looking like some Scandinavian spa retreat, now what? Perhaps a little T.V. or a movie. Or maybe something quieter, like reading a book. But then again, maybe playing some cards or board games is the best way to hygge.

Or maybe it’s best to just chill.

Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to ensure it’s stress-free and gives you a good vibe. So really, any and all the above options could be perfect!

Here’s a unique hygge idea: use a projector and some large pillows and blankets to build a private screening theater for movies, family slideshows or any other media you have in mind. Um, yes please!

Hygge Tip #10: Scents & Sounds

Maybe you’ve noticed, but I’ve tried to include all the human senses into this hygge post: taste from baking, check; sight with visual aesthetic, check; feeling and touch through soft, textured blankets and clothing, check again.

So what’s left? Scent and sound! Actually, these are crucial components to a space’s overall vibe. Imagine a spa without music? Gross.

So this tip is really up to you and your preferred musical tastes and smells, but I definitely recommend using some sort of essential oils or incense burning for scents.

And for music, well anything chill and spa-like could work. But then again, holiday music could also be the perfect match! The main tip here is to just remember music and sounds if you’re feeling like your hygge space is missing something.

Hygge Tip #11: Unplug

And finally, we come our last hygge tip for winter vibes: see ya later technology.

Although some tips above actively use technology (i.e., streaming music or movie) and I’m definitely not against using your phone as a mode of relaxation (I’m talking to you Pinterest), I also believe there’s value in unplugging.

Even if just for a moment.

So go ahead and give this last hygge tip a try. If it’s a struggle, maybe use one of the other tips to fill that tech void (baking or playing a board game). Either way, this can be a healthy hygge best practice to try out every once in a while.

Conclusion

This post has covered some crucial hygge tips. Setting up your home for winter hygge doesn’t necessarily require each and every single tip above, but employing even just a few of them will definitely improve relaxation and tranquility.

If I had to choose which are most important, I’d say starting off with lighting, decluttering and warm blankets and pajamas is a great starting point.

From here, each additional hygge hack you add will incrementally boost relaxation. They all work off each other, like some synergistic orchestra making the cold weather feel just a little warmer.

Thanks for stopping by and reading today! Let me know in the comments of any other hygge hacks you have!