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Spotlight on: winter hygge interior design

It’s official – it’s dark from 4.30 onwards, and there’s a noticeable chill in the air. Reach for your candles and draw those curtains: it’s time to get hygge.

With Denmark’s appearance at the top of yet another international index of happiness, healthiness, and wholesomeness, we’re convinced, hygge is the way. But how do you create this magical ingredient at home?

Hygge – pronounced something like hoogger – is quite a hard word to translate. It’s often taken to mean cosiness or warmth and is associated with minimalism, but can be interpreted as loosely meaning “wellbeing”, or a general feeling of enjoying each and every moment, and that you are safe and warm at home.

Winter is the perfect time to explore hygge as you hunker down, so read on for our top hygge interior design trends and tips for mastering cosy this season.

Flame and Fire

Ever watched an open fire flicker, felt warm and thought of nothing in particular? That feeling is very, very hygge. So if you have a fireplace or wood burner, make the most of it.

Firewood stacked next to the fire, or in a log basket is beautiful in its own right. Natural ornaments like pine cones or driftwood are a perfect complement to the fire; and let your mantel become a personal gallery or museum of mementoes and cards.

If you don’t have a real fire then natural-effect fires can still be made into a focal point. Have a non-working fireplace? Stack church candles in it to charm that open fire effect.

The natural warmth and deep welcoming glow of candlelight is a hygge essential that you can add to any room. Try and blend thick church candles with slender taper candles, and dot small tealights around the room for a mismatched effect.

Wooden flooring and soft rugs

Exposing or installing beautiful floorboards gives an instant homely vibe. Choose between rustic cottage-style floorboards, or smooth, chic floorboards and top with a rug for instant warmth. This is an eminently practical way to turn your corner of Chelsea into Copenhagen.

Comfort should be your first priority – that’s what hygge is all about – but the Danish aesthetic typically uses a relatively muted and low-key colour palate. Greys, charcoal blacks, creams, and beiges are all currently popular, but you should work with the colours of your home to create colour effects that are, above all, harmonious and warm.

The warmth of a rug is also a must, with natural fibres – wool or an ethical weave – the obvious choice. And while Hygge is a broad style, it tends to value the hand-made and crafted, so loose knits and homespun looks should be considered.

Comfy and cosy seating

Hygge is associated with simple pleasures, and Danish and Scandinavian design has tended towards minimalism. Clean lines, elegant curves, and geometric shapes are to the fore.

Decluttering in a mindful, conscious way is another very hygge thing to do. On the other hand, don’t evict too much of your home’s character! A few magazines and books, a throw here and there add a welcoming sense of being lived in.

Look to natural materials and home- or artisan-made products as you stack warm, comfy cushions and build up soft, textured layers of throws and blankets to make your sofa a winter-long nesting space.

You can’t fake hygge!

As much as we all love cashmere and candles, the art of feeling truly hygge lies in experiencing the moment.

This is as much about what you do as what you sit on, so to complete a hygge home this winter you should welcome family and friends, hand out big mugs of warm drinks and open the bubbly. Fill the house with the scents of home baking and give yourself the time to sit back in that comfortable setting to enjoy being yourself in your own space.

On our count…one, two, three, and breathe.

Hunting for the perfect hygge home? Browse our list of latest London properties to buy.

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