Monday, 14 November 2016


I've been meaning to write this post for a few weeks, since going to an opening event at BoConcept on Tottencourt Road. All I knew was that there was going to be a talk about the Scandi way of living and a chance to look at a new collection of furniture, perfect.

When we arrived we were greeted with a glass of fizz {even better} and had a chance to look at beautiful furniture which was on sale. I wanted everything and my house to resemble a Danish hideaway.

The fabrics, textures and designs could transform any home and make it a place you just can't wait to get back to. Especially on these, now, cold and wet nights.

After looking around the store for a while {and eating far too many mini Dair bars}, it was time to take, a very comfy seat, for a talk by Morten Georgsen, a Danish designer and expert on Scandinavian furniture design.

He began by talking about hygge. For a few weeks prior to this event, there had been some posts on my Instagram feed of different books relating to the idea of hygge, but other than these little snapshots, I didn't really know what it was all about.

Morton described hygge as what we might call 'cosy', but there was a little more to it than that. It is having a particular mind set, and making your surrounds one where you want to spend time-either by yourself or with family and friends; it's all to do with state of mind. If your surroundings are one where you can relax, feel safe and enjoy the small moments,  I think it's fair to say you would have a pretty happy state of mind. Danish people are amongst the happiest people in the world, and hygge {and surely, Danish pastries and Daim bars} are largely to thank.

So how do you hygge? Candles, lots and lots of candles. And beautiful coffee tables to put them on. Whilst at BoConcept that night, there were some stunning pieces of furniture; pieces that I would only dream of having, at the moment. Mainly because it would be a great risk bringing something so beautiful into my home with Poppy expressing her creative flair, on any surface, with any pen or pencil she can get her hands on.

Speaking of his own experiences of design, Morton also described how Scandinavian design has evolved and been influenced, with the Bauhaus being the beginning of modern furniture, with a focus on making furniture for the industrial world, for modern people. It had to be functional yet minimal;  beautiful but accommodating. With further influences from the Eames brothers, whose designs and furniture were accessible to many in the 1950s, with the exception of the lounge chair, and are still now influencing design and choice of interior. There is also an element of eco-responsibility and making beautiful furniture out of materials that can be sustained, leaving as little of a foot print as possible. Morton closed by talking of design being something of creativity and optimism and being a tool in people's lives to create a place where they feel happiness, warmth and togetherness, thus having hygge in their lives.

The second speaker of the night was Helen Russell. She spoke about her move to Denmark, which was somewhat unexpected and unplanned, but how by living there, and living the Danish way, she had come to see whether Danes really were the happiest people.

I won't go into too much detail, but as you can imagine, moving to a new country provides its own set of challenges and Helen writes of these, and how she set out to have hygge in her new life, in her book, 'The Year of Living Danishly.'

{Getting my hygge on}

After leaving the event, my intrigue had been stirred so a few weeks later I bought the book 'Hygge, the Danish Art of Happiness' by Marie Tourell Søderberg.

I have spent a few evenings flicking through the pages and getting inspiration for my own little home, and creating my own sense of hygge in it. There are lots of beautiful photos, tips and inspiration, along with craft projects and yummy recipes, thus creating hygge-moments.

Hygge extends to so many different times and places, and can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. For example, 'Hyggerum' {hygge-room} a room with hygge-furniture which makes you want to hygge in it; 'Hyggelæsning' {hygge reading} is when you read, whilst having a hygge moment and 'Hyggestund' {hygge-moment} is just enjoying every part of a particular moment.

With Christmas just around the corner, I am defiantly getting my Julehygge on. {Christmas-hygge, a time for traditions, great food, lights, decorations, markets, hygge-atmosphere everywhere and all the hygge-moments with friends and family.}

The postscript in 'Hygge, the Danish Art of Happiness' sums up hygge beautifully, 'Hygge moments are the small everyday moments that make you happy. The best of them are bright and shining like stars. Having a word for it makes you aware that they are right in front of your eyes. Ready for you to collect.'

I'm not planning on packing up and moving to Denmark, just yet, but I have found that just being aware of the small things which create happiness and 'collecting' them, has meant that I have consciously set time aside to do the things which make my life a little more hygge-ish.

If, like me, you are new to the whole idea, now is a perfect time to start getting your hygge on. With dark evenings getting longer and longer, there has been no better time to cosy up, light some candles and spend time with those who mean the most.

Happy hyggering!

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