What the Heck Is “Hygge”? Get the Low-Down on the Buzzy Design Trend
If you've been seeing the word “hygge” crop up on just about every lifestyle blog this season, you're not alone. Pronounced hue-gah, the Danish expression has no direct English translation, but roughly connotes a sense of coziness and warmth—and everyone is after it (we mean everyone). To get to the bottom of the buzzy design trend, we reached out to Mette Hay, co-founder of renowned Danish design house Hay, who gave us the DL on mastering the art of of it.
While the expression has been around for centuries, Hay agrees that hygge is certainly having a comeback. She says, “The Hay collection is more hyggeligt (that's the adjective for “hygge”) today than it was five years ago, so we feel that it’s more in focus now than ever before. We are busy with travel and work and haven’t had as much time with our families or ourselves, so we need to make an extra effort to be together and to be present in those moments. Hygge certainly helps with that.”
Hay adds, “When I think of hygge, I often think of food, wine, or hot drinks. But even though it might be great fun, hygge is not a word to describe a wild party. It's more about quiet evenings or mornings with the people you love and care for. It's also about creating the right atmosphere,” she explains. Hay conjures hygge in her workspace and home by “lighting a candle, turning down the lights, or making a cup of tea—preferably in front of a fire. Below, a list of hyggeligt must-haves.
This simple, modern Japanese Enamel tea kettle has a sleek, minimalistic vibe and works with any décor style.
Japanese Enamel Tea Kettle, $198; michelevarian.com
Choose from five unique blends, like Ashram Afternoon, which combines Krishna tulsi (holy basil), mint, verbena, rose, jasmine, cardamon, star anise, and citrus.
Bellocq Herbal Blends Collection, $32; bellocq.com
The graphic geometric pattern from London-based textile designer Eleanor Pritchard brightens up any dark winter day. Each creation gives traditional British fabrics a modern feel.
Easterly Blanket, $410; shop.nickeykehoe.com
Put on a record (either store-bought, or sign up for a record-of-the-month-club with Vinyl Me, Please) and cuddle up with your loved ones. Bonus: If you go the Vinyl Me, Please route, the site will send you a custom cocktail recipe to complement the tunes.
Vinyl Me, Please, $23/month; vinylmeplease.com
This sleek copper candleholder was created for HAY by American designer Shane Schneck. The shape is meant to mimic a simple line drawing and is made with a single, looped wire.
HAY Lup candleholder, $28; momastore.org