Cozy feels in our bedroom at night.
Black Lamps / Bench / Bed / Duvet Cover / Nightstands / White Shams / Accent Pillow / Chandelier / Mirror / Rug / Olive Branch Wreath / Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore Pale Oak and Benjamin Moore Ivory White #925
Have you ever relished in a winter snow day and spent it under blankets watching movies or reading books? Or perhaps you’ve opted to stay home on a Saturday night in comfy clothing, enjoying a glass of tea/wine, takeout or homemade treat by the fire. Or maybe you’ve been quick to turn on the lamps, light the candles, and turn on French cafe music as the sun starts to sink below the horizon. Or you’ve made a hearty meal and hosted friends for game night. If you found yourself nodding to any of that, you’re familiar with hygge!
At this point, most of us have at least heard of hygge, especially if you’ve watched Frozen with little kids approximately one million times. But what, exactly, is it? Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for cozy contentment, comfort and well-being feelings… but it’s also a mindset and lifestyle. The idea is that hygge can not only get you through the bitterly cold times of the year, but also genuinely enjoy them. Denmark has hellish winters, yet it still ranks as one of the happiest countries on earth. Why? Hygge.
And Mitch and I are all about it this year. Hygge means putting down the phone and enjoying the simple things in life, even in December, January, February and March. (Okay, and April and often May in Chicago, too.) Winter is what we make it. It doesn’t mean that we just become hermits, though. We get out! We move our bodies! We get fresh air and sunshine (when available)! But we also find great joy in returning to the cozy comforts of home.
Hygge is honestly something I think Emma and Lucy have mastered. They don’t complain about the gray skies and freezing temperatures! They don’t imagine all the awesome things they could be doing were it summer! They don’t question every life decision that led them to living in Chicago! (😆) Instead, they enjoy endless hours of fun in their cozy playroom; they love the way marshmallows plunk into their hot chocolates; they look forward to putting on their softest pajamas at night.
Here some hygge-style things that Mitch and I are doing to make the winter more enjoyable:
(And please note how often the word “cozy” comes up! 😉)
- Bundling up in my coziest winter gear and walking Emma to school every morning. For some reason, the cold is a bonding experience! —Kelly
- Walking in snowstorms with hand warmers and hot coffees, and taking in the beauty. We spend so much time outside with our shoulders scrunched up, heads down during winter. Look up! —Mitch
- Having dinner with friends (without coats!) inside igloos around Chicago. They really do mix things up. The best is when it’s snowing. —Mitch
- Taking a moment to enjoy a cup a coffee someplace other than at my desk. My favorite spots are the living room or this chair in our bedroom. —Kelly
- Turning on my (safe) space heater and lighting a candle while at my desk. This thing is magic! No more shivering. —Kelly
- Cozying up by the fire with every night for a talk or show. We just watched Dopesick on Hulu and we’re going to try The Innocent on Netflix. —Kelly
- Converting the basement wood-burning fireplace to a gas fireplace so we actually use it. We’ve been putting this off for a while now, but it’s time! Just scheduled it. —Mitch
- Taking hot showers before bed. There’s nothing like getting into bed feeling clean and toasty. —Kelly
- Wearing my coziest sweaters and pullovers. If you’re in need, you can never beat this Dudley! —Kelly
- Utilizing the crockpot for weekday dinners and weekend lunches. But not leaving it on overnight, as we learned not to do from This is Us. —Mitch
- Celebrating more. We make a big deal out of the girls’ accomplishments at school, for example, so we have little celebrations to look forward to. They bring a lot of warmth into our home! —Kelly
- Bringing plants and natural textures into our home. Doesn’t matter if they’re faux or in the form of art; simply bringing in nature—in one way or another—helps! This is my favorite faux plant of all time, btw. —Kelly
- Making hot chocolate with the girls after outside play. This is Emma’s first year enjoying hot chocolate, and she’s all about it. It’s really cute. —Mitch
- Keeping a tidy home. This has proven to help clear my mind and help me relax. And while hygge really isn’t about minimalism, owning fewer things usually means fewer messes. I want the things that we do own to have “homes” within our homes and serve a purpose. —Kelly
- Turning the lamps on darker mornings and when the sun starts to set. Lamp light is the best light. I’ll see myself out. (Though I recommend 2700K to 3200K for all the cozy feelings.) —Kelly
- Wearing my favorite slippers around the house. Do you have a go-to pair? If not, try this pair from L.L.Bean! They keep your ankles warm. I also like this pair from UGG. —Kelly
- Wearing my coziest pajamas. I love this pair from Eberjey! —Kelly
- Visiting Athenian Room for their famous lemon soup. I’ve been going there with my family since I was a little kid living in the neighborhood! —Mitch
- Baking with the girls. Bread-making is our favorite. —Mitch
- Playing games with the girls. We keep our games in the cabinet next to the fireplace in the living room. Some of my happiest memories are of playing them there with Emma and Lucy! —Kelly
- Carrying my camera around. Photography helps me appreciate the beauty of the everyday, especially when things start to feed mundane. —Kelly
- Making a cozy nook. I’m upping the cozy factor of one corner in our bedroom, where that favorite chair is. Nooks are a big part of hygge! They bring a sense of calm, coziness and satisfaction to those who use them. Think: candles, throw blankets, pillows, a plant in a vintage-looking vase.
- Snuggle with Noodle, and bring her up to my office to sleep under my desk while I’m working. I have a dog bed under there for her! —Kelly
- Keeping the outdoor Christmas lights up for as long as possible. Until it’s clearly just laziness on my part, and weird. —Mitch
- Tossing throw blankets on couches and chairs, and placing coffee table books on surfaces. Reading a coffee table book for even just five minutes per day is so good for my soul, haha. Seems to help my mind reset! —Kelly
- Turning on soothing music throughout the house. We love French cafe music. Just search for it on Spotify. The best is setting a timer so it starts up in the morning on its own. —Mitch
- Dimming the lights at night. No better way to end the day! —Kelly
Do you have any interesting ways of embracing hygge?
Probably my favorite nook in our home!
Side Table (Larger here. This is the actual one we own in the larger size.) / Newer Lamp / Spool Chairs / Rug / Curtains / Wallpaper in “Cream” / Pillow / Coffee Table / Newer Faux Fur Throw / Feels Like Home Book / Framed Horse Canvases / Empty Brass Frame / Framed Sailboat Canvas / Faux Trailing Plant / Faux Coral / Faux Fur Blanket / Brass Dachshund / Brass Crab / Brass Pulls / Picture Frame Light / Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Ivory White #925