With an average of 4 hours sunlight and freezing temperature in the winter months it is no surprise that creating inviting and cosy interiors is top on the Danish to-do list.
However this is not as simple as wanting to keep warm, instead this springs from a Danish philosophy which was first seen in the 18th Century. The Danish concept of hygge is not easy to explain, as it is apparent that this means something slightly different to each person.
‘Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.’ (visitdenmark.com)
In essence this concept is about happiness, in an environment you feel most comfortable, with the people who mean the most to you. If this is not a concept which comes naturally to you, how can you create an environment which would invoke a feeling of calm and reflect classic Danish design? Below are 5 ideas to try within your home while the days are short and the weather unpredictable.
‘Danes do “cosy” like no other nation. Your average home will look like something out of an ideal home supplement: lots of natural materials like wood and leather, lamps artfully positioned to create soothing pools of light’ (telegraph.co.uk).
Home is where the Hygge is; here’s how to bring this Danish concept to life!
1. Candle Light
Pools of light are integral to Danish interiors. When natural light itself is at a minimum creating depth with artificial light is the next best thing. Candle light can help to sooth a space and create a calming atmosphere. The use of a mix of candle holders can also help to create a great accessory scheme, and add interest to a minimal design scheme.
2. Log Burners
Not only will a natural fire add more light to a space, it will also keep you warm in the winter months. There are obvious considerations to be made here, for example whether you have the space for a log burner and the cost this might incur. However if you can add one to your living space, you will be glad you have, as nothing makes a space more homely than a pile of burning logs.
3. Cushions and Throws
Danish design typically is created with the use of straight lines and clean surfaces. However adding texture will always help to create depth within a scheme. This can be done with a mix of cushions and throws, which will softness hard edges. And again accessories are a great way of adding interest and bring a design scheme together.
4. Enough dining space for all the family
It is clear that spending time with family and friends is something which is encapsulated by the concept of Hygge. At this time of year, especially after Christmas when money might be tight, eating in is popular. Investing in a quality dining table is a good idea at any time of year as this can be dressed differently depending on the current trends and preferred styles. To create a Danish look consider a chunky, light wood table and team this up with a mix of chairs. Also think about ideas 2 and 3 again, dressing the table with candles and covering the chairs with fur throws.
5. Invest in an icon furniture piece
And there are many to choose from in Denmark’s creative past. One of the most recognisable design pieces is Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair. This icon piece works well within most design schemes, mainly as reproductions can be found in many colours and materials. This is an investment piece as a reproduction will set you back £600 plus however this is something you will keep and reuse even as your style develops.
Finally here are a few more things to consider when creating Danish inspired designs:
- Use natural floor covering such as light woods
- Use neutral colours including greys, with pops of colour coming from artwork or accessories
- Clean lines are a must
- Make sure the space is fit for purpose, and furniture is appropriate for the use of the space.
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The Telegraph (2013) Geometric Cushions [Online]. Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/interiors/10414293/Design-notebook-the-best-geometric-throws.html [Accessed: 28/01/16]
Nest (Unknown) Log Burner [Online]. Available from: http://www.nest.co.uk/celebrate-hygge?page=1 [Accessed: 28/01/16]