Scandinavians are one of the happiest nations in the world but uncovering the secret of “Nordic happiness” is unlikely to succeed: it consists of too many components and the hygge interior style is just one of them.
Health-friendly “green” paint
Scandinavians take a good care about their health, the basis of happiness, so it is important for them that finishing materials have to be as “green” as possible. This applies primarily to paints, the chemicals of which may affect their health. Usually, they use water-based interior paints without toxic organic solvents and other carcinogenic and mutagenic substances.
Furniture from natural materials
Wood, stone and glass are the main types of materials for the furniture Scandinavians prefer. They don’t buy cheap furniture made out of chipboard because toxic glue with a high content of formaldehyde is often used to create it.
Scandinavians don’t like plastic and artificial materials: in a typical Nordic interior you are likely to see quite a lot of natural wood objects, as well as raw textured surfaces such as copper, leather or animal skin. Some natural textures can be imitated by using finishing materials – one of the most popular techniques is laying tiles from natural stones or glass.
Hygge floors are all wood with the preference to unprocessed options, because they retain an individual wood pattern and natural style.
The abundance of wooden details is a characteristic feature of the hygge style. Wooden or cork wall panels, ceiling beams, decorative elements in lamps, door fittings, window frames and so on and on.
Do not opt for glossy finishes
Do not opt for glossy finishes. It is the roughness and integrity of natural surfaces that fit into the style concept of hygge comfort.
Restrained colour palette
Scandinavian style is traditionally associated with light colours, but the philosophy of hygge does not limit you to just a pastel palette. The main thing is that the colours have to be not too flashy: the interior should give a feeling of calm, not to quickly get tired of too bright colours. Choose muted shades that can be found in nature: greenish and deep blues, sand and honey, brown and terracotta. Light and beige neutrals, however, are always welcome: they can be a great backdrop for the accent items. It is advisable to give preference to colours with a warm undertone: in Scandinavia, the sun does not please people all year round, and cold colours in the house can also evoke longing on long winter evenings.
Interesting! The most popular colour in the hygge style is definitely white. By physics, the warm shades of colours absorb light, which is already insufficient, but cold shades reflect making the space filled with light and visually expanded.
Lots of lighting sources
Indoor lighting is an often overlooked element of interior design, but not for Scandinavians. The lack of sunshine Nordic people compensate with the use of a variety of light sources and their types. They integrate several light sources located at different levels and in different zones into the interior of each room. Thus, you can focus on different parts of the room, create cozy corners in each of them and think through variable lighting scenarios. Use floor lamps, sconces and table lamps with streamlined laconic shades, as well as decorative garlands and lanterns that provide soft diffused light. And of course, do not forget about candles – this is a mandatory attribute of a hygge-style home.
Textiles pleasant to touch
A cozy coarse knitted woolen blanket, flying linen curtains, a fluffy pile carpet, soft flannel pajamas and lots of pillows – all this will definitely be appropriate in a hygge-style home. It is important that textiles are pleasing to you not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also tactilely: joyful touches are an important part of a happy Scandinavian lifestyle. Maybe, the English word “hug” comes from hygge?
A hygge-inspired interior doesn’t have to be cluttered with decorative items: living areas need to have enough air to keep the clutter from overwhelming you. At the same time, you should surround yourself with beautiful things that can be associated with pleasure or sweet memories: live plants in pots donated by friends, or vintage posters with unobtrusive graphics that you bought on your travels. It is worth pleasing yourself with items in which the piece of heart is invested: handmade dishes and interior ceramics or vintage wooden furniture restored by modern craftsmen.
A real hygge interior is focused not on the latest home decor trends; what is important here is your own comfort, a sense of unity with the place you live in – your home, sweet home that envelops you with care and warmth. This is hygge.