Hygge (pronounced hooga) is the Danish concept of coziness, contentment, and finding beauty in ordinary instances. It's about creating a soft and warm atmosphere to enjoy the simple and good things in life with good people around you. It's also the hottest lifestyle trend right now.
Since Denmark is known as the happiest country in the world, surely its people are onto something. And while there is no one English word to which hygge translates precisely, the concept is sweeping the United States. So with winter in full force, it's the perfect time to escape the harsh elements and stresses of the season and enjoy a hygge-themed getaway somewhere fab right here stateside — or, if circumstances force, simply a staycation, and get your hygge on in your own home.
1. Turn on the fireplace.
If you've seen even one romantic comedy, you understand the key element to an intimate environment is the flickering of flames from a fireplace. The Bowery Hotel in Manhattan boasts a signature cozy fireplace in its lobby. Or at home, even if you don't have a fireplace, try clustering a group of candles together to catch the same vibe.
This picturesque Manchester, Vermont hotel has a country cottage vibe that screams, "Let's cuddle!" Visitors can even purchase a hygge kit (yes, for real), which includes candles, hot chocolate and a pair of cozy socks.
3. Declutter your space.
Hotels — with their dutiful housekeeping staffs — always feel tidy and welcoming. No matter where you are, there's no way to feel calm and zen in a space that looks like it belongs on TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive. Take time to set order to your home and you'll feel like there's order in your life.
4. Surround yourself with softness.
We're talking knitted and fleece blankets, shaggy rugs, cushiony furniture, and cuddly pillows. Let the homey, residential-feeling Hotel Bel-Air inspire the concept at home.
5. Embrace indulgence.
The English-style manor in St. Simon's Island, Georgia offers warm Southern charm and hospitality. Enjoy gourmet s'mores around a crackling bonfire outdoors before heading inside for freshly baked cookies and milk in bed. Want a rose petal bath drawn to your liking? They have that too. Hygge heaven!
6. Spend time around the table.
Sharing a meal with family or friends is essential to the hygge concept. While having an awesome dining room table and comfy chairs is a bonus, just spending meal times together is the most important thing. For inspiration — and travel ideas — look to the hotels with restaurants that offer some of the best views in the country.
7. Take a warm bath.
Few things feel more indulgent than a posh bath in a sumptuous hotel — such as a place known for its over-the-top bathrooms, like Gateway Canyons in Colorado. Bonus points for epic beauty amenities. Light a few aromatherapy candles, use bath bombs and salts, and have oversized fluffy towels on deck. Wrap up in a plush robe afterwards. Hygge game strong.
8. Become a minimalist.
You want to keep it simple and not have too much going on in the home. You're basically looking to get rid of all the clutter and only keep the things that bring you happiness and joy. You know those tchotchkes you have all over your desk? Get rid of those.
9. Commune with nature.
The Jackson Hole, Wyoming mountain retreat is a 1,000-acre resort that is a total embodiment of the hygge-hype. It's set against the spectacular views of the Teton Mountain Range and combines luxury with the rugged spirit of the west. The overall atmosphere just exudes coziness.
10. Read all about it.
If you're switching your attention from Marie Kondo or feng shui to hygge and really want to get a better handle on the concept and how to acheive it, pick up a book and read it... preferably while cozied up in business class off to somewhere that can make your hygge dreams come true.
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