Hygee and the quarantine

Today I will like to talk about an abstract concept which is very relevant, used by Danes since the 18th century, named Hygee.

Written Hyggee it is pronounced ‘Hugga’, and has to do with the manner in which interior design should connect with the needs and human dignity.

Hygaa comes from the word ‘hug’ and evokes the spaces we inhabit, the furniture and objects that surround us, that bring us the sense of comfort, security, warmth, coziness and even so, convenience.

The feeling we get from a fireplace in winter or soft cashmere socks.

The philosophy of Hygee has enabled homes in Denmark to be more beautiful and its inhabitants happier. The Danes are one of the populations on the top tier of happiness in the world, and much of this is related with the mental state of Hygaa.

When we navigate this quarantine in which millions of beings are confined in their homes, I do believe this to be a relevant theme. It becomes essential because through this philosophy we can make our spaces much happier, so they convey us more peace and merriment than they do already.

To this effect, I will enlist specific tips you can implement in your homes, today.

Hygaa can be found in many things, such as: reading a good book, enjoying a hot bath. Though ideally Hygga is experienced in company, this is through activities that connect us to the people we love. Cooking with friends, watching a movie under a quilt with your family, or a picnic in the park, are examples of activities that are Hygga.

With social distancing some of these activities are not quite possible, so I will review the many activities and physical changes that are possible in our reality and with current limitations.

We are confined to our homes and our houses have proven to be more than our dens, but spaces of contention to unwind and create in conviviality, to enables us to dream, imagine and rest.

Interior Design today is revalued, more than ever we are grateful and value the comfort of a sofa, the texture that embraces us of a cashmere throw, the handmade-pottery of our coffee mug or the soft light of a candle holder in our dining room.

Many of us recreate the elements of Hygga without even knowing it. I will mention some of the most relevant, those that will enable us to navigate through this quarantine with a more harmonious and grateful attitude.

Be conscious

First step is to be conscious of the objects and actions that make us happy, the small details and activities that bring us joy day by day, and repeat them.

I invite you to make a list of the objects and actions that make you joyous, inside your home.

Remember we are listing simple things such as: the chair you read in, the pendant lights of your children’s room, the wool sweater with which you embrace your partner while watching a good series or preparing pasta with glass of wine.

Beyond self-indulgent

Hygga is not only self-pampering and self-centered attitude in our own comfort but being conscious of these small actions and objects that cause happiness. Being able to have a more positive and joyous attitude.

Life is triggered from our own internal life outward, this is relevant. If we work with the internal teachings of Hygee, then we can share them with others and react to our surroundings with more happiness, flexibility and gratitude.

An example of the contrast between self-indulgence and Hygga is the difference between eating a piece of cake while watching TV, without any conscience versus enjoying the same piece of cake while rejoicing on its texture and taste, in gratitude and conscience, while savoring something this delicious.

Hygaa is not only viewing our favorite film with a cup of coffee or enjoying a hot tub with relaxing salts. Hygaa also is stopping to buy flowers for our partner, hand writing a thank you note or calling our parents out of the bloom.

I aim to have this philosophy in mind when I create my Studio’s projects, when we choose furniture and elements such as bed spreads, pillows and carpets. In my Studio, we are very conscious of Hygga, when we design areas that invite to gather, as a dining room, a TV or family room, or bar.

Having this philosophy in mind generates spaces which are welcoming and warm, and so invite to spend long hours in them, waking up the eagerness to gather, exchange, laugh and be together.

Meditating, reading, dressing up in full clothes and comfortable shoes is also Hygaa. Preparing food at home and enjoying them with the family, and maybe, setting up candles and a good playlist is very Hygga.

Hygga at home

We have reviewed how to Hygaa in actions and activities during this pandemic. Now I will enlist small physical changes that we can make to our homes.

It is often we find spaces in our homes or offices that, for some reason, do not invite us to spend time in them. Spaces where no one wants to sit or be at.

Changing the energy of these spaces begins by considering the interior elements that we enjoy. Are you passionate about art, interior plants or color? Are you more drawn to neutral palettes, textures or prints, or maybe organic materials?

Make a list of these elements, the ones that bring you comfort and observe which from your list are missing in the spaces in your home, which do you want and are able to better.


If you are drawn to color, you can start by adding color pillows or upholstery in this space.

Light and fire

The secret of lightning is relevant to consider, if the room to modify is dark, paint the walls in a bright color or add warm and adjustable lights, maybe candles during nighttime will make it cozy. The candles are a VERY Hygga element, along with chimneys, which create instantaneous Hygga. Fireplaces can be from firewood, interior or exterior, gas or ethanol.

Books and cushions

Books are considered very Hygga due to their immediate décor for a space, they bring about entertainment and it is a relief to step in a room filled with books that invite you to read or review them.

The same happens with cushions, pillows, throws and other textile elements that bring coziness to the space, inviting you to stay in it. Make sure that you always have them around!

We also consider drapes, as a crucial interior design focus to create elegant spaces, in a very cozy way.

Order and cleanliness

Take this time to put your space in order. Disorderliness is the opposite of Hygga because it generates mental chaos. Same with messiness.

What a relief to wake up to a clean kitchen with fresh flowers that linger while you grind coffee beans and prepare breakfast, in comparison to a kitchen where remains of pizza and dirty dishes lay around!

Give away what you don’t use anymore, donate. Be grateful to your home during isolation while cleaning it, making it beautiful, disposing of what is not functional and bettering what you can.

Renovate, now

This is the time to renew not only your homes but yourself, better and with new purpose.

Let’s be truly grateful to our dens, making time to better it with these tips I have enlisted and hoping for a positive impact for you and your families.

8 May, 2020