HYGGE - what it REALLY means

You know it's big when even the big box retailers in home decor are printing their version of the definition of hygge in their catalogues.  They show examples of things that create hygge but it doesn't always seem quite right.  At Norden Living, we know hygge - we grew up with it.  But defining it?  Not so easy.

It comes from a Norwegian word meaning a sense of well-being.  The Danes made it famous and it is today a common term in both countries.  Once settled into a social situation with good food, pleasant company and (especially in winter) getting warm and comfortable one person will declare that we are now having a HYGGELIG time.

There are no single items required to create hygge but there are a number of things that will help create it.  At Norden Living right now we feel we can provide some hygge with the Kubus candleholder from byLassen, a soft and very warn wool blanket designed by Snøhetta for Røros Tweed, Mormor plates with home cooked food and Mormor cups with hot cider, and some great colorful Krenit Bowls with homemade snacks.  

But these are just things -  the real hygge and how to create this sense of well-being is up to you.  If you take time to enjoy your company, have pleasant conversation, and take time to enjoy the food and taste a little bit of everything,  you're well on your way.  If you constantly try to do dishes (while your guests are still there) and be the perfect host more concerned about the spill on the table cloth rather than taking part in the conversation you're probably not creating hygge.  

Americans are famously running for the door as soon as the dessert is over - Scandinavians will hang out and take time to fully enjoy themselves - leaving a Saturday night dinner party before midnight would be considered a disaster of a party.  And that is not hyggelig.  To us hygge means you're having a very nice, comfortable time in good company - without thinking about when you have to leave.