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Hygge is a Danish word (pronounced like hooga) that roughly translates to ‘cosiness’. It’s so much more than the decor in your home, it’s the mood and atmosphere of your home. It’s how friends and family feel when they are in your home, and the feelings they are left with when they depart.
A home that is hygge has a warm atmosphere and is a place of true rest. Friendships are forged or become closer in a hygge home because people feel free to be themselves there. Everyone can enjoy the good things in life with good people.
Hygge is important because it soothes our souls and makes us feel warm and safe. Those are things that many people just haven’t felt since childhood.
Like many home decor trends, it can become overly consumerist. There’s always the impulse to go out and buy more to create a hygge home. But that’s really not necessary, and what you do buy doesn’t have to be expensive.
There are two ways to create a hygge home: Learning hygge skills and habits, and decorating your home (and yourself) with hygge products.
Hygge can’t exist without both of those things. Here’s how you can create a hygge home without breaking the bank.
What Are Hygge Habits?
Hygge habits and skills take many forms and encompass everything you do in your home. From hobbies to cooking, your actions change the atmosphere and can either make or break hygge.
Knitting and sewing are two hygge skills worth trying. They take your mind off of your stress, are easy to do while chatting with friends, and the skills can be used to create frugal home decor or clothes to enhance the hygge feeling of your home.
Other hygge hobbies include embroidery and cross-stitch, scrapbooking, and even crosswords. These are cozy hobbies that take us away from the stress of work and social media, but they also allow us to enter a state of restful focus.
Setting The Mood
The “mood” of a hygge home is one of warmth and safety. Can you create that with how you decorate and arrange your home, and the activities you do in your home?
How can you set the mood? By dimming the lights, choosing certain colors, and choosing warm but not overpowering scents, you can decide what the atmosphere in your home will be.
Is there anything more relaxing than a homemade stew or roast, home baked bread, and some homemade cookies for dessert? These are comforts that tap into our inner child and help us to remember when we didn’t have to worry about bills or work. They remind us that our home is a refuge from all of that.
When you make foods yourself instead of relying on home-bought foods, not only do you save money, but you also infuse those foods with your love. When you’re cooking for people that you just adore, your food just tastes better.
And food can often be a conversation starter. As we’ll see in the next section, good conversations are an essential part of a hygge home.
Hygge can help us to build healthy relationships with our friends and family. The warmth and security of a hygge home allows us to open up and talk about the big and small things that we all care about. It fosters an environment where we can find our commonalities and maybe even talk through our differences, coming closer together than ever before.
Cozy conversations are by definition hygge. They warm our hearts and ease our nerves. Hygge relationships allow people to give and receive support, fostering relationships where helping one another just comes naturally.
So invite some friends over to enjoy your home cooked food and baked bread. Sit for a while, play some card games, and enjoy your time together. Talk about what you care about, what’s been on your mind lately, and address issues as they come up.
Conversation is an essential hygge skill. When you allow yourself to open up to others, and support them when they do the same, hygge can follow you out of your home and make every moment of your life cozy.
Being in the present moment is the only way to cultivate the warmth needed for a hygge atmosphere.
Mindfulness brings you into the present moment and allows you to be aware of, but not judgmental of, everything around you. How much more relaxed would you be, if you could just tap into this heightened state more easily?
Choosing Indulgence Over Extravagance
Many of us fall into the trap of believing that more means more. We go over the top until our whole house is fuzzy and the only light we have is by candle.
But that over the top extravagance actually just pulls us down and ultimately stresses us out even more. It’s also really expensive! So learning the art of “just enough” or moderation can help you to tap into hygge.
Love and gratitude for everything you have and everything you love is a warm, fulfilling emotion. That emotion could make even a shack seem like a hygge-filled haven. Journaling and remembering everything that filled you with joy will help you to tap into exactly what you home may need more (or less) of.
Self kindness and self care are hygge habits that truly show how important hygge is. In every day American life, we often speak badly of ourselves or neglect our needs and desires. Hygge calls for us to be gentle with the most important people in our lives, and that includes ourselves.
Frugal Hygge Decor & Products
I want to be clear before I give you any ideas for frugal hygge decor that you don’t have to go out and buy anything to have a cozy home.
There’s a reason I put the hygge skills, habits, and hobbies before the decor. Because those things are so much more important than having the right fuzzy pillow on your couch. Any home can be hygge if the people within that home are warm, caring, and welcoming to their guests and loved ones.
That said, there are a few frugal things that can up the hygge a little bit.
Photos Of Loved Ones
There’s nothing warmer and more comforting than the memories of the people you love and the times you’ve had together. There are some inexpensive digital frames out there that can be loaded up with videos and photos, but low-tech photo frames are going to be your most frugal option.
Hang them on walls or place them on tables to have those memories fill your home.
The low glow and literal warmth that candles give off make any atmosphere more cozy. Simply lighting a candle or two and dimming the lights completely changes how a home can feel.
Anything Soft & Fuzzy
Fuzzy socks. Furry pillows. Cats and dogs. Soft rugs. There are so many choices for this category, and everything can be found second hand or even at cheaper stores. In the Detroit area, we have Five Below and stores like Ollie’s where you can find cheap or overstock items at a reduced price.
You can put your hobby to good use by knitting decor and clothes. A knit pillow cover will look and feel unique, plus it will have the love and hard work that you put into making it.
Along with the candles, soft lighting changes how a room feels. Having dinner with friends in a softly lit room can make it feel more intimate. That intimacy will help everyone to open up with each other.
Slippers don’t have to only be for you. Encourage your guests to slip off their shoes and wear some guest slippers you’ve organized into a basket so that their feet can be warm without tracking dirt into your home. Cheap slippers can be found at Ikea or even at dollar stores.
Large, Hand-Knit Sweaters
Another handmade item that says “I love you”, hand-knit sweaters that are just a little too big allow you to relax those tired abs, put on your comfiest leggings, and relax on the couch without worry of looking sloppy if someone comes over.
Blankets can be found at thrift stores (just wash them on the hottest setting before using) and then layered onto couches. When a draft makes its way into your home, you can cuddle up with a blanket or five while you enjoy a good book.
Plants can take a room from dull, gray, and lifeless and turn it into a sanctuary. That’s why I want to create a garden room in my home. Most plants suitable for indoors require very little, just some light, water, and fertilizer now and then. With such little effort, they’ll clean your air and be friendly reminders that we are all part of nature, even when we’re hiding inside.
As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of money to have an inviting, hygge home. It just takes some work and the cultivation of a few new habits. Hopefully this encourages you to take your homemaking to a new level! Your family and guests will surely appreciate it.