Hygge (hue-gah) by definition is a feeling or mood that comes from the pleasures found in ordinary everyday life. Sounds easy enough right? The Danish word most associates itself with winter, and since it’s 27º out as I write this it couldn’t be more timely. Let’s dive into the world of hygge and some ways you can bring into your own space!
I realize this is a luxury not everyone has in their home, but lounging by a fire is one of the best ways to cozy up and get some serious relaxing done. Grab a book or turn on the show you’re currently binging on and get to work already!
A deep chair, a nest of throw pillows, and the softest blanket – it really doesn’t get much better on a cold winter’s day. Add a dimmed table lamp and you have a recipe for total comfort and serenity, and probably a nap as well.
Whatever that is to you: a good long soak in a bath with salts and essential oils, grinding beans and making a pot of French press coffee, there’s no right answer. It’s all about taking the time and being present through the paces on the way to that ultimate satisfaction.
This seems like a no brainer, I’m sure, but candlelight is pure and utter magic. I love adding it in unexpected places like a dark bathroom, in an empty fireplace, or on my bookshelves. It’s so romantic with that soft glow.
Mulled wine, hot toddies, freshly steeped tea, the options are endless! There are few things better than holding a warm mug of something delicious in your hands and savoring the moment and being present.
Obviously you don’t want your tootsies touching the chilly floor, so add a few floor rugs for some extra coziness and texture throughout your home. And of course put on some thick socks and slippers, too!
From fiery, hot-tempered red to cool, soothing blue, colors can elicit strong reactions, both positive and negative. By tapping into the power of color psychology (and by noticing how you respond to color) you can create a home that plays up the positive and leaves negativity at the door.
Red, orange, and yellow are warming, social hues, making them a good choice for areas of the home where you like to gather with friends and family.
Red is the color of passion, action, and anger, so it’s no wonder many folks have a love-it or hate-it reaction to red! Reds with a bit of brown in them are usually perceived as more mellow, while a bright, clear red is fresh and modern.
Orange is the color of optimism, happiness, and social communication, making it a wonderful hue for a living room. Rich saffron feels warm and exotic, while a bright tangerine hue is youthful and fun.
Yellow is the color of joy, cheerfulness, and mental stimulation. This hue can make a delightful accent in any social space or study, but remember, a little goes a long way!
Green and blue are cool, relaxing hues ideal for spaces where you want to encourage rest and relaxation.
Green is the color of growth, freshness, and harmony, and tends to make people feel safe and secure. A soft green can make a calming choice for a nursery, while a deeper forest green would be ideal in a cozy library.
Blue is the color of sea and sky, and just being around this hue can have a calming effect. Blue represents truth, trust, wisdom, and stability. It’s lovely in the bedroom and bath, but intensely saturated blues can also hold their own in a living or dining room.
With a bit of blue and a bit of red, purple is something of a mysterious color. This hue has long been associated with royalty, and still conveys feelings of wealth and abundance. But it’s also a spiritual color, and can represent the imagination. Try using purple in the bedroom for a serene escape.
Overdyed rugs have deeply saturated hues that can completely transform a space – try one in a hue that makes you happy!
Growing up, my grandfather always made a point of surprising me and my mom with cards, flowers, and raspberry pastries from our favorite bakery on Valentine’s Day morning, so I still associate this holiday more with family and love in general than romantic dinners. So whether you are planning something special for your sweetie, or want to celebrate with friends (or your kids!) here are 5 great ideas to make the day special.
1. Breakfast in bed. Who can resist a special tray of sweet treats and freshly brewed coffee enjoyed propped up in a comfy bed? Bring a bit of extra sweetness in by adorning your bedside with a vase of flowers, and swapping out your usual pillow cases for dusky pink versions.
2. Light it up. If you’re planning a Valentine’s Day party, the quickest way to create a festive, romantic atmosphere is by boosting the mood lighting. Wrap a pillar in strands of twinkle lights or drape them across the ceiling, and load up on candles. For a really special smile booth worthy prop, consider tracking down a great big light-up heart, which can double as decor long after the holiday.
3. Get creative with flowers. Tired of the same-old same-old red rose bouquets? Try something unexpected and crafty instead by hanging single stems of flowers from the ceiling using fishing line. Hung above a self-serve bar, it looks like a modern art installation!
4. Set a special table. Whether you are planning an intimate dinner for two, or a sweet school day breakfast, taking the time to pull out the “fancy” dishes and fold the napkins into hearts is all it takes to set the meal apart.
5. Get crafty. If you’re searching for a Valentine’s Day craft project that won’t get tossed after V-day, I suggest this embroidery hoop project from The Nester. Simply fill embroidery hoops of various sizes (available at any craft store) with linen fabric, and embellish with sequins, embroidery thread, pom poms, or any other fun supplies you happen to have on hand.
And of course, to set the mood, wouldn’t it be fun to roll out a super-soft pink rug underfoot? I would love to use any of these options in the dining room for a Valentine’s Day dinner party:
The new year feels like a natural time to make a fresh start: and what better way than by finally letting go of some of the clutter that has been building up in your home over the past year? Read on for 5 ways to begin a new year’s purge. Out with the old, and in with the new!
1. Create a peaceful bedroom haven. The bedroom is where we go to rest and recharge, so I find that this is the best place to begin. Remove everything here that distracts from the primary purpose of deep, restful sleep, and especially anything work-related! Get back to the basics with a nice set of bedding, a cozy rug underfoot, a good lamp, and perhaps a scented candle and vase of flowers at your bedside. Donate tired old bedding, and store the rest neatly by tucking each set of sheets inside one of the pillow cases.
2. Simplify the bath for a spa-like feel. A jumble of half-used products (most of which you don’t really like) makes the bathroom feel cramped, and makes it harder to keep things neat and clean. Toss (recycling if possible) any bath or beauty products you do not use or like, and give the space a thorough cleaning before placing only your favorite products back. In the long run, it’s actually less expensive (and far more pleasurable!) to treat yourself to a few high quality products you love, rather than a host of less expensive lotions and potions that don’t live up to their promise.
3. Reduce paper. Of all the pieces of the clutter clearing puzzle, handling paper tends to be our least favorite task, so brew yourself a big cup of coffee or a strong mug of tea, and put on some encouraging music as you tackle that paper pile! Take yourself off of catalog mailing lists, shred and recycle old documents you no longer need, and set up a simple system to keep up with incoming paper. And when it comes to bills and other paperwork, opt for the digital option whenever possible to cut down on physical papers to file.
4. Edit your book collection. As a major book lover, I have come to the realization that the act of choosing and reading a new book is one of my life’s greatest pleasures. I’ve also come to realize that I do not need to keep every book I buy forever! Instead, I aim to keep up a personally curated library of favorites by regularly editing my book collection. If you are a big reader, doing a big book clear-out is a great way to start the new year. Take your boxes of no-longer wanted books to your local used bookshop to sell, or donate them to a local charity.
5. Clear out the kitchen. As one of the most often used spaces in the home, it is important to keep the kitchen well organized and running smoothly. Unfortunately, because it’s one of the most-used spaces, that also tends to mean it gets out of hand the quickest! Open up all of those cupboards, and pare back to the essentials (whatever that word means for you and your family), removing the obvious junk (freebie plastic cups, Tupperware without lids) and bizarre kitchen tools you never use. If you like to have lots of extras on hand for entertaining, consider storing them neatly in a single bin, somewhere other than the kitchen. We keep a box of extra wine glasses and silverware (the things we always seem to run short on at parties) in the upstairs hall closet.
Once you’ve finished clearing clutter, you may feel the urge to bring in something new to refresh your space – but instead of getting something that will only re-clutter your home, aim to choose something that is beautiful, but also practical. After clearing your bedroom, for example, if you notice that your old bedside rug has seen better days, you might want to replace it with a new version (which won’t add to your home’s clutter as long as you remove the old rug first).