Dear friends: Some shorter posts this week as I spend long days working in Manhattan on Anastasia. I’m not sure how many days, yet. I’m writing this one on Sunday afternoon. If, for some reason, you don’t see a post on a certain day, it’s simply because I have no time. These days will be 12 or 13 hours long, when I add in the commute.
A not-very-frequent observation on decorating and buzzwords:
The new home and hearth buzzword this season is Hygge. It’s being used to sell books, sell merchandise and sell people on a Danish word and the ‘lifestyle’ it represents. I’ve been amused by the books that are appearing on the subject, the tutorials and the blog posts on how to create Hygge. I’ve long thought that Hygge is something we already instinctively do – whether we live in a cold or warm climate, a house or an apartment, a tiny home or a tent.
I was pleased to discover an article on Houzz this week about this very subject. It confirmed my thoughts about the ubiquitous presence of Hygge. The article was entitled, “Busting Open 6 Nordic Design Myths,” one of which was Hygge.
Hygge is a Danish term/word for creating coziness and warmth. Presumably, those long Nordic winters have spawned certain decorating/coping skills that create that cozy feeling and that we need to learn over here on this side of the ocean.
But, in reality, as stated in a 2015 article on Houzz, Hygge is “spending time with the ones you love, in a home that is filled with light and well-loved items that fill you with everyday joy when you use them. You can’t buy Hygge, nor can you get someone to create it for you. It is the Nordic state of contentment that can only be found at home.”
Hurrah for the Nordic state of contentment that can only be found at home! I second that emotion. I’ve long felt the same way about my homes over the years, starting with my girlhood bedroom, through tiny studio apartments and onward to the home in which I currently live.
Most of us who love to create a cozy home filled with warmth and personality, who have things in our homes that have been collected and gathered, who love texture and textiles and comfy furniture, who love making a house or apartment a home, already do that. If what surrounds us matters to us and makes us happy – whether it’s furniture, books, objects, rugs, pets or people – then we’re already creating Hygge.
And if being in your home brings you contentment, then you’re already there.
I’m always a bit wary of trends and buzzwords and things like the ‘color of the year.’ I find them interesting, but I take them with a grain of salt. I suspect you do, too. If you love your home and have created a place that makes you happy, and that, at the end of the day, makes you sigh with contentment, congratulations! You’ve got Hygge.
And Rest in Peace, Al Jarreau. I filled many hours of my life playing your music, listening to your voice. Seeing you in concert was an incredible experience. Thank you. You will be missed.