Although summer has it’s perks, I’ve always been a big fan of winter – for numerous reasons. I love wrapping myself up in a blanket and cosying up on the couch with a big cup of coffee and a good book, and there’s nothing better than snuggling up under the duvet, surrounded by my family and fur babies, and having a little lie-in on a Saturday morning.
I had no idea that there was a specific name for this delicious feeling of cosiness, until the Danish art of hygge first started appearing in every magazine and on every website a couple of years ago. Although there’s no English equivalent for the term, hygge can be loosely translated as ‘cosy togetherness’ and involves taking pleasure in simple, soothing things – think hearty, wholesome stews and soups, your favourite scented candle, or a luxurious throw for your bed.
As the days get colder and nights get longer, I’ve taken a few, small steps to make my own home a little more hyggelig – some a little more expensive than others, but most cost absolutely nothing. I share some of my favourite ways to embrace hygge down below…
First thing’s first: get out all your candles and make it a habit to light a candle (or five) every evening. I’ve placed a couple of my favourite scented candles on our coffee table and I light these every evening during our family time (after Beanie’s bath time, and right before bedtime). I also prefer to switch off the harsh, overhead lights in our lounge and bedroom, and opt for lamps instead – it casts a lovely, warm glow and makes everything feel a little cosier and more homely. I also love lighting up the fireplace on especially chilly days.
I’m a huge fan of hearty soups and warming curries during the colder months. It’s the perfect opportunity to make sure that you’re getting loads of healthy veggies in, and there’s nothing I love more than dipping a piece of fresh, crusty bread into a wholesome veggie soup. I also love cooking soups and stews – it makes me feel as though I’m really caring for my family, and is one of the ways that I show them my love. A hearty bowl of soup, a snuggly blanket, and a good movie… life doesn’t get much better than that!
The first thing I did when I received my first pay check back when I was 22 was to hit up the sales and buy the best bedding I could afford, and not much has changed. I’m a sucker for beautiful linen, and one of my favourite little pleasures in life is to hop into a freshly made bed after a nice, warm shower… even better when I’m surrounded by my little family, my cats, and our pooch! I recently discovered Superbalist’s Sixth Floor range, which carries an assortment of stylish, yet affordable, items for your home. From gorgeous rugs and trendy art prints to sleek bedside lamps and beautiful bedding, Sixth Floor has just about everything you could possible need to hygge-fy your home. Our bedding has definitely seen better days (yep, all four sets are completely ragged), so I did a quick spot of decluttering to make space for some new linen – and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love our new bedding! I’m a sucker for white linen, so this Grid Duvet Set from Sixth Floor at Superbalist (R899 for a queen size duvet cover and two pillowcases) is a definite departure for me, but I absolutely love it! We’ll be moving house soon, so I’m really looking forward to decorating our new bedroom with this gorgeous bedding as the focal point (I also have my eye on these lamps and this rug – I’ll do a little room tour as soon as we’ve settled into our new home in a couple of months, promise). But back to the bedding: considering the very reasonable price point, I was amazed at just how soft and luxurious this bedding feels, and I adore the black piping on the edges of the duvet and pillowcases. Such a stylish touch. Now that I know that Sixth Floor offers such great quality linen, I’m pretty keen to get my hands on another set to switch things up a bit – this reversible grey set is next on my wish list (just R699 for the queen set!).
As well as dressing up my bed, I like to leave a couple of throws out on our couches during the winter months, and I also keep a whole bunch of warm blankies in a woven basket in our lounge. That way, we can easily pull up a throw or grab an extra blanket and snuggle up while watching some TV or reading a book. I also like to add a few extra pillows to our couches in winter – especially handy over the weekends, when a sneaky afternoon nap is in order!
Spritz a Scent
It may seem like a bit of an over-indulgence for some, but I love a good room or linen spray. I’m currently using a lovely linen mist from Body Treats, and I honestly can’t fall asleep without it. I usually spritz a little onto my pillow case (the natural ingredients ensure that my pretty new bedding isn’t harmed in the process), onto my curtains, and into the air in my bedroom before I hop into the shower in the evenings. When I step back into my bedroom, pjs on and ready for bed, I feel instantly relaxed – and the familiar room fragrance helps to calm me and prepare me for a good night’s sleep. I also like to spritz a room mist in my lounge and kitchen to ensure that my home smells good at all times… and as silly and insignificant as it may seem, it just makes me feel happier!
I don’t know what it is, but a vase of pretty blooms goes a long way towards brightening up a room and lifting my mood. Whether they’re a fancy bunch from the florist or handpicked from the garden, it really doesn’t matter – flowers make me happy!
I’m not sure whether practicing gratitude actually has anything to do with the Danish art of hygge, but writing down a quick list of three to five things that I’m really thankful for at the end of each day goes a long way towards helping me to appreciate the little things in life; things like fresh flowers, a delicious meal, brand-new bedding, a cosy fire, time to read a book, snuggles with my son, and more. And that, to me, is the real meaning of hygge – taking note of all the simple pleasures in your life, and striving to make each little moment count.
PS: Keen to give your bedroom a mini makeover with some new bedding? Head on over here to browse Superbalist’s full range of bedding. Oh, and if you download Superbalist’s app (here for Android and here for iOS), you’ll get 25% off your first purchase! (So you could basically get the same grid duvet that I have – in queen size – for roughly R600! Win!)