Alex Fulton teaches us the art of 'hygge'

Bohemian style living from the Entwine trend for Dulux Colour Forecast 2017 featuring Dulux colours Buttercookie and ...

Bohemian style living from the Entwine trend for Dulux Colour Forecast 2017 featuring Dulux colours Buttercookie and Manilla. Image by Lisa Cohen, produced and styled by Bree Leech and Heather Nette King 

I recently heard the word 'hygge' and wanted to share it with you all.

Hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga") is more than a word, it's a feeling, and a concept that more of us should be ruling our lives and interiors by.

Hygge is a Danish word roughly translating to 'coziness'. But more than that, it's about creating a warm atmosphere, enjoying the good things in life with good people.

The warm glow of a candle, wrapping yourself in a duvet on a summer evening watching the flames of a brazier, snuggling down with a mid-winter book, these are all hygge.

The Dane's are said to be among the happiest people on the world and this ideal could be the very reason for this.

The high season for hygge is Christmas, where Danish people pull out all the hygge-stops.

But hygge's not just for Christmas. I think this state of mind can easily be applied across the entire year, and the best place to start could be right here at home.

I like the way the hygge idea balances out conviviality with consumerism especially at a time like Christmas.

Applying hygge to our homes is a good way to deepening our sense of wellbeing, increase a sense of place and provide spaces that are warm and tranquil, where we can be content.

These comforting ideals will imbibe feelings of security, as well as homes that attract family and friends to relax in. Happy Hygge-ing everyone!

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Hygge tips for your home

+ Display items that have meaning or bring you joy 

Hanging items on your wall, displaying them on a side table or showing them off on an ornamental ladder means that they don't just get to come out at special occasions but can be seen daily which will bring you daily happiness.

+ Light the candle

I used to 'save' candles for special occasions but I quickly got over that when I experienced the joy and ritual of lighting candles. Lighting up says, "sit, relax and enjoy" to me, plus it smells good and brings a sense of warmth. What's not to love!

+ Create traditions

Hygge is about making the normal special so, based on that idea, why not create homely traditions like a family sit-down dinner with a decorated table on Sunday night or a monthly card game with friends or weekly early night so that you can enjoy being in your bed and not reading one page at night before you crash. These traditions need hygge-ified spaces to do these things, so making your interiors cosy and homely is essential.

+ Identify the hygge

Writing down what brings you joy or identifying items in your home that are your favourites (and getting rid of the things that aren't) is a nice way to bring peace to your immediate surroundings. Interiors that are too expensive, luxurious or extravagant can mean that you may lose your hygge and we certainly don't want that.

 - The Marlborough Express

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