In a world that’s super busy and hectic, the need to kick back and enjoy the small things in life has never been so pronounced. While we Aussies haven’t still managed to find a successful recipe for slowing down, we can surely learn a thing or two from one country on the opposite side of the globe. The Danes fully embrace the calm lifestyle and together with other Scandinavian countries regularly occupy the top spots in surveys on world happiness . How can one remain so positive in a country with such gloomy weather? One can argue this is all down to their concept of hygge which graces every aspect of Danish lifestyle, including furniture.
The term hygge (pronounced as “hue-gah”) was originally a Danish word for well-being which in the mid-twentieth century adopted the meaning of “a cosy, relaxing retreat where you can enjoy the good things in life”. Often mistaken for cosiness, hygge is more than that. It’s all about pleasant sensory experiences that unwind the spirit such as a summer breeze entering the room, or the heat from the fireplace warming your skin. Thus, modern Danish furniture is designed to soothe the senses with earthy colours and organic materials such as oak or maple.
Hygge is also an art of creating intimacy, that’s why Danish homes include plenty of luscious textures which give a more intimate mood to any interior. The trick is to create warmth with a small amount of things and not compete with too many features. Think of a large, chunky sofa with fluffy cushions made from the softest of materials such as cashmere or merino wool, and a small shaggy rug underneath for keeping your feet warm. The colour palette mainly consisting of white, brown, and grey. Imagine this cloud of softness under the silhouettes of soft candlelight, no setting can get any more romantic than this.
In order to capture the essence of hygge which is all about the small things, modern Danish furniture embraces the principles of minimalistic functionality: pure, clean lines that mould around the human body. The designs are simple, natural looking and free of extraneous detail. Danish furniture makers seem to be passionate about such timeless designs. They strongly believe that furniture should serve a purpose and be built with great craftsmanship in order last for decades and transcend all passing fads.
And finally, hygge is designed to be shared with friends. That’s why many Danish designers were focused on creating the perfect seating for casual eating, like for instance the famous Hans Wegner chairs dinners are so in loved with. So set up your dining table, test your cooking skills and invite your nearest and dearest round for a candlelight dinner and some mutual hygge.