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  • The Editorial Team

What is Hygge?

Being curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a cozy blanket. Spending extra time in bed under a fluffy duvet. Enjoying the crackle of a fireplace late at night. Reading a good book in the quiet of your home. If any of these sound good to you, then you, my friend, are into hygge. Love the photo above? Check out more of our illustrator Carly Martin's home tour here.

Cue your confused face. Hy-what? Hygge, pronounced “hoo-gah”, is an 18th-century Norwegian word that means “well-being” and focuses on encompassing and enjoying life’s little pleasures. While there is no direct translation into English, it’s best captured in the idea of togetherness, or coziness.

Hygge is demonstrated in the Danish lifestyle, and also incorporated into home decor and interior design. Integrating hygge into your home’s interior is a great way to experience a life that celebrates togetherness and enjoying the good things that life has to offer. As realtors, we notice that a home that reflects Hygge, will often sell faster than one that does not. It's because buyers like to be able to envision themselves in a home that is cozy and welcoming - it's why there is such a thing as virtual staging. Staged photos are much more appealing to prospective buyers than empty rooms. Here are some tip on how to make your home more Hygge.

Keep it Neutral

The first, and most important, tip when creating hygge at home is about keeping a neutral color palette. Creams, light grays, and browns will help make the hygge living room of your dreams. Hygge strikes a balance of harmony and calm, and bold, bright colors detract from that. Natural elements like sisal, rattan, and potted plants will add texture and depth to your space. Our clients Jonathan and Anthony have nailed hygge, you can check out their home tour here. Their home is featured to the right =>

Cozy Up with Candles

Candlelight is everything that hygge is supposed to be. Cozy, warm, and soft. Candlelight evokes a feeling of comfort and relaxation that is impossible to recreate. Whether you integrate clusters of pillar candles or delicate tea lights to your space, adding candlelight will ensure you are well on your way to that hygge life.

Soak in Hygge

Quick showers and stark bathrooms don’t exactly align with hygge. Instead, create a space of relaxation and enjoyment in your bathroom. Encompass a spa-like feel, with a focus on enjoying long soaks in the tub, using fluffy towels and robes, and making the space feel as calm as possible with minimal clutter. A bathroom that we are obsessed with and screams hygge to us is our listing at 1720 N. Campbell in Wicker Park.

Snuggle Up with Softness

What better way to get into the hygge spirit of coziness than with soft, downy textiles. Layers of cushy blankets and piles of plump pillows are an easy way to get into the comforting nesting feeling that comes with hygge. Bonus points if you can create a ‘hyggekrog’, or snug area. A window seat with a view of the outside is the epitome of ‘hyggekrog’, but a comfortable reading nook or

favorite oversized armchair are also great options. We are currently obsessed with this chunky knit hygge blanket from Amazon.

Savor the Old

In keeping with the Danish dislike of waste, hygge honors the idea of incorporating or upcycling used furniture or antiques into your decor. Hygge is not about embodying perfectly curated rooms, it’s about how you feel in your home, and antiques (whether family-owned or purchased) are a way to create personalized vignettes in your home. Not quite sure how to integrate the old and the new to align with hygge? Interior designers near you will have the training and know-how that can help you create hygge in your own home. Here are some Chicago local designers we love working with - Summer Thornton Design and Jessica Margot Design

Hygge is a lifestyle approach that reminds us that there is more to life than the hustle and bustle. Embrace hygge in your home to find a calm and happiness that will resonate. And don’t forget to get hygge with family and friends. Cancel that dinner reservation and invite them in for a home cooked meal and a bottle of wine. We highly suggest snagging a bottle from Red & White Wines Chicago which is a fantastic local wine shop in Bucktown specializing in natural wine from small scale farmers and vignerons. After all, being together is what hygge is all about.


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