Friday, 2 February 2018

A VERY BRITISH HYGGE






When it comes to interiors and decorating, I draw so much inspiration from books and magazines you wouldn't believe. I love browsing through glossy interior magazines in the evening and/or digging into a good interior design book. It's really hard to find the time these days to read books (or to do anything really). Life with two small children and other work commitments means that my days are busy. I'm sure most of  you can relate to this. However, I do believe that reading a good book is a bit like therapy. It's also definitely cheaper than therapy which is why I recommend it to everyone ;)

I was sent this book, A Very British Hygge by Simon Sinclair, to review just before Christmas but it has taken me this long to finally properly read it. Not very 'hygge' of me, I know. Now I know what you're thinking, here's another book on hygge  (the most commonly used 'h' word these days), but if I didn't believe in the concept and the message I wouldn't be going on about it. I do think we could all do with a bit of hygge in our lives and I truly think that the concept of hygge isn't going anywhere at least in the foreseeable future and if you continue reading I will explain why. By the way, if you still don't know what I'm talking about, check how Wikipedia describes 'hygge' here!

So, I'm a Finn (although I've lived in London for over 10 years now) and we kind of have our own hygge going on. We are definitely very different from the Danes and although we are both Nordic countries I think it's important to point out that the two cultures are actually very different. The thing is, the British have their own 'British hygge' going on too and always have. You see, ultimately hygge can be anything that makes you feel more happy. It could be that tea break in the afternoon or a hot bath in the evening once you get a bit of me-time. The best part is that you don't need tons of money in order to hygge. It's quite the opposite actually. Rather than focusing on financial possessions, you should focus on feeling good inside. Makes sense, right?

I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the things I like to do to make my life and home feel hygge. I've been doing these things for years without realising what a huge impact they have on me and my energy levels. 

1) Scented Candles

This one is no surprise. Anyone who knows me knows about my addiction to scented candles. Scented candles (or just candles) can really lift your spirits after a bad or busy day. They definitely help me unwind and they are part of my evening routine now. I wouldn't recommend strong scents though. Go for a subtle scent that is made of high quality ingredients. You will feel relaxed and spoiled at the same time.

2) Natural Light

I'm a real sucker for natural light. I'm so pleased that our house is south east facing because it allows us to bathe in natural light for good part of the day. Also, rooms look bigger and brighter when you let the light in. Our new extension has been a godsend and I love the double doors and the huge velux window. It's definitely my favourite room in the house and it's all thanks to the way natural light flows in through the double doors and large windows.

3) Minimalist Decor

I'm a firm believer that less is more and I try to remember this especially when decorating. My mind is so much clearer when all the clutter is put away. But, I also think that you don't have to go 100%  minimalist when decorating. Stick to simple and timeless furniture designs but do dress the room with more glamorous accessories (that are inexpensive) for more impact.

4) Natural Materials

I've noticed how natural materials, like wool, rattan and sea grass, have a calming effect on me. Natural materials also soften up our contemporary decor and are of course good for the environment.

5) Flowers and Plants

Whether they are faux or real don't skimp on house plants. Olivia from Lust Living did a great piece on this topic recently and it's worth a read if you're not green fingered like me (check out her Serial House Plant Survivors here!)

Can you name five things that will make your life more 'hygge'?

* This is collaborative post with Everest.
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