The Danes love candles, fireplaces, warm bulky knits and homes that are cozy and inviting.
All of these little things encourage pursuit of the Danish lifestyle, and influence their happiness at home and work, with family and friends, and time spent quietly on their own. They call it hygge (hoo-gah) and they use the word a lot. It is used in reference to all the simple pleasures in life.
The window seat, where you curl up with a book or journal is called a hyggekrog. There is a book about it called, The Little Book of Hygge written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute (yes that’s a real job!). Sweet and unassuming in appearance, the book actually delves into important matters, like the real emotional satisfaction people can get from the simplest little things.
Hygge has become a buzzword in the interior design world, and as it refers to design, it covers a lot of ground. You find it, obviously, everywhere in the Ikea stores, but it has expanded to permeate other popular aesthetics. It has counterparts in other countries as well.
In Norway they have koselig. The Dutch use the word gezellig. Lagom in Sweden, is similar, but a bit less about coziness and more about tasteful moderation, being comfortable with just enough. The architectural implications, however, are similar in all of them: serene uncluttered spaces, muted colors, lots of natural light, raw linen, wood furniture, strategically placed modern light fixtures, handmade crafts, fireplaces and warm and cozy accessories.