About Hygge – What Is it?

Hygge House

The Danish word hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary; whether it’s making coffee a verb by lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to lighting a candle with every meal.

Some refer to Hygge as the Art of Creating Intimacy (with yourself, friends and home). Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of Hygge.

Technology and modern day busy-ness has removed so many of us from ourselves, our homes and ordinary tasks, making them feel as though these things are hard to do, have no importance or are too time-consuming. It’s stopped us from being authentic and conscious. Hygge is about celebrating reality and present.  

Danes are the happiest nation in the world for good reason – they make enjoyment a priority and take the time to celebrate/acknowledge simple, wonderful moments (like meals, visiting, being active or even just sitting by the beach) that nourish the soul. They find ways to incorporate hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event.

By creating simple rituals without effort {such as brewing real tea with a little china cup every evening to stopping at the flower shop every week} the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an art form and not every drudgery to get away from. Hygge is about being present and recognizing (and enjoying) the moment.

Think of it as what chic is to the French; a lifestyle that can explain a table top to a dinner party to a charming house or a personal way of being. Basic, uncomplicated, un-exaggerated – Hygge!


About Alex Beauchamp

alex beauchamp of hygge houseAn Aquarius who doesn’t believe in astrology, Alex is passionate about sharing information, living well, and dresses (not necessarily in that order). Her bike is her preferred mode of transportation, as is good linens over jewellery and baking to cooking. She gardens for the cut flowers (peonies, tuberose, sweet peas), shops only when necessary, and dreams about sleeping for more than four hours at a time. She adores Thursdays, small houses (1000sf is her best friend), tea, hats and glossy home mags.

She grew up on a farm in a small town to a Danish mother and French father who were as creative as they were practical. Her clothes were hand made, toys were built out of wood, vegetables were grown in the yard not because it was hip but because that’s what one did. She was a tomboy who loved pretty things too. This meant she fished in petticoats, played sports in skirts, built forts then decorated with linens and helped her parents renovate houses by choosing paint colours and carpet.

A true vagabond, Alex left home at 18 to travel the world and has since lived all over it including France, Denmark, New Zealand, Cayman Islands, UK, and Canada. In 1999 she immigrated to America and has lived all over it: Franklin Tennessee, Bowling Green Kentucky, Seattle Washington, Austin Texas, Philadelphia Pennsylvania but and Santa Monica California.

Hygge House was created in 2004 as a way for Alex to connect back to her Danish roots because truthfully, she considers herself more French in style, culture and decor! This site is aimed at talking about the chic and cosy from both sides and to help make the ordinary day, extraordinary.

As of July 2014, Alex resides in a 1940′s home on a tree-lined street in San Francisco, California.


Other sites by Alex

I created my first web site in 1995 and have been a staple online ever since, creating award-winning online community driven sites that connect, inspire & encourage idea sharing. You can learn more about my work and what I do on my company site, GirlatPlay. My other projects are:

site-anothergirlatplay site-anywhereeverywhere site-alexthegirl

FAQ

Hygge House is run on WordPress using the Serendipity Theme as a base. Web hosting is on Dreamhost, which I’ve used (and loved) since 1998 for several major web sites and can’t say enough about their service. They’re inexpensive and make hosting wordpress sites easy.

Photos:
I believe in originality and ownership of work which is why 99% of the content is by me and the 1% comes from friends who are credited. Please do not use images and/or text without permission.

Disclosures

Hygge House is not a job for me – it’s a personal project that I do because I enjoy it. I began blogging long before you could make money and get free stuff so that’s never been my motivation. I also am not paid to write posts or talk about products – this is an ad free blog. If I share something I like, you can trust that I really do.

I work for AirBNB so I’ll talk about that from time to time. I began using them to travel almost 3 years before I joined the company. So again, you can believe that if I talk about them, it’s because I really, really do love them.