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What Is Hygge?

What Is 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

An 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. She immigrated to America in 1999 and currently lives in Santa Monica, California with her little dog Scout.

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.

Online since 1987, Alex has been creating award-winning blogs and community sites since 1995. She’s lead social media and content efforts for Disney, Anthropologie, Red Envelope, UGG Australia, Paramount, and  Airbnb.

General Policies & Advertising

What’s your policy on advertising and affiliate linking?

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 has always been an ad free blog so if I share something I like, you can trust that I really do.

I do, however, sometimes use an Amazon affiliate link in my posts. Meaning, if you click on it and purchase something, I can get a credit for that. But I don’t write posts based on those link and are added only after a post has been written and make sense for that post.

I have a 100% transparency policy when it comes to my blog content—you never need to wonder if I am being compensated to write about something. If any content is sponsored or otherwise compensated, that fact will be made abundantly clear. Views expressed are my own opinion, and no one determines the content of my posts but me. I am very good at saying no.

Can I use your photos on my blog?

Yes but please use only the photo(s) and not the entire entry. And please make sure to credit the photos clearly with “Photo by Alex Beauchamp” or “Photo from Hygge House” and link back directly to the specific post (permalink) you took them from.

Will you blog about my product?

Maybe! I’m not a product review site and I generally don’t write posts just about products. But that being said, if you have something you think would be interesting to share, contact me. But please bear in mind that unless I think it’s the right fit, I won’t be able to get back to you. I unfortunately don’t have the time to respond to all emails even though I do read them all.

Technical, Blog & Design

Who designed your blog?

I did! Well, technically I customized a WordPress theme from Themeforest. I’m a huge believer in both WordPress (have used since 2002) and Themes (have used since 2012). Currently, I’m using Florence by Solopine. I love Solopine’s themes the most.

I host my wordpress blog on Dreamhost. I’ve been a loyal customer since 1999 and run all my blogs with them. They’re inexpensive, they offer a lot of great services and their support has saved me (and the blogs) more than once. If you sign up and use the promo code ‘hygge’ you’ll save 19% on a year’s worth of hosting. Trust me, they make it very easy to do.

Will you design my blog?

No, I don’t do web design at all.

What kind of camera do you use?
  1. Before 2015, I used the Canon Rebel T3  with the 35mm f/2 wide angle lens, 17-40 f/4 Ultra Wide Angle Zoom lens and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Telephoto Lens.
  2. In December 2014 I bought the Sony 6000 to have something lighter and easier to carry whilst travelling and I love it! Also, I wanted to start shooting more video and a lot of vloggers use this for that purpose.
  3. I sometimes use presets from Set I from Rebecca Lilly or VSCO.

Home & Personal

What paint colors did you use in your house?

I am a huge lover of Benjamin Moore’s “White Dove” paint. If you see a white room, that’s the colour. If you see a blue/grey paint, it’s Benjamin Moore’s “Paper White” which is another favourite.

Where do you live?

As of July 2015, back in Santa Monica. This is my 4th time moving back here.

I have lived in: Denmark, England, France (Chinon), Canada (Lake Louise, Banff, Vancouver), New Zealand (Wellington, Dunedin, Queenstown), America (Seattle WA, Kirkland WA, Bowling Green KY, Franklin TN, Santa Monica CA, San Diego CA, Santa Barbara CA, Carmel by the Sea CA, San Francisco CA, Philadelphia PA, Austin TX).

I’ve chronicled some of Hygge House Homes.

Why do you move so much?
Good question! Since I was 18 I’ve lived in over 50 homes and since 2005 I’ve lived in 16. When I was younger I just wanted to travel and worked seasonally around the world. As I’ve become older I get recruited by companies to lead their content and social media teams so I’ve been moving since 2004 for work.

What kind of dog is Scout St Charming and how did you get her?

Scout St CharmingScout is some kind of Jack Russel Terrier Mix. She was born in 2012 and was seen living on the streets for the first two months of her life. Because she was so small and fast, no one could catch her. But luckily a DAWG caught her. I went into the shelter looking for a large, male, older dog and I randomly saw her as they had just brought her in. It was literally love and first sight and I brought her home the next day.

I never thought I’d love a little dog but she’s the perfect travel companion.

Where do you get your hair done?

Since 2005 I’ve seen the amazing Tracey Cunningham in Los Angeles for colour. I’m a natural blonde but I go in about every 4 or 5 months for some highlights put in. I have superfine hair so colour for me gives me lift and I just like it a little lighter around my face. For cuts, there’s no one better than Cole Hererra. He keeps long hair long and knows how to deal with us curly girls.

What are your favourite shops and sites?

See my favourite here.

What are your favourite things to do in Denmark?

I’m slowly getting around to writing all of this but you can see my favourite things to do in Copenhagen here.