As the weather starts cooling off in many places around the country, our desire for comfort and coziness tends to increase. Do you know what that means? It’s time to get your hygge on!

This year, it may be more important than ever to learn to celebrate life’s simple pleasures and prioritize comfort. With our homes becoming where we’re living so much of our lives these days, we’re seeking comfort and coziness like never before—and rightfully so!

scandinavian interior design

What is Hygge?

What is hygge (pronounced hue-gah), exactly? It’s a Danish concept that’s all about embracing life’s simple pleasures, with a focus on comfort. It’s a fundamental part of the Danish culture—and really, Scandinavian culture at large. Though it’s something Scandinavians embrace year-round, it’s especially important for them to prioritize hygge in the long, dark months of winter, where the days are short and the nights feel long.

And a lot of what it looks like to celebrate a sense of hygge at home has to do with interior design and decorative elements. So, there’s no better place to look for inspiration than Scandinavian interior design. Scandinavian design is all about beauty, simplicity, and functionality—often through a celebration of natural materials. Homes decorated with a Scandinavian aesthetic are light and bright, simple and uncluttered. But with this leaning toward minimalism, there’s also a deep sense of coziness and livability. So, there are some definite rustic design ideas at play, especially in the materials. In Scandinavian style, the furniture itself features natural materials like stone, woven materials, and light wood finishes. And all of these design features are a great place to start when it comes to incorporating elements of hygge into your home.

How to Get the Hygge Look in Your Home

Ready to incorporate some hygge into your own home? We’re breaking down the key elements of hygge interior design and how you can both embrace the mentality and get it in your own space!

scandinavian interior design1. Create a Sense of Calm

Hygge is all about comfort and coziness. To create a sense of calm in your home, start with a neutral color palette that is high-contrast. Take a cue from Scandinavian interior design and opt for bright whites and lots of natural light, which will make it easier to relax. But to keep this high-contrast palette from feeling too bold, incorporate browns and off-whites to help soften the feel of the room.

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2. Layer Textures and Materials

When it comes to choosing furniture, materials, and design elements, a hygge home calls for rustic materials in simple forms. Natural woods add a rustic, homey flair and create a sense of bringing the outdoors in. But make sure these pieces are clean-lined with a focus on practicality and comfort. Adding plush and textural elements around will balance out clean-lined furniture and create a warm sensory experience. Faux-fur pillows, woven area rugs, knit tapestries, and sheepskin throws add coziness and texture to all levels of the space.

But there are tons of other rustic textures at play in this space too—smooth leather, heavy drapery, shiplap, brick, layered rugs, woven baskets. All of this layering adds visual interest and pulls you into the space.

scandinavian interior design
3. Embrace Simplicity

When it comes to styling bookcases and tabletops, keep things simple and cater to the sweet delights of home—with books and plants, and perhaps a few baskets for small organizations. Not only does this simplicity help bring in that Scandinavian, minimalist aesthetic, but it promotes relaxation by keeping your space uncluttered. But you can also layer in cozy decor

that focuses on comfort—like vases for flowers, poufs for kicking up your feet, and trays for your coffee or tea. While simplicity is key to this look, adding moments of joy and delight are just as important!

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scandinavian interior design
4. Establish Some Ambiance

When it comes to embracing hygge, it’s important to remember that fireplaces and candles aren’t just for decoration. For some major cozy vibes and ambiance, you have to light them! In this living room, the fireplace is the main focal point of the space. Celebrate that by lighting a fire on cool evenings, and cozying up with a book on the sofa or piling floor cushions and poufs on the floor in front of the fireplace and chatting with a loved one. If you don’t want to worry about cleaning the flue, or if your fireplace isn’t sound, you could always layer in a collection of large pillar candles and light them as a pseudo-fireplace that still adds a cozy element to the space!

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scandinavian interior design

5. Create Cozy Corners

We love the idea of creating smaller moments of coziness within a larger space. So, whether it’s in a bedroom, den, or a living room as pictured above, create a cozy corner for some solo relaxation. Start with a chair where you can curl up. We opted for one that’s a mix of Scandinavian and Rustic design, with a clean and simple Mid-Century frame and rustic, black worn leather cushions—great for a hygge-style living room. We layered a faux sheepskin rug underneath for keeping your toes cozy and warm, and surrounded it with baskets, books, and candles to add to the sense of coziness. This creates a special space to sit that feels almost cocooned within the larger room.

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scandinavian interior design

6. Gather Around the Table

Making food and gathering for meals is a wonderful way to celebrate life’s simple pleasures and embrace hygge year-round. So, giving some special attention to your dining area is key. An intimate and approachable dining area might look different for everyone—but we opted to lean on a Scandinavian design aesthetic for this space as a nod to Danish living. The table is modern and clean-lined, but with antiqued metal framing and a natural wood finish. The wishbone chairs with woven seats add that hygge textural element in the signature Scandinavian maple wood. The woven pendant adds another simple but textural element, while—along with the hutch— also adding contrast to the space. Everything is clean-lined and purposeful—all about adding small elements of joy to the space.

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scandinavian interior design7. Center Yourself with Coziness and Warmth

To add coziness and warmth, we layered in a small sheepskin rug under the table, hung heavy drapery on the windows, and added plenty of candles on the table. The table setting may seem busy at first glance, but the wooden serving bowls and simple dinnerware are practical but considered, and the candles and greenery add ambiance. In a hygge home, a dining room’s design is all about centering yourself around the meal and conversation happening at the table—whether you’re entertaining or just enjoying a family meal.

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