You’ve probably heard of the Danish practice of Hygge (‘hoo-gah’) pronounced many different ways! It centres around creating simple moments of indulgence, like sipping wine by the fire, reading a good book on a rainy afternoon or squeezing in 30 minutes of morning yoga before work.
Over the past 10 years, Hygge has become more popular internationally and the interiors world in particular has focused on Denmark for its sleek design inspiration.
If you'd like to create a Hygge atmosphere at home, one of the simplest ways is investing in the right lighting. It’s all about that warm glow that makes you want to get cosy, relax and either enjoy your own company in a comfortable chair, or spend time chatting and entertaining loved ones.
Have a read to learn about some of our top tips on using lighting to create hygge in your home.
Choose The Right Bulb!
With so many different bulbs on the market at the moment, the shelves full of lighting jargon in DIY store can be overwhelming. So, what you need to know about creating a hygge atmosphere at home is that it’s all about that warm glow. Introducing Kelvin, no it's not your long lost cousin, It’s the colour temperature that’s given off by a bulb. You might have seen it written as ‘K’ on the bulb packet. The higher the Kelvin the whiter the light. Sally Storey, creative director of John Cullen lighting, recommends the highest kelvin used for a living space should be 2700. The colour temperature of a fire is around 2000 kelvin, so the closer you can get to that warm, flickering sunset feeling the more of a relaxing environment you'll create.
It’s important to invest in good bulbs, like you do with you curtains, as lighting makes or breaks an interior and really transforms a space, a warm glow leaves you feeling happy and a bright light can make you feel flat. LED bulbs are a little more expensive than others on the market (e.g incandescent, fluorescent or halogen). But, they use up to 80% less energy than the others, meaning you’ll be replacing them less often and saving money in the long run. The bulb itself doesn’t get hot either which is a bonus if you’ve got inquisitive little ones at home. Now to determine the brightness you want, look at the ‘lumens’ on the packet instead of the wattage. For a lamp with a particular task, you’ll want more lumens e.g at least 450 lumens for a reading light, the higher the lumens the brighter the light.
For a cosy, relaxing atmosphere we’d recommend a 4-6 watt LED bulb which emits a maximum of 500 lumens.
Mix It Up
Our living areas are used for many different purposes from reading, to chatting and playing, so the lighting you have needs to be adaptable.
Bright, harsh light from above doesn’t help create a hygge atmosphere. So where possible, in the evenings, have your ceiling light turned off and create little pockets of warmth elsewhere in the room.
Thoughtfully place a floor lamp, table lamp and wall lights in your room which can be used to zone the space as needed. The glowing ambiance this generates at different heights around the room is the perfect setting to create your hygge moments!
Favour Natural and Raw Materials
The Danes use a lot of plain, natural materials in their homes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be colourful. A mixture of wood, glass and ceramic bases help to create an eclectic, lived in look. The curvaceous shape of our coloured and clear glass bases are real statement pieces in a room as the warm reflection from the bulb onto the glass base below creates such a cosy glow! Glass, although man made, is created from an abundance of raw, and natural materials and what’s better is our bases are made from recycled glass.
Another classic and timeless option, if you prefer something a little plainer, is our white ceramic base, Carne. It has a lovely, slightly ribbed texture which gives it a unique and rustic look.
One of our most popular floor lamps is the Longships wooden tripod, it has a really sleek, coastal style and it looks great paired with any of our 45 cm lampshades.
Stand it beside an armchair or sofa in the corner of a room and it creates the most welcoming little reading nook.
Create Cosy Pockets
As the season changes, autumn/winter is the perfect time to rethink how you use your living space. Dividing your room up into different sections, such as adding a little side table to go beside your sofa to place a lamp on.
Or, even invest in a floor cushion you flop into with a glass of wine or a good book, which when paired with the perfect lamp beside it, creates such an inviting little space.
You can also use candles to make little pockets of cosiness, there isn’t much more enticing to a room than the beautiful scent and flickering glow of our bone china scented votives. Personally, we don’t think you can ever have too many candles in a room. What’s great is that they’re so easy to move around your home, which means you can carry a little piece of hygge wherever you decide to un-wind!
Creating hygge in your home is simple, just cue the warm lights, get cosy and get back to basics. Think about the time before we used to sit and anxiously scroll through our mobiles, squinting at the white screen glare and looking anti-social. Play board games, cards, have a meaningful conversation or re-read your favourite book. It’s about the small pleasures which you can enjoy all the more when surrounded by the perfect lighting.