What is hygge, exactly? | Hygge Prints by Caroline Jensen

What is hygge, exactly?

This image is inspired by the book, The Nightengale, by Kristin Hannah. I was inspired to create this image by a character in the book who engaged her creativity to solve a problem of lack of coffee during wartime occupation. She industriously made coffee out of acorns. This photo made me think of hygge because the comfort of a warm drink on a cold day was worth the effort. It was worth the fight to bring some semblance of normalcy and comfort to a situation that lacked both. That is the heart of hygge...nurturing that which is meaningful and fosters contentment. 

It is pretty easy to come up with a quick definition for hygge, which is mostly true. The trouble is, most definitions are a bit...well, shallow. Pinterest is loaded with hygge pins and YouTube is full of videos that list ten ways you can add that hygge-vibe to your home, but many lack the depth that the word deserves. It isn't just decorating and it isn't just a color scheme. 

Hygge is not a season, although winter is often the focus. Having 100% Danish heritage and growing up in one of the coldest spots on the planet, I can safely say that hygge is something we instinctually desire...comfort in a hard and cold world. Hygge is often associated with winter, because let's be honest, we are just trying to survive it with our humor intact!

When I think of hygge, I ask myself this question. What would I have to do, see, or experience, right now, that would make this moment comfortable? It might be heated car seats on a -30F morning, or the morning I wake up and see my peonies blooming. I feel very hyggelig after I getting rid of clutter or cleaning my floors. It might be my husband giving me a long neck rub when my ear starts ringing or a long bath when my muscles ache. It might be all my kids eating a meal together with us (with no one angsty). Hygge is that upward movement that balances the negative in our lives, and it looks different for each person. 

This site is dedicated to art that makes me feel happy, and I hope you will find some pieces that make you feel happy too. Art is a very visceral and tangible thing. When you find a piece that makes you sigh or smile, then you know you have found a piece that will help encourage hyggelig moments. A great art piece will help you to set the stage for peace....a visual cue that it's time to slow down and unwind.

Creating a Hygge-inspired space doesn't have to be expensive. I found a set of Tencel sheets on clearance the other day and I am IN LOVE. It might be a  perfect, thrifted coffee mug, or a lamp your grandfather made. It’s all very personal. 

Here is a quick photo tip: Print your Hygge Prints art on metallic paper, pop them into a thrifted or vintage frames, and place  candle jars in front. The soft glow of the candles will reflect on the metallic surface for extra sparkle. You can learn more about metallic paper HERE and at Color Inc. Photo Lab. 




Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.