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Stay Cozy This Winter With Hygge

You might have heard the word before, but with the winter months closing in, you’ll be hearing it more and more. The word is hygge — pronounced roughly “hoo-guh” — and it comes from Danish. It’s not a word that translates easily to English, but it refers to a general attitude of contentment and well-being by taking pleasure in the simple things in life.

If you’ve ever snuggled up under a blanket with a cup of tea and a book, watching the rain fall outside, you’ve probably experienced hygge without even realizing it. Despite Denmark’s brutal winters, Danish citizens consistently rank as some of the happiest in the world — and they credit hygge for their bliss.

Where Does Hygge Come From?

The word first appeared in print in the early 1800s, derived from a Norwegian word for well-being. Though it’s long been an integral part of life for Danes, hygge’s appeal is spreading to the UK and US.

Books have been published, the New York Times is talking about it, and it’s all over social media. Activity on Pinterest about hygge spiked 285 percent at the end of 2016, and Instagram contains almost four million posts with the hashtag #hygge. People even take to Twitter to discuss what’s hygge and what’s not.

Do Sweatpants Count?

Of course! They even have their own Danish name — hyggebukser are pants that you don’t wear out and about, but can’t wait to get into as soon as you’re home and curled up on the couch.

In fact, the Danes love to add the word hygge to other words to describe things that are hyggelig (hygge-like). A hyggekrog, for example, is a cozy nook like a window seat or comfy chair where you can cozy under a nice blanket and watch the snowflakes fall.

What Else Is Hygge?

Number one on the list for most Danes is probably candles — the Danish burn 13 pounds of candle wax per person per year, more than any other country. Time to turn off those unflattering fluorescents and light some candles.

But it’s not just about candles — you can turn the rest of your home hygge too. Hardwood floors and tiles are cold, harsh, and uninviting. Carpets, on the other hand, are soft and warm on bare feet, and the perfect place for the family to gather up and play a board game or watch a movie together.

As for everything else? Think warm, cozy, calm, and comfortable. Blankets, socks, sweaters — basically anything made of yarn will work — as well as crackling fireplaces, comfy chairs and beds, and the like.

Staring at your phone all day isn’t hygge, unfortunately, so you can’t just hole up by yourself. Togetherness, friendship, and community are all important aspects of the lifestyle. So that means you can watch TV and movies if you want, but invite some friends over! Snuggle with a loved one!

Does your home need a hygge upgrade? Sloane’s has you covered! Upgrade your home to a comfier, cozier floor covering with great deals on Sloane’s carpets. Then when the days get short and the weather gets cold, whip up a cup of hot cocoa and settle in.