Have you heard of hygge? If not, no doubt you will be hearing about it soon: It was named Pinterest’s number one home and design trend for 2017. A slew of books on hygge have been released in the past year, and more are on the way. There are hygge shops, hygge drinks, hygge websites, hygge vacations, hygge home goods, hygge fashion. You get the idea.

But what the heck is hygge? Better yet, how do you pronounce it? Well, hygge (pronounced either “hou-gah” or “hue-gah,” depending on whom you ask) is a Danish word for a very Scandinavian concept: a feeling of warmth, welcome and coziness that provokes a feeling of a contentment or well-being. There is, in fact, no English word that captures the essence of hygge. No, hygge is a philosophy –- a way of life focused on relishing life’s simple pleasures with family and friends.

Here’s the image most often used to explain hygge: reading a book by the fire while bundled up beneath a hand-knit throw sipping mulled wine with good friends in a candle-lit log cabin. That’s a concept that seems tailor-made for Central Oregon, where immersion in the idyllic natural wonders that are so plentiful here is a common goal. That emphasis on an outdoors-centric lifestyle has helped cement the region’s reputation as a destination location (one key difference: the ‘mulled wine’ here is more likely to be an ice-cold local IPA).
So how to infuse your home with hygge? Aside from the obvious (crank up the fire, whip up some cocoa), here are a few suggestions:

  1. Add candles –- lots of them. Everywhere. Just make sure they’re unscented (there’s nothing serene about a blast of Patchouli or Pomegranate Spice).
  2. Pile on rich texture – opt for natural materials (especially wood, stone and copper), chunky knit accents, nubby wool or faux fur rugs, a suede or velvet sofa.
  3. Keep it simple – banish clutter; focus on clean lines and organic shapes.
  4. Create a sanctuary – also known as a ‘hyggekrog,’ it’s a spa-like bath or a cozy little nook ideal for curling up with a good book.
  5. Make it serene – Skip the Belizean Blue and Acid Green; stick with soft hues and tonal mixes instead.

About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.