By Melanie Carden
Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is the foundation of Danish life. Loosely translated, it means cozy and content, but it’s so much more. In this winter series, I’ll explore this concept and offer suggestions on how to “live more hygge.” The word is both noun and adjective—something can be described as hygge (“this old, tattered blanket is so hygge”). Or you can make plans to hygge with close friends and family (“let’s stay in, play board games, and drink mulled wine”).
Denmark—long-known as one of the happiest countries—has built its culture around the importance of rejuvenation through moments of cultivated contentment. From burning candles in their workspace to curating cozy moments in all aspects of everyday life—they prioritize emotional well-being
Taking cues from Meil Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen, and author of The Little Book of Hygge, I’ll cobble together bits of cozy wisdom to help us through this most challenging of winters. Hygge is a feeling, and it requires no expense whatsoever. A favorite chipped mug is just as hygge as a new one. Relish your faded favorites or treat yourself to a coveted frock—but make time in your life to rejuvenate.
Be still and imbibe in a small-batch spirit. Cooper’s Daughter—a New York-based distillery—offers this Black Walnut Bourbon. It is aged in American White Oak barrels but finished in barrels that stored black walnut syrup tapped from the distillery’s own trees. It lingers and is exquisite for fireside sips and tempting toddies. Info: available from doorstep.market.
From the French press to inexpensive drip, coffee is 100 percent cozy. Sip with intention—savor it. Whether you use a dented family-heirloom carafe or this sleek Saeco Xelsis machine made for espresso aficionados —you’ll be on your way to achieving a hygge moment. Bonus: it offers 15 beverage choices, 7 profile options, and near-endless customization. Info: philips.com
From Austria, with love. Stegmann has been handcrafting quintessentially cozy woolen clogs for 130 years. While we applaud Merino wool, the company makes sure that rarer sheep and their fine wools are protected and celebrated. Traditional clogs for men and women—but also a new, dare I say, sexy clog: the Liesel Skimmer.
Being warm—especially when Mother Nature gifts us the wonders of her rain, snow, and winds—is exceptionally comforting. The ingenious minds at Kickee Pants make clothes that eschew restrictive designs and this Sherpa blanket whose destiny is all things hygge. A hearty, hardworking blanket with a gilded-pinecone-wink toward the great outdoors.
YOU, ME & TEA
Sitting with friends, sharing tea—simple, yet restorative. Quiet Sunday afternoon on your own? Light the flame under the kettle and brew a perfect mug of steeped tea leaves. Ensure a steady flow of distinctive blends; allow Sips By to curate the finest selections for you. Info: sipsby.com