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Hygge Tips for a Happy Home (II)

Have you tried our five first hygge tips for a happy home? Here you have five more keys:

  1. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. The hygge culture is about creating an environment that make us happy at home. And one way to do it is to surround yourself with things that remind you of good times. It can be a photo gallery of your trips. Or maybe an inherited closet with wood smell that carries you to your grandmother’s house every time you open it.
  2. Don´t spend money without thinking. The Danes aren´t wasteful. They usually save to buy good furniture or design pieces, rather than buying something that does not really fascinate them just because it is cheap or has a discount.
  3. House in order. An organized house not only improves the physical space, it also improves our inner space, our mind. How are you going to be happy if you lose 10 minutes each morning looking for the keys before you leave? The first step to achieving a tidy and happy home is to “edit” our belongings. Only objects that make us happy or are useful should be left. The second step is to invest in good storage solutions. So you can have everything organized and get a quiet space by removing from sight those things that create visual mess.

A large shelf helps keep everything in order, a key to hygge. Via: The Style Files

  1. Create at least one hyggekrog (a special corner where you feel happy) in your home. For some people it will be a comfortable armchair next to the fireplace where to read quietly. But for other people, the hyggekrog will be a walk-in closet where organize clothes and accessories, a wall with family photos or a perfectly organized desk to work from home in front of a window.
  2. Find time for your tribe… Good company is the essence of hygge and a happy home. Leave the cell phone aside and turn off the TV, to enjoy a nice evening with popcorn and movie with your children. Or gather your friends to share a delicious dinner and a good chat.

 A happy home is shared with good friends. Via: The Jungalow

Is hygge the reason why the Danes are the happiest in the world? Surely they are surprised when they see that many foreigners try to copy their houses with candles, wool plaids and Nordic-style decorations, without understanding that hygge is much more. It´s a (good) lifestyle, a way to create a happy home and share it with others.

If you liked this post, surely you are interested in Decalogue of Wabi Sabi Decoration

Hygge Tips for a Happy Home (I)

“Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life”, said Benjamin Franklin. So it is likely that happiness will find us at home, if we do our part to have a happy home …

The Danes use a word, “hygge”, difficult to translate, which means something like “happy people in a cozy home”. Hygge does not refer to a particular style of decoration, but to an attitude in and towards our house. To understand it, think of this: in the catalogs of the Swedish decoration giant, what exactly do you like: the furniture or the cozy staging, where we always see people enjoying their home?

Every happy home has a ‘hyggekrog’, a cozy area like this, with two Hilton armchairs. Via: El Mueble

Here are the hygge keys for a happy home:

  1. Make decoration important to you and your family. It is no coincidence that the Danes have exported to the world their style of decoration and their concept “hygge”. Although not all scandinavian homes are like those we see in magazines or catalogs, most families put a lot of interest in interior design and feel proud of their houses.
  1. Teach children to respect the home. We can not prevent children from being children and having toys, stories and a lot of things not always ordered. No problem while all that mess is left in their space and they do not conquer the whole house. A Swedish friend told me that she does not understand why many people fill the entire living room with toys. And she told me that she is even more surprised when this people say “This is a Nordic habit” … “In Sweden we try to teach our children that they should respect the home and the spaces of adults.”

Maximize natural light. Via: ELLE Decor.

  1. Maximize daylight. A bright house lift our mood. However, the Danes only have four sunshine hours per day during the winter. The trick? Maximize natural light as much as possible. The Scandinavian interior design, always luminous, rests on colors such as off-white or sand, that are warm whites, not too cold or gray. You can also use strategically placed mirrors, to maximize the views of a window or to put light into a dark corner.
  1. Pamper the little details. Since it’s the little details that make us happy, a happy home does not need to be a mansion. On the contrary, too much luxury does not help to “hygge”. Make the most of your house and take care of the details. If you don´t have a fireplace, use candles, a classic of the Scandinavian decor, because they fill the house with magic. Good music, warm light, fragrances for the home… Pamper your home and your home will pamper you.
  1. Make it green. Those with a green thumb surely have a lot of plants at home. If you do not have a green thumb, do not give up: try succulents or plants like ficus. And if your hand is black instead of green… fresh flowers are your thing. In any case, a little greenery makes a happy home and lift your mood.

Plants and flowers lift the mood. Chairs and footrests are by Blasco & Blasco. Via: Nuevo Estilo

Next week we´ll continue with more keys for a happy home.

The ‘Wow Effect’ in decoration

The “Wow Factor” applies to many areas, and is especially interesting in interior design. This happens when you go into a house, hotel or any room and exclaim “Wow!”… But defining the concept remains difficult. The wow effect has nothing to do with glitter, ostentation or splurge. It’s more about surprise, feelings or personality. It is not related to money or how wonderful the house is. The proof: Have you ever been in a house with amazing architecture or wonderful views, decorated in such a way that destroys the wow effect?

Huge lamps multiplies the wow effect in this dining room. Via: Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Without personality there is no wow effect. Houses decorated without personality are those that resemble each other or those that are only functional. And your house will be predictable and monotonous if it is “furnished” from any one single store, be that IKEA or an expensive brand. The good news is that personality is not about money, so it never appears on a budget.

Here are five real ways to get the wow effect in a room:

Artwork. Turning a piece of artwork into the center of attention is an infallible way to achieve the wow effect. Display it without having to compete with the color of walls, furniture or decorative objects. Your piece of artwork will attract all eyes on an all-white wall.

The oil painting is from Kiran Dufault, a friend of the house owner. It stands out on the white wal. The two simple Ikea lockers are also white. Via: New York Times

Wallpaper. Wallpaper wastes personality. We don´t mean the patterns of little flowers or polka dots popular in grandmothers’ houses, but those of bigger designs, textured and with decorative force. With them, the wow effect is guaranteed.

  The wallpaper by NLXL makes us feel like we’re in a greenhouse. It´s distributed in Spain by Blasco & Blasco.

 Exceptional objects. Items created in series do not contribute much to the wow effect. Decoration gains interest with exotic finds brought from travels (souvenirs are not worth), street markets finds, family inheritances… With unconventional things that tell a story.

Here you will not find a single conventional object… Via: Pinterest

 Painting. This is a good way to achieve the wow effect and a refreshing solution for walls and furniture. It’s like magic at an affordable price. However, finding the right color requires effort, documentation and perhaps proffesional advice. Pinterest can help you select the color and give you an idea of ​​the final result.

The green wall makes more interesting this living room. A courageous and wise decision by Ann Lowengart

Plants and flowers. The goal is to bring nature inside. Flowers and plants have enormous decorative appeal and improve our mood, so always achieve the wow effect. Play with scale, the current trend requires large indoor plants, even trees, such as Fiddle-leaf fig.

A big Fiddle-leaf fig gets a huge wow effect. Via: Apartament Therapy

 Of course, these views have the wow effect, but decoration can do it in any room in your home. A good example is this children’s room below. Some shelves that cover the entire wall showing colorful children’s books and achieve a “Wow”.