Clear vase of white roses and greenery sit with some décor in front of a luxurious tub.

In case you’re new to our little community, hygge (hoo-gah or hyu-gah) is the Danish word for ‘cozy time’. In Canada, things that scream hygge are blankets, candles, and soft pyjamas — anything that makes you feel warm and… well, cozy. When Krista grounded herself in her Icelandic heritage and fell in love with hygge, she knew that Calgary needed a word to describe how we can not only survive but thrive in our eight months of winter. Hygge is that word. But it’s more than cozy things or a trending phrase — it’s a lifestyle.

To live a hygge life, one lives simply. This doesn’t mean you need to be an ultra-minimalist. If lots of things make you feel at home, then artfully arrange them in a pleasing fashion. If a fully-booked calendar makes you feel alive, then energize yourself with those activities. The simple part is taking stock of what matters most to you and surrounding yourself with those things and those people — whether they be few or many.

While Calgary boasts the most sunshiny days in all of Canada, we also experience long, cold winters with many of those sunny days falling below zero degrees Celsius. Though we have access to some of the best winter sports in the world, a lot of our time is spent indoors during the colder months. This contributes to lower levels of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, aka the happy vitamin. When 2020 rolled around, people spent even more time in their homes missing access to the sun, nature and people. Curating spaces that evoke feelings of comfort became more important than ever before.

The hygge focus on mindfulness and connection is intangible. Try as we might to make it so with design elements; it’s more about protecting your time and energy and allowing yourself space to recharge your batteries. Design facilitates that restoration.

So what is happiness to Calgarians? Is it being actively engaged in doing things that bring you closer to your goals? Could it be focusing on the positives in every situation and recognizing that this too shall pass? Is it getting outside and experiencing the outdoors? One person’s measure of joy may be the polar opposite of another’s. Perhaps that’s the beauty that draws us to hygge. It’s a bit of a tailor-made lifestyle, really. As designers and creatives, that’s appealing and also challenging.

Applying hygge to interior design, apart from the given cozy elements, hygge looks at the functionality of the space and careful selection in what we add to it. We are the first stop in your hygge journey. Our connection to you informs the experience as well as the feeling that is imbued in the home. For us, the people who live in the home are the most important element of the design. Yes, using lighter, softer fabrics and natural wood is scientifically proven to light up your brain with pleasure, but your objective and expectations for your space and ultimately, your life, set the tone.

As we are all complicated human beings with varying goals, this approach is holistic and considers your entire life – not just what looks good. That doesn’t hurt either, does it?

Hygge word cloud with many words that can be used to describe hygge.

As we head into a Calgary fall and winter, we hope you have a space that both restores you and allows you to joyously embrace a full life. If your home is not everything you hoped it would be, let’s talk. We would love to delve into what a hygge-focused interior design can do for your life. At Krista Hermanson Design & Construction, we design thoughtfully so you can live fully.

Here are a few other pages to peruse!