Ways to make your house feel like a home.
The word on everyone’s lips (If we could say it properly) – Hygge! Its the latest craze in Interiors here in the UK and has always been a way of life in Denmark. Whilst being a craze, the actual values rooted in Hygge are ones that create warmth, calm and a welcoming atmosphere, and that is something we could all use in our lives.
Growing up in a family that always created a welcoming, homely vibe for visitors, I thought I’d look back and see how I was always made to feel ‘at home’ and then give you easy ways for you to create this feeling in your own home, because its not all about material things and having a ‘show home’ perfect look. Interiors are often about putting together an atmosphere; a feeling of being at home.
We had a home where visitors did not have to take their shoes off, they felt like they could go and make themselves a drink, and put their feet up on the sofa without feeling uncomfortable and this is something I have carried through to my own home. I have a large family of Aunties who have always instilled in myself, my sister and our cousins, the art of creating a warm and cosy atmosphere at home, and we all know the importance of what we call ‘not putting on the big light’!
I’ve recently read ‘Hygge – The Danish Art of Happiness’, by Marie Tourell Soderberg and suddenly it all made sense – it basically means finding happiness in the little things. If you haven’t already read it, then go get it. Hygge is popping up all over the place, it’s a huge subject – far too deep for me to go into here, but we are told that “A Hyggelig home embraces you and comforts you. It meets you with an uplifting atmosphere and a feeling of belonging” This totally speaks to me about my home growing up. Its about a feeling, and how your home makes others feel in the space. Jakob Nyholm Jessen sums it up perfectly in saying that his home is inspired by The Hobbit; “Their homes were described as secure bases, with soft armchairs, round windows and large storehouses filled with gifts from friends. Not at all grand.”
Here are some simple ways for you to create a cosy, welcoming vibe in your home…
Candles – Candles, candles and more candles – who doesn’t love a candle, I can’t stop saying candle and now it doesn’t even sound like a real word!! But seriously, they give a warm, romantic glow and immediately give off a relaxing feel. Candles are a very cost effective way to add atmosphere. It doesn’t have to be Yankee, a few simple tea lights in a little holder or lantern can give you the look you want.
Lighting – TURN OFF THE BIG LIGHT! Overhead lighting gives a cold and stark feel to a room and can be very unflattering as it casts the light down, not up. Obviously there will be times when you need an over head light for work or chopping the veg, but there’s no need to have it on in an evening when you’re snuggling on the sofa watching T.V or chatting with friends over a coffee.
Another great way to add warmth is with string lights – these are my new addition from Cable and Cotton – thanks mum! You can get them in all different colours, so can mix and match them to go with your room scheme.
Textures and materials – Natural materials such as wool, stone and wood, along with piles of cushions and blankets give a relaxed, understated look to any room, they easily add interest, texture and colour. Soft furnishings are great for those of you who love a neutral scheme, to add some bold pattern without going too wild. They are great for cosying up in an evening – I am under my blanket every night!!
Little Touches – A large part of giving off a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere is how you act in your own home. Growing up we always had music playing; this can be a great way to relax people and make it clear to guests that your home is their home. Put your feet up, chill with a coffee and they will feel able to do the same. Having recently read our Hygge book, my lovely sister in law added a kettle, mugs and a bowl of chocolates to her guest room and her friends always feel like its a home away from home.
What little touches do you add to make your friends and family feel at home? It doesn’t take much but can go along way…..Have a happy, hyggelig time!!