“Everyone can benefit from making their space cozier and warmer,” said Amber Brandt, chief architect of cozy at The Coziness Consultant. The business does interior design work with a major emphasis on contentment, comfort and connection. Her natural knack for fixing trouble spots or eye sores in homes has morphed into everyday hygge happiness.
HYGGE-IFY YOUR HOME
According to Brandt, living a life that is aligned with personal values is key. “The bigger narrative for us is relationships,” Brandt said. Taking care of spaces in the home that are unwelcoming (such as an unfinished dining room) creates cohesion and coziness to live into those larger values. The wintertime can be an especially tough and lonely time, so stocking up on hygge essentials means riding out the cold months with a sunny attitude. Here’s a sample checklist of what you’ll need to find peace.
When it comes to clothing, stock up on flannel and fleece and anything soft like a teddy bear. Thick socks, shearling slippers, scarves, ultra-comfortable pajamas, a robe and mountains of sweaters allow you to be a walking warm fuzzy feeling.
Relax at home with warm drinks like tea (topped with a Stroopwafel perhaps), throw pillows and blankets, and tons of candles. For maximum hygge, there’s “always the larger theme of light,” Brandt said. “Utilize the fireplace and at dinnertime try candles in your home. A simple taper candle has a different level of elegance. Danes usually own a designer lamp for that light aesthetic. Light shouldn’t be jarring, but soothing.”
We time over me time. Hygge is all about connection over the long, cold winter stretches and it makes sense. Plan a game night or a dinner club or any group activity that lets you hunker down yet remain social.
BLUES BE GONE!
Surrounding yourself with soothing, homey comforts is the main tenant of the hygge lifestyle. If cabin fever is closing in, you’re not alone. “I’m affected by what’s happening inside my home,” Brandt said. “If rooms are messy, I feel hectic in my head.” Seek hygge outside, finding ways to get out into the weather that are positive. Go snowshoeing on a wooded hike and forage — it’s very hygge to bring the outdoors inside. Twigs with buds or berries make a lovely winter centerpiece, pine cones or acorns can be turned into a fun garland or stacked neatly in a dish, and greenery feels elegant and earthy, according to Brandt. Appreciate the weather for what it is, connecting with that specific season. Don’t want to venture out? Curl up with a good book and hot cocoa and “do things that are soul feeding, that’ll improve your mood like a hot bath or leaving your Christmas tree up to still have the lights. Dial into those things,” Brandt said.
Brandt, the master of cozy, shared her local hygge hot spots to recharge your spirit.
Sidebar GR: Super dimly lit and tiny, with just a handful of tables and handcrafted cocktails. Feels tucked away.
Art of the Table: With a tagline like “gather around a tasteful spread,” what more can you say? Cheese, chocolate and even taper candles. It’s basically a one-stop hygge shop.
Rebel Reclaimed: We’re huge fans of our neighborhood's Chip and Dann and their curated selection. Candles, mittens, flannel, coffee mugs, planters, and more.
Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge: Tasty drinks and the most cozy little basement seating area you ever did see. A little downtown haven.
The Sovengard: A Scandinavian, shareable menu that honors the seasons, inventive drinks and the kindest wait staff — plus extra points for a beer garden that's hidden from the street! The natural decor and wood make it feel upscale and chic, but super approachable and homey.
HYGGE STARTER KIT
Here’s a prescription for Wild Sage and White Mint tea and time to reflect on life, $13 at Woosah Outfitters.
Faux-fur lining equals real comfort. Slippers from KEEN to schlep around the house, $80 at Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus.
Bask in the glow of a night in with a candle companion in the scent White Birch and Bergamot — combining the best of winter with the promise of spring, prices vary at Wax Poetic Candle Bar.
The sleep set to end all sleep sets! Comfortable tuxedo lounge pants and the Katie Tunic make it hard to change into anything else, $89. Try also the Ada Sweater — a long and lean open front cardigan in a soft, cashmere blend, $158, both at Duffield Lane.