Seemingly overnight and as if in a fever dream, the world has been forced to swiftly reckon with such dystopic realities as “social distancing” and “self-quarantine,” as we all navigate this, well, new normal. It’s all about keeping our distance. But the psychological ramifications can be equally chilling. Could there be any better time for “hygge”?
You might have seen this term pop up on trend lists in the last years. Maybe, you spotted twee books on the topic gracing any well-appointed coffee table. What the heck is it? Why is it? To start, how to pronounce it: hue-guh not hoo-gah.
Hygee is a Scandinavian creation and obsession, an ephemeral instance that can happen anywhere or anytime, and in that moment, there is a spark of the charming, of contentment and cozy. While hygge has no direct English translation, it is related to the English word “hug.” It derives from a 16th-century Norwegian term, “hugga,” meaning “to comfort” or “to console.” Modern Danes equate it with a gratitude, relaxation, comfort and indulging in that which nourishes a soulful pleasure.
Like love, you can’t buy hygee. But, let’s face it, a few choice pieces can set the scene. The following selects from our offerings can get you there. All the more reason (with apologies to our Danish team member at A+R) to get hygge with it…