From the blog: Ingrid Opstad and the “hygge style” home

Ingrid Opstad is a Norwegian journalist and blogger who lives in Milan. In her blog,, she talks about Scandinavia and the Nordic interior style. In this post Ingrid shares her tips for a hygge style home.

How to create a hygge style home

We need to talk about hygge – have you ever heard about it? Hygge is a Danish word that is deeply rooted in the Scandinavian lifestyle. The concept, which is difficult to translate into one single word, conveys a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality, with feelings of wellness and contentment. In short, it is all about enjoying the simple things in life, which we believe is one of the keys to living a happy life.

When we talk about a feeling of hygge in the home, it means creating a peaceful, serene and inviting space that you will enjoy and feel calm in. This can be achieved with cozy items, such as blankets, pillows, and candles, which help create a calm and warm feeling. But be aware that hygge is not about things – you can’t buy hygge, it’s not that simple – but a matter of atmosphere and feelings.

With that in mind, keep reading if you want some tips on how to create a hygge feeling in your own home.

Discover also a Mediterranean house, Das Haus at imm cologne 2020


Candles for a hygge style

It is not a big secret that hygge and candles go hand in hand. In fact, Danes burn more candles per person than anywhere else in Europe. But why are they so important? Candles help create a cozy and warm atmosphere at home. Candlelight will give your home a soothing, calming feeling and will set the mood easily and quickly. So adding a few candles is a great starting point on your way to achieve a hygge home.


Natural materials

Scandinavian interior is heavily influenced by nature, and we like to incorporate a lot of natural materials in our homes to get a feeling of harmony and connection with the outdoors. Natural elements such as wood and leather create a welcoming and homely touch. Another way to bring nature inside is adding greenery through plants. These natural green additions will help make your house feel fresh and soothing while also helping to clean the air – which is a bonus.

I love adding a mix of real plants, faux plants and dried flowers in my home to add a natural touch.


Calm colour scheme

Stick to a calm colour scheme by adding neutral, muted tones in your living space. By choosing a calming palette of white, beige, greys and lighter tones, you will set the perfect mood for hygge. Since winters are very dark and long in Scandinavia, we often pick light colours in the home to create an open and airy space – especially for smaller houses or apartments. White, light grey or other lighter accent colours on the walls will make it feel inviting and harmonious. But, when talking about a calm colour scheme, make sure you pick shades that make YOU feel calm. For me, for instance, blue and green are very soothing, so I have incorporated them both throughout my home.


Pillows & blankets

One of the easiest ways to add hygge to your home is through textiles like pillows and blankets. And if you ask me; the more the better! Fill your home with comfort and personality by adding pillows in different colours and patterns that suit your home, but remember to keep to a calm colour scheme that will set the tone. I also suggest that you think about textures. For instance, add a few fluffy, furry and chunky knitted pillows and blankets that really scream hygge. Another must-have is cozy blankets and throws to add to the hygge factor in your home. Keep in mind the colour scheme and textures, and make sure you mix them.

Discover also a Mediterranean house, Das Haus at imm cologne 2020

Relaxing music

It is widely known that listening to music can have a relaxing effect on both your mind and body, especially if you choose slow, soothing tunes or simply calming background sounds. It can have a beneficial physiological effect, slowing down the pulse and heart rate, and decreasing stress. Because of this, relaxing music can help create a hygge feeling in your home while boosting your mood.

The scents of memory for a hygge home

Choose a scent that will help bring you that hygge feeling whether it is coffee, chocolate, fresh flowers, citrus, vanilla… you name it. A smell is not just a fragrance, it is just as much a memory, so having at home a scent that brings you back to a pleasant time in your life will help you find hygge. A go-to scent for many when it comes to achieving relaxation is, for instance, lavender, which can help calm the mind and body almost instantly.

To me, one of the coziest scents is cinnamon, which is why I tend to put it on my coffee, buy cinnamon scented candles and bake cinnamon buns as often as I can (or even re-heating ones from the freezer). There is nothing like a home that oozes of cinnamon buns, a common smell in many Scandinavian homes.



As touched upon above, memories are big factors when creating a hygge home as they brings you back to pleasant times in your life. Earlier I spoke about the importance of little things, those moments we have on our own or share with loved ones, whether it be a fun travel moment, a beautiful hike in nature or a particular cozy cafe visit. A hygge home often displays memories – it can be as simple as a photo album or picture frame on the wall, or decor pieces that remind you of happy times. They help you celebrate and remember those moments, and add a personal and happy touch to your home.

I have several items dotted around my house which remind me of my home country Norway, my family and my friends. All these objects bring joy and hygge into my life. For instance, in my bedroom, I have a photo frame full of little moments I have captured and little items I have purchased on trips.

One of the things I cherish deeply in my home and help add hygge is the PH 5 lamp designed by Poul Henningsen, which is in my kitchen here in Italy – a true Scandinavian classic! This exact one used to hang in my parent’s kitchen in Norway when I grew up, so it brings lots of lovely memories around the dinner table. It is all about those little things that help make a home feel special.

Ingrid Opstad


Lastly, I suggest that you create a designated area in your home for hygge – or a ‘hyggekrok’ as we say in Norwegian. This can be your favourite spot in the home; the corner where your favourite comfy reading chair is, the spot on the sofa you prefer staying in while watching TV, or even a nook on your terrace. Make it cozy with all of the above and you will have your own hyggekrok, perfect for snuggling up in on chilly evenings with a coffee, alone or in good company.

Discover also a Mediterranean house, Das Haus at imm cologne 2020

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