In its native Denmark, hygge (pronounced hoogah) is a national obsession. Roughly translated as coziness, hygge might mean snuggling up in front of a roaring fire with a good book, candlelit nights watching dark police procedurals, or walking in the rain with your beloved. Comfort foods such as casseroles and porridges are hygge, as are warm beverages like glogg, a Danish spiced wine.
Hygge is both part of the #selfcare movement and a backlash against it. It's about creating intimacy and coziness, comfort and simplicity, not about showing off. Hygge is about homespun experiences and objects enjoyed alone or with close friends and family; special moments that are not likely to be social media-worthy. "Hygge can be used as a noun, adjective, verb, or compound noun, like hyggebukser, otherwise known as that shlubby pair of pants you would never wear in public but secretly treasure," writes for Anna Altman for The New Yorker.
Unsurprisingly, the cozy obsession has crossed Danish borders: The U.K 's Collins English Dictionary named hygge one of its top 10 words of 2016; Oxford Dictionaries short-listed hygge (which it defines as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being); and, also according to The New Yorker, at least six books about hygge were published in the United States in 2016.
The good news is, you don't need fancy labels to practice this trend. Wool socks knitted by Auntie Irma are just as hygge (perhaps even more so) than the cashmere ones you'll find in boutiques. But, of course, you can also hygge in style. Here's some inspiration from Bay Area purveyors.
*This article has been updated since it was originally published on Jan 26, 2017.
The Look: Modern Goes Soft
Every hygge practitioner needs a proper hyggekrog (cozy den)—your very own hobbit hole of tranquility. Envision the space with Danish-inspired furnishings. In light gray Lux Felt fabric, Bo Concept's Fusion chair ($3,498) is the living room's version of your favorite old sweatshirt. // Bo Concept, 1 Rhode Island St. (SoMa), https://www.boconcept.com/en-us/fusion