Hygge (pronounced “Hoo-guh”) is a Danish word which far from having a single translation is an umbrella term for the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures - friends, family, graciousness, contentment, good feelings, a warm glow; in short a sense of well-being! It actually originates from a Norwegian word meaning well-being and found its way into Danish writing in the 18th century.
Hygge is intrinsic to the Danish lifestyle - the long cold winters and up to 17 hours of darkness mean spending a lot of time indoors staying warm and cosy! It works best when there is not too much empty space around you - an intimate space - in which you can feel cosy, relaxed and try to forget life's worries - concentrating on the moment and sharing basic pleasures with family or friends, often over coffee, beer, pastries or other treats.
Now I do love good coffee and I also love baking - below are some of my homemade specialities: pizza dough, various breads from schwarzbrøt to plain white baked twice weekly and every Christmas - a huge Stollen! We haven't bought bread for about ten years now and I can definitely say it is one of the finer things in life to be savoured and enjoyed.
I'm not much of a cook but I love to bake.
So why am I waffling on about hygge you may ask? Well, I think it coincidentally explains a central part of my design ethos which has manifested itself in totality with the NestHouse.
It's not hard to locate the Scandi inspiration in its colourful painted wooden form - both externally and internally. But I now realise that my Scandi-phile tendencies are rather more innate - keep life simple, enjoy the basics and above all be content. This is a required mindset anyway for micro-living, because there have to be compromises - but this is why the small house movement is gaining traction with those who find the many artificial pressures of modern life to be rather pointless and exhausting.
I have to say that I have been overwhelmed by the reactions and feedback of visitors to the NestHouse. My holistic approach to design form and function within a small footprint has definitely spoken to them. It is compact and cosy yet at the same time light and airy, moreover there is an indefinable atmosphere which makes one NOT want to leave it. Sounds like hygge to me!