"Hygge": the Danish concept of comfort and contentment. It's taken the world by storm in recent months, being declared a Word of The Year for 2016 (although the idea first emerged in the 18th Century) and spawning no fewer than eight books in short order. This should hardly be surprising; what's not to love about the idea of making the ordinary more beautiful, of indulging in the day's small pleasures and making the most of those pockets of calm nestled amidst the roar of contemporary life? It boasts such influence that doctors in Denmark even prescribe it as a cure for the common cold.
Part of the popularity of the concept comes from it being so accessible. Creating the sensation of hygge doesn't require strenuous effort or vast expense - quite the reverse. A few simple additions to your home and your daily rituals are all that's needed to set up those soothing moments and make life a little more beautiful.
Gentle pools of light
If you've heard of hygge before you'll probably know that candles are an extremely important part of the discipline (Danes actually get through more candles per person than any other country in Europe). Whether burning in the background while you sip a coffee or casting a gentle glow over the dinner table, they soften the edges of any activity and make everything a little more cosy. You'll often find a few of our Deko candles flickering away throughout the shop to this effect. Light in all its forms plays a key role in hygge. In order to make a room feel relaxed and warm, table lamps can be artfully located to cast gentle pools of light that are easy on the eye. We're particularly fond of lamps at Cotswold Grey and pair them with natural linen and silk shades to add a luxurious touch. A favourite is the Tierlantijn Silvio lamp; its hand-thrown ceramic base brings a softening touch to any room and speaks of both craft and attention to detail.
Natural materials are never far away in a moment of hygge. Whether it's a sheepskin draped over a favourite armchair or a piece of wooden furniture, they keep things elegant and uncomplicated. Linen placemats and napkins give any table a makeover and Broste's hand-glazed contemporary dinnerware is beautiful as well as functional. Here in a nutshell is the whole idea behind hygge - elevate the everyday into something that brings you genuine pleasure and satisfaction.
Create a beautiful home
At Cotswold Grey we're driven by the desire to create a beautiful home that enhances your daily life, so we've taken to hygge like ducks to water. We've just added a new section dedicated to it on our website, so take a look to see how you can add its soothing effect to your own interiors. Better yet, pay us a visit here in Moreton-in-Marsh and experience the potential of this marvellous philosophy for yourself. You'll be sure to find some candles burning...