Design: There’s no sense like hygge for the holidays

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

By now you have probably heard of hygge, the Danish term for cozy, contentment. While it can be incorporated into the home and year-round, the holidays is certainly the perfect time.

Looking for ways to incorporate a sense of hygge this holiday season? Begin by evaluating your whole home and then look for ways to uplift each space with a sense of holiday hygge.

Infuse scents. In nature each season brings a fresh fragrance and scent. Fragrance can also help to provide a sense of calm. Consider infusing winter scents into your home over the holiday season such as juniper, fig, pine and sage.

Create cozy areas. Create areas in your home that can be used as places for you and your holiday guests to refresh, recharge and renew.

Find a focal point. Even if you don’t have a fireplace for everyone to gather around, you can still rearrange your space to create a focal point that can serve as the hub of holiday activity. This could be a cozy room or attractive communal table.

Incorporate nature. Natural elements such as wood can help warm a space.

Play music. Soothing sounds such as water to sounds such as bells and chimes can create a sense of calm.

Provide comfort. From welcoming your guests with their own cozy throw to providing individual slippers, providing comfort is the cornerstone of hygge.

Use greenery. Evergreens and winter hearty plants and trees are not only helping in adding freshness to a space, but will also help improve overall indoor air quality.

Change your color scheme. Adding earth tones goes a long way to adding warmth and hygge to a space. Consider warm shades of brown, green, yellow and red.

Open the windows. Natural light not only impacts moods and helps enhance lives, but also improves a sense of hygge. With the sun setting earlier during winter months, holiday hygge can also be achieved by adding light through the use of festive elements such as string lights and candles.

The Danish are considered to be amongst the happiest people in the world. Why not incorporate some of these holiday hygge tips to create a sense of well-being and calm into your home this holiday season?

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at