I’m calling it: summer’s over. The Olympics are over (see you in four years, diving) and all my summer dresses are being banished to the back of my wardrobe. Hello drizzle, hello wool and hello pumpkins.
I’m super excited to bring to you some hygge homeware inspiration from Jack Watson, the owner of new Scandi homeware store [hoo-gah] (certainly a good way to help people pronounce it correctly). Jack has also very kindly offered one lucky Hello Hygge reader the opportunity to win a wool throw by Cozy Living from the store, so read to the end of this post to find out more!
“The first time I heard of hygge was on a BBC 4 radio show last year. The Danish guests were trying to translate this concept to the hosts, and I remember realising how bizarre it was that we didn’t have a word in English for this thing – which actually we’re all so familiar with,” said Jack. “If the word ‘cute’ was suddenly erased from the English dictionary and you were then asked to describe a kitten, you’d be lost for words – literally! Hygge fills that same gap, except you’re talking about a personal sense of contentedness, satisfaction, appreciation, comfort and more.”
I, too, love these untranslatable words. Despite the richness of English, there are still concepts we can’t express without many words instead of just one. Is this because they’re not culturally significant concepts or just because we haven’t found a word which feels right yet? I’d argue it’s the former. Anyway, I digress.
“Hygge isn’t something you can bottle or buy exactly, but I loved the idea of a store whose end goal was to help people create environments in their home that evoke hygge, through the products it sells. I also have a background in architecture and design, so I’ve always been interested in the way peoples surroundings influence their wellbeing. So I spent a lot of time putting together a collection of some of the most hygge homewares I could find from Scandi design houses, with the mission of bringing a little more hygge into UK homes.”
I totally get this – I can often find bits and pieces of particularly hygge-inspired homeware here and there, but [hoo-gah] brings with it a curated collection of the cosiest Scandi textiles and home decor. “There are a few themes in Scandinavian design which I think really resonate with people,” Jack said, “such as design for purpose and longevity, quality materials, playful details and a connection to the natural world. When you put these things together you end up with objects that people really appreciate and even feel sentimental towards.” I think this sentimentality is important when it comes to hygge-inspired homewares – we want things that make us feel things – namely, hygge.
I’ve spent a bit of time exploring the small but perfectly formed collection, and you can tell why every item has been chosen. “My favourite thing in the [hoo-gah] store has to be the hurricane lamp from Cozy Living. There’s something super hyggeligt about candle light anyway, but the superb choice of materials in this range and the fact that these are quite large lanterns really make them stand out – they’re quite stunning.” I completely get why Jack is a fan of this lamp – the flecked glass almost makes it seem as though the candle is caught in the centre of a permanent rainstorm. And there’s good news too – there are smaller, cheaper tea light versions coming to [hoo-gah] soon, which would make ideal gifts.
The hunger for hygge in 2016 is evident – there are at least five books on the topic coming out in the next month or so, and the interest is only going to ramp up with the changing of the seasons. So what does Jack expect we’re going to be seeing in the way of hygge homeware trends this autumn? “Hygge definitely comes into it’s own in the colder months, especially in Scandinavian countries where the thermometers really plunge and they only get a few of hours of sunlight every day. Homes become sanctuaries, and protection from the elements, warmth and cosiness play a bigger role in life. I think we can expect to see more chunky knits hitting the shelves, and some earthy autumnal hues making their way into the A/W catalogues.” Autumn is the best season for bringing inspiration from nature into the home – I tend to gravitate towards objects the colour of fallen leaves, stormy skies and vibrant seasonal produce, so I’d be delighted to see more of this hitting the shops in the coming weeks.
And finally, I just had to ask… what is Jack’s idea of the perfect hygge experience? “Getting in from a sunny winter walk. Slipper socks on. Cup of tea (one sugar). Wrapped up on the sofa in a quilt with my partner. Raining outside. Log fire lit. Film about to start. Maybe throw in some popcorn… where was I?” Ugh, yes please. All of that, every day for the next six months, and I’ll be a very happy girl.
It’s competition time!
If all this talk of cosy homeware has got you in the mood for hygge, you’re in luck! Jack is very kindly giving one lucky reader the chance to win their very own Scandi merino wool throw in flint and ivory from the [hoo-gah] collection. Worth £119.99, this throw is perfect for keeping you cosy all through autumn with its top-quality Nordic design. For your chance to win, just click the button below and follow the instructions. You have until 11.59pm on 21st September 2016 to enter – perfect timing for when the weather turns cooler. Best of luck!