Want to know a secret? I don’t know if you’ve heard, but hygge is THE hot topic of autumn 2016. There are something like nine books about hygge being released in the next month or so, which is amazing considering nobody in the UK really knew what it was when I started blogging about it in January 2015. That’s why I’m very excited to bring you my thoughts on the first of these books, The Art of Hygge by Jonny Jackson and Elias Larsen!
The aim of this book is to help readers discover how you can bring Danish cosiness into your life, and it certainly achieves that. What immediately strikes me about this book is the abundant cosy photography – you can paint a pretty good picture with words, but if you’ve only just discovered hygge then sometimes it’s easier to understand when you look at a picture of a crackling log fire, or a pair of toasty socks, or gloved hands curled around a mug of hot chocolate. Every few pages, you’ll find a double-page spread of hygge inspiration – Pinterest on paper, essentially, and it’s a beautiful curation of only the cosiest hygge imagery.
The book is split into six chapters:
- Creating the Hygge Mood at Home
- Items to Craft for Instant Hygge
- Decorating the Home
- Comforting Recipes for Cosy Nights In
- Seasonal Outdoor Activities
- Simple Pleasures
My favourite chapter is the one dedicated to seasonal outdoor activities. I believe that you can experience hygge everywhere, and this chapter is about getting out into nature to cultivate hygge for yourself. British nature isn’t actually too different from Denmark’s, so woodland walks, bonfires and stargazing are all very achievable activities here on home turf. Since I’ve been writing and reading about hygge, I’ve spotted some comments saying that it’s only for the middle classes who can afford to spend time and money on comfort and self-care, but this is the perfect reminder that it’s really not. Watching the night sky and walking on the beach costs nothing! There’s a quote in the book that I really like that sums up what it’s like to experience hygge out in nature:
I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery… I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy’. – Sylvia Plath
As we approach winter, you’re probably going to be thinking about creating your little hygge nest at home. One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is ‘How can I bring more hygge into my house?’, and this book covers the classic hygge experience perfectly. There are some great tips to help you make the most of what you’ve already got, such as optimising your natural light and introducing nature into your home, this time accompanied with a cute Danish proverb:
Fresh air keeps the doctor poor.
It’s easy to think that hygge is expensive, but it absolutely doesn’t have to be. Virtually everyone already has cushions and blankets and throws, and you can buy tealights in bulk from IKEA for a few pounds – it’s about setting your home up in a way that makes experiencing hygge easy, whether that’s clever lighting, bundling all your cosy soft furnishings up on the sofa or even getting more fresh air in the room. And once you have a hygge-ready home, you can think about introducing more of the simple pleasures mentioned in chapter 6 into your routine. This helps you take advantage of your newly cosy surroundings with activities to maximise hygge with inspiration to get you feeling calm, comfortable and ready to forget the stresses of the day.
If you’re a total newcomer to hygge, or know someone who needs to find out about it as soon as yesterday, this is the perfect book to get yourself acquainted with the concept. Of all the hygge books I’ve come across so far, this certainly seems to epitomise hygge the best, and even reading the book is a cosy experience in itself. It retails at £9.99, and is available on Amazon.
If you want to win a copy for yourself, head to Twitter right now where I’m giving away The Art of Hygge! Simply follow me and retweet this post to be in with a chance of winning. You have until 23rd September to enter – good luck!