Hygge Design and Decor: The Secrets to Creating a Happy Home


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This guide will show you everything you need to know to create a cozy, inviting, and stress-free home. Choosing the right furniture and decor and creating a snug ambiance can transform your interior into a tranquil and warm setting perfect for living the hygge life. 

So whether you’re renting a house in Santa Clarita, CA, or purchasing a home in Bakersfield, CA, get started now and enjoy the benefits of a hygge lifestyle all winter long. 

cozy fireplace area

What is hygge, and what does hygge design mean?

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfort with feelings of wellness and contentment. Designing and decorating your home with hygge in mind will help you create a warm, inviting space that promotes relaxation and well-being. It’s all about creating a space that feels like home. You can find hygge in simple things like a cozy fireside chat, a warm blanket, or the perfect cup of coffee.

“Hygge is not just about design – it’s about the feeling you get. For us, this means using color, texture, lighting, and layout to bring home or even one room together,” says HYGGE Design Inc. “We want everyone who steps into one of our projects to feel at home as they flop down on the couch with a coffee and a book while the day slips away into the night.” 

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12 ways to bring hygge into your home design and decor

1. Use natural materials

Incorporating natural materials into your home is essential if you want to create a hygge atmosphere. Natural materials can help to create a sense of tranquility and peace, absorb sound to make the home more relaxing, and improve air quality by filtering out pollutants. They can also add a touch of beauty and luxury to a home.

“When designing any space, we try not to stray too far from an object’s original intention. Solid materials like rich black marble, copper, iron, and wood in warm walnut or smoky oak tones, all play well together, just like they do in nature,” recommends Of Origin Design Studios. “Pure, organic materials do so much to add a subconscious feeling of comfort inside a home, so skip the embellishments and allow the simple beauty to come through.” 

2. Incorporate a hygge color palette

When considering colors, think earth tones and natural colors that make you feel cozy and comfortable. Warm, earthy tones like deep red, rich brown, and golden yellow are perfect for creating a cozy, inviting space. 

  • Deep red: this rich, vibrant color is associated with warmth and comfort.
  • Rich brown: brown is a grounding color that evokes feelings of stability and security.
  • Golden yellow: yellow is a cheerful color that evokes happiness and positivity. 

“We love adding subtle colors that relate to your surrounding environments, such as soft browns and greens. This will help bring the outdoors in and is the perfect finishing touch to any hygge space,” shares Julie Kay Design Studio

3. Add some greenery 

Once winter has set in and the leaves have vacated the trees outside, it can leave you longing for mother nature’s lush greenery. A few things can brighten up a home’s interior during winter and help you live the hygge life, like adding some greenery.

Filling your home with green foliage is a great way to create a relaxing and comfortable living space. Greenery can help your home feel more peaceful, serene, and natural. It can also help to purify the air and create a more pleasant scent.

4. Pull out the throws

What could be cozier than a freshly laundered comforter or quilt on a cold December day? If you’re purchasing throws for the upcoming season, choose soft materials like fleece that feel good against your skin. Stocking up on thick quilts is also a great way to save a buck – just pile ‘em onto your bed and crank that heat down a few degrees.

Another great option is purchasing a weighted blanket. Therapists and psychiatrists have used weighted blankets for years, but now they’re all over the place, and for a good reason. Similar to meditation, these blankets help the user focus on sensory experience. This can help regulate your mood, mitigate those wintertime blues, and get you off and running on living the hygge life. 

5. Incorporate a variety of textiles

Designing with the hygge principle in mind often means incorporating lots of textiles into your space. This could include blankets, pillows, throws, and rugs. 

Seasonal textiles are especially effective in creating a cozy ambiance in your home during the colder months. For example, you might want to switch out light curtains for heavier drapes to help keep draughts out. Or, if you have hard floors, placing some faux-fur rugs down can add much-needed warmth and comfort. Finally, don’t forget to pile on the throw pillows. Soft, sumptuous cushions are key to achieving that inviting, cozy feel.

“The main elements of hygge design that resonate with us are an emphasis on layered, organic textures and spaces that invite people to gather and promote togetherness,” recommends HouseMill Design. Nothing is too precious to enjoy in a hygge home, and avoiding materials that are too sharp, hard, or cold.” 

6. Change up your wall art

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create the perfect hygge home. You can create a space that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation by simply changing up your wall art. If you want your home to have a curated feel, shop at the local flea market or a nearby thrift store for one-of-a-kind pieces. 

“Walls and mirrors are important details that are often overlooked but have a tremendous impact on your space’s overall aesthetic and cohesion.” Interiors by Bethany says, “simple, light-colored walls create a serene feeling, while minimal wall art ties the space together. Mirrors with simple, streamlined frames give the space a clean, bright, spa-like feeling.” 

minimalist cozy room with day bed and books

7. Light up your home

To create a cozy and inviting ambiance, take advantage of the lighting. First, use warm, soft lighting throughout your space. This can be achieved by using candles, lamps with low-wattage bulbs, or string lights. Avoid using harsh overhead lighting. Instead, focus on creating a warm and homey vibe in specific areas of your home, such as the living room or bedroom.

“Picture yourself relaxing with your favorite book and a blanket by a warm, glowing sconce. Now imagine the same scene under harsh overhead fluorescents.” Austin Home says, “The right lighting can make all the difference in a room, especially during the darker months. Something as simple as changing light fixtures, buying a new lamp, or even swapping out bulb types can completely upgrade the feel of a room.” 

8. Throw some logs on the fire

There’s nothing like a cozy fire in the fireplace to make your home feel warm and comfortable in the winter months. A fireplace can be one of the cheapest ways to heat a house. Be sure to have your chimney and fireplace checked out by a professional before winter arrives to ensure everything is in working order. Add soft blankets, comfy pillows, and a mug of hot cocoa to create the perfect setting for a cozy night.

9. Hygge-inspired furniture 

Hygge-inspired furniture is typically cozy, comfortable, and inviting. It often features warm woods, soft fabrics, and simple, clean lines.

“Hygge design is all about taking inspiration from nature and incorporating it into homes to be enjoyed with others in as much comfort and simplicity as possible,” says Hill Interiors LLC. “To achieve this, create a base of clean-lined, earth-toned furniture pieces and then layer them up with extra tactile and soft textiles (think wools, knits, buttery leathers, boucles, etc.). Lastly, don’t forget the candlelight and/or firelight, which are essential to a truly hygge home.”  

10. Hygge bathroom design

“Hygge can also translate to a bathroom space – it should be spa-like and peaceful,” shares  Charla Ray Interior Design. “In renovations, we always include a heated floor for that comfort underfoot and plenty of concealed storage to eliminate the distraction of visual clutter. Candles, a small stool to sit when needed or place products on by the bath, and soft towels and robes lend a comfortable and calming vibe.”

11. Create a movie or reading nook

Although it may be cold outside that doesn’t mean you can’t travel to warmer places. Movies and books can help transport you there, and having your designated spot for reading or watching Netflix can make it easier to forget the drab weather outside your window.

You can start simple, like grabbing throws or using a blanket you just knitted to make your couch a comfy lair. Or you can hire a contractor to do something spectacular, like creating a home theater you’ve always dreamed of. If the electrician is already coming by to set up new lighting fixtures, why not chat about setting up surround sound speakers? Just imagine how cozy it would be to curl up on your couch and watch the Avengers while the snow comes outside.

If you prefer books, “your bookshelves should be filled with your favorite reads and a big ‘to be read’ stack of books calling your name,” shares Hygge in the Now. Look into a new bookshelf to house your favorites and place it next to your chair or couch. That way, you don’t even have to get up when you finish one; you can just grab the next novel right off the shelf. Bean bag chairs are also a great addition to any comfy reading nook. 

12. Incorporate hygge touches in your dining room

Some people might say that a dining room is one of the most important places to focus on when designing a hygge home because it is a space where people often gather to eat and socialize. Add a touch of hygge to your dining room by including cozy blankets and throws, lighting candles, and adding warm lighting fixtures. You might also want to consider adding a few personal touches to your dining room, such as family photos or artwork, to make it feel more like a home.

Krista Hermanson Design suggests “that your dining room seating be supportive yet cozy. If your seating is upholstered and comfortable, your guests will be focused on the great food and conversations and not on their sore bottoms – the best dinner parties run into the wee hours.” 

Extra tips for embracing the hygge lifestyle at home

Envoke coziness 

Make your home a haven from the outside world by filling it with cozy blankets, pillows, and candles. “The main idea of hygge home is to make your home warmer and more relaxing. While there are some design ideas, you don’t have to follow the design guidelines exactly. Decorate your home with warm and cozy color materials, and do whatever you want, as long as you’re comfortable. Candles, warm lighting, and plush rugs are good options,” suggests SayHomee

Find pleasure in simple things 

Enjoy simple pleasures like taking a hot bath, reading a good book, or spending time with friends and family. 

“The hygge lifestyle can be applied to many aspects and moments that can bring about a certain level of joy and contentment, as seen amongst the happiest people on earth,” shares CUBICOON. “The home is an essential element in the idea of hygge. It is simple, pure, and serene. Experimenting with natural elements, textures, and softness together can bring joy and contentment in everyday life.”

Be present 

Slow down and savor the moment, whether you’re enjoying a cup of coffee or taking a walk in nature. “Hygge, it’s not just a lifestyle. These are pure vibrations that arise from a person’s harmony with his inner universe. To feel hygge, someone just needs to wrap themselves in a warm blanket with a cup of cocoa,” says solid wood furniture.

Create meaningful connections 

Nurture your relationships with family and friends, and connect with your community. “In Livingston County, our visitors experience hygge when they spend a day in the fresh air, hiking and exploring, and return to a warm, inviting, and comfortable B&B to have dinner and drinks fireside with friends and family,” shares Livingston County Tourism.” 

Practice self-care

Take time for yourself, and do things that make you happy and help you relax. Self-care is essential in a hygge lifestyle because it helps promote a sense of well-being and contentment. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels.

sunlit home with natural colors and greenery

Create a space that feels like home

The hygge lifestyle is about creating a warm and cozy atmosphere. The design style is all about simplicity and functionality. By merging the two styles, you can create a warm and inviting space that is also stylish and functional space. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of hygge to your home or build an entire space that exudes this feeling, there are endless possibilities.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Marissa Crum

Marissa works on Redfin’s stellar Content Marketing team as a Content Marketing Specialist. She’s been with Redfin for 3 years, also dipping into real estate support operations along the way. Living in California, Marissa relishes outdoor activities whenever she can. Her dream home? A modern cottage-style abode with a lush garden, blending comfort with style.

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