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Hygge for Your Home

Posted by Johnine Larsen on February 5, 2019
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Icy roads and steep hills have kept many of us stuck inside the past few days. I, for one, have been pining for some cabin-chic. Buying a cabin in the mountains, driving out there for long weekend, bundling up with blankets, hot toddies, and a crackling fireplace while snow falls outside and the air sparkles—that’s the life. Being snowbound like that doesn’t sound half-bad.

But more for immediate (and much cheaper) results, there’s hygge. Hygge is the Danish way of putting up with snow. It fits dreamy cabin weekends perfectly, but can also fit everyday, winter-in-Seattle life, too. That’s an oversimplification of hygge, so first, a quick explanation of what hygge means, and then some suggestions for how to incorporate it into your own home.


What is Hygge? (pronounced hoo-gah)

Atmosphere. Turning off the overhead lights and using candles, a fireplace, and natural light. Plants adds to hygge, too.

Presence. Living in the moment, not on your phone.

Truce. Think of this as relaxed thoughtfulness. Instead of political or religious arguments, doing things like reading a book, taking a bath, going for a gentle run.

Equality. Making sure everyone gets to participate—not having one person be the center of attention. And in the same vein, making sure everyone pitches in to make a hygge evening possible (everyone contributes to baking, hosting, serving, etc).

Harmony. Not bragging or posturing. Making your home a safe place where everyone knows they are respected and valued.

Shelter. Inviting friends over instead of meeting at a bar or restaurant. It’s more intimate, and it’s quiet and cozy. It’s inviting people into your place of safety and security and sharing those things with them.

Comfort. Wearing clothes that make you feel good: thick sweaters, warm tights, wool socks. Relaxing and taking a break.

Togetherness. Spending time with loved ones. Celebrating your lives together.

Pleasure. Indulging in good food and drinks. Not to excess, but to guilt-free enjoyment.

Gratitude. Giving thanks for all the goodness around us.


Bringing Hygge Home

Create a cozy nook. A window seat where you can wrap yourself in a throw blanket and look out the window. A soft armchair where you can work your way through a good book.

Light candles. The average Danish person burns 13 pounds of candles a year—more than any other country in the world. Candles feel warm and cozy, and they make you feel that way, too.

Light your fireplace. See above—and also the warmth of a fire feels so much more magical than forced air heat. (Just make sure your chimney is is good condition first)

Buy some throw blankets. The thicker and more textured the better. Wool blankets, knitted afghans, weighted blankets. These can add warmth and intimacy to any room.

Make homemade food and good drinks. It doesn’t have to be pricey—just something that’s made with love, feels comfortable, and gives people a reason to eat together.

Invite friends over. Bring your loved ones over for a evening together. Eat dinner, share drinks, play a board game, or just chit-chat and spend time away from your phones, celebrating one another and the simple things in these wonderful lives of ours.

  • Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
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