Peaceful By Design: The Hygge Path To Your Cozier, Happier Home

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Actually, it’s less us saying it than nature itself saying it. Because, as we slide into the depths of winter, the outside world is giving us a not-so-subtle nudge to burrow in and snuggle up. It’s the time of year that cozy is king.

Or, rather, hygge.

Today we’re going to add some snuggle to your sofa, a bit more cuddly to your couch, and bring some burrow to your bedroom. We’ll explore the power of hygge in your home’s interior design. Starting with what the heck it is (and how to pronounce it), just in case you don’t know. Then we’ll explore what it can mean to incorporate this dreamy Danish vibe into your home’s style. And, of course, we’ll give you ideas for the perfect furniture upholstery fabrics for creating the comfort and welcome that is hygge’s sweet spot. 

Your Quick Guide To Hygge’s Origins And Simple, Powerful Impact

Hygge Design Upholstery Swatch Fabric Ideas and Inspiration

First, pronouncing hygge. It might help to think of a decidedly non-hygge sound: an old-timey car horn. Got it in mind? Great! Now put that sound through a quick mediation retreat so it comes out the other side as a gentle, calming “hoo-gah.” And that’s how you pronounce hygge.

As best as can be determined, hygge started as a Norwegian word and it still is. However, it also became a part of the Danish language where it’s evolved more recently to be used as a word reflecting some key elements of Danish life and culture. As Meik Wiking explores in The Little Book of Hygge, fundamentally hygge is “a sense of coziness, simplicity, and being present.” It’s an active choice to venerate comfort, connection, and — ultimately — happiness.

And the Danish know a thing or two about happiness given they consistently rank in the top three happiest countries in the world. It’s a kind of beginning-with-the-end-in-mind sort of thing in terms of what gets prioritized and centered in your life. And, as we’ll soon see, in your home, too.

The Bottom Line Of What Hygge Can Do For Your Home’s Interior Design

Of course, centering things like coziness, warmth, and happiness in your life comes in many forms. As it turns out, we approach it from the perspective of the largest upholstery store online. So let’s talk about what it can look like in your home.

A quick search of Pinterest brings you loads and loads of inspiration. But we can simplify things a bit. Because you already know how. 

What’s more warm and inviting, fluorescent lights or candles and other more yellow-tone lighting? It’s the latter, hands down. What’s more comforting, walking into a space devoid of natural decor and textures or one that has some wood, plants, and other natural elements? Again, the latter. And what’s more downright alluring, a sofa in one of those plastic covers your grandmother used to use, or a sofa and other furniture in some soft and luxurious feeling upholstery fabric? Oh, hello again, choice B. 

You see, you do already know what hygge is. So from here, it’s really about exercising intentionality. 

One more thing about the simplicity element of hygge. We’re not after a spartan kind of simplicity. We’re aiming for more of that lived-in, but uncluttered sort of simplicity. Imagine getting to stay in Oprah’s guesthouse or some five-star boutique property. All the comfort. All conscious choices around what’s most calming and restorative. And all uncluttered. Oh, and all the satisfying ahhhhhhhhhh, too. 

How To Use Upholstery Fabrics To Give Your Home A Deep Hygge Breath

Okay, so we’re clear about what hygge is in a nutshell. And we’re also clear about some of the ways it fits into your overall home interior design. Now it’s time to talk about upholstery fabrics — welcome to our neighborhood. Out of all the design styles we explore here, few set the stage so perfectly for fabrics to shine as hygge does. Simply, of course. 

You can get it done through all the usual suspects: reupholstering, slipcovers, new accents, and/or new furniture. But today let’s focus on color and texture. 

And let’s make this simple. When you’re choosing hygge-friendly fabrics, choose fabrics that evoke a sense of comfort, calm, and simplicity. That evoke a sense of comfort, calm, and simplicity in you, that is. But let’s narrow it down further. To do that, we turn to some ideas inspired by Shutterstock and some basic rules of thumb.


Note: For hygge neutrals think warm, earthy colors that inspire comforting feelings. Like between a neon yellow or rich golden hue, hygge goes with the gold. To get more of a sense of what that means, let’s look at some fabric color palette examples:

  • Classically Scandinavian: Soft natural white damask, mineral light gray linen (or Zen gray chenille), soothing beige chenille, and cedar brown fluted chenille.
  • Deeply Hygge: Antique gold plain jacquard, orange rust faux mohair (or a woven geometric patterned orange rust), velvet in admiral blue, and a deeper royal blue chenille.


Note: As you’ve likely already noticed, soft and lux fabrics are a natural fit with hygge. But, here again, it’s about what textures feel most alluring and grounding to you. Some textural “palette” ideas to get you started:

  • Wonderfully Woodsy: Sable brown damask cotton blend, Aspen green chenille, hunter green microfiber, burgundy textured diamond pattern velvet (or burgundy striped chenille), and hunter green microfiber.

Finally, let’s pull this all together…

The Comforting Home Of Your Hygge Dreams Is Ready To Meet Your Life

If you remember only one thing from our brief exploration of hygge and interior design, let it be this: The hygge you seek is seeking you. (Cheesy? Sure. But also, true.) Incorporating the culture of hygge into your life through your home’s interior design style is a process of centering a new intention. It’s about comfort, connection, and happiness not being a possible byproduct of your design, but rather the focus of it.

Yes, there are well-worn paths to successfully hygge-ing (probably not a word) that include simplifying/decluttering, adding natural elements, using neutral/earthy tones, emphasizing coziness, and more. But the identification and measurement of the colors, textures, and vibes just right for you and your home is all you. 

At the risk of getting overly philosophical for a furniture upholstery company’s blog post, knowing what colors, textures, and styles bring you the most comfort, calm, and sense of openness just so happens to be 100% your area of expertise. Helping you find the right upholstery fabrics to realize those visions in your home? That’s our area of expertise and passion. As you begin developing your home’s unique hygge style, we’re here to help. Give us a peaceful and comforting call today.

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