Thrive all Winter Long with the Concept Known as "Hygge"

A living room, by LF Designs, with a cozy chair and brass toned lamp.

The Christmas lights are coming down, the wreaths are being packed away and everywhere the process of de-Christmasing has begun. This time of year can feel like a relief: a break from the clutter and rush that often comes with the holidays. But it can also leave your home feeling a little empty. Once the guests have gone and the candlesticks have burnt out, what's left to cheer your home through the rest of winter? Our answer: hygge.

Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish word that has been gaining recognition and it's one we find especially important in the interior design world. Hygge is a quality. It's about a sense of comfort, peace and togetherness. According to Meik Wiking, the author of The Little Book Of Hygge, Hygge is about "an atmosphere and an experience. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe." It comes from the Danes' world, one suffused in fuzzy rugs and candles; a place where comfort and coziness are essential in order to survive the dark winter days. And we find it the perfect way to survive a moody Michigan winter as well.

That might all sound a little abstract but we promise there are real and physical ways to practice hygge in your own home. Below, we've listed a couple of our favorites:

1) Incorporate Lots of Soft Lighting

Lighting is key to hygge. The Danes know all about long, dark days and their answer is to fill their homes with cozy lighting. Think candles, fireplaces, warm table lamps and twinkle lights. Anything that creates a rich and inviting glow, rather than a harsh, intense light. And if the sun is shining, pull up those shades and let it stream in! Even crack a window on the warmer days to air out your home. A little sunlight and fresh air does wonders.

2) Plan a Post-Holiday Gathering

Family and friends are also a huge part of hygge. It can be hard coming down from the sense of togetherness that the holidays bring. If this is the case for you, plan a relaxed gathering for friends and/or family in the mid-winter months. Do a game night or simply sit by the fireside and chat over glasses of wine. Whatever you do, keep it cozy and relaxed.

Cozy armchairs in a living room by Lauren Figueroa Interior Designs.

3) Add Houseplants