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#AskElle: Embracing the Hygge Lifestyle

Denmark, along with the other Scandinavian countries are always on the top of the list for being the happiest countries in the world. Finally, the secret is out. The Danes have discovered the happiness lifestyle! It is called hygge, pronounced ‘hoo-gah.’ There is no literal meaning – it is more a feeling – a feeling of being together and cozy.

This lifestyle, first practiced in the 18th century, focuses on joy in the little things, the everyday moments in life. It focuses on our well-being, a healthy lifestyle, and also on home décor. It encourages a lifestyle that is calm, warm, mindful, and that is celebrated with family and friends.

With our day-to-day crazy and hectic schedules, who does not want to embrace hygge? How can we create this cozy and relaxing lifestyle?

Simplicity and Texture
You are probably familiar with the Scandinavian décor – calm, neutral, complementing colour palettes. The spaces are clutter free, giving space for a calm and peaceful environment. Invest in some furniture pieces that have storage built in to hide unwanted ‘clutter’ such as books, remotes, children’s toys, etc. Add different furniture textiles, rugs, pillows, blankets, to create a warm and inviting ambiance.

Lots of candles! Create a serene and peaceful space with soft lighting and lightly scented candles or non-scented if you prefer. What a beautiful ambiance this will create while you are chatting around the kitchen table or living room with family and friends.

Sunday lie-in
My favourite part of the hygge philosophy – the Sunday lie-in! Enjoying the luxury of staying in bed, all cozied up with a beautiful blanket, good book, yummy breakfast, pets and children snuggled at your feet – you get the idea, cozy at its best!

Spa bathroom
Most people love a spa-inspired bathroom. Candles, fluffy towels, soaker tub. During the week, we rush, quickly take a shower and our busy day starts. But on the weekends, practice hygge – take a bit of time, relax and enjoy.

In Denmark, those long and cold winters encourage a hygge culture. Vancouverites might not have the Danish winters, although this past winter came close, we can still embrace this coziness with friends and family enjoying snacks and laughter around a warm and crackling fire.

Living areas
Continue this gorgeous lifestyle by making your living room inviting and relaxing. Besides wool rugs, pillows and chunky blankets, add warmth by bringing in lush and beautiful wood furniture pieces. Create a reading nook, a hyggekrog – a little place to read, meditate and relax.

Embrace the Hygge lifestyle – create and enjoy a calm, peaceful and beautiful life. Give yourself permission to slow down a bit, and take a little time to indulge in enjoying life, family, friends, and the beautiful scenery and nature around you.

Hygge … I’m in!


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Dominique HankeDominique Hanke (60)

Editor-in-Chief / Publisher
Dominique is a designer, stylist, fashion writer, and milliner. Her work has been seen on the runways of Vancouver, New York, and Paris and has appeared in local and international media. High-profile clients have included Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl, Arrow), Erin Cebula (E.T. Canada) & Miss America, Mallory Hagan.

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