We all know that awkward time of the year – right after Christmas holidays have wrapped. The tree has been tossed to the curb, and your once very cozy house suddenly feels empty, cold and depressing as hell with no signs of letting up ’til Spring.
So what can you do (aside from pouring yourself a crystal glass of bourbon) that will warm up your abode and make you temporarily forget the arctic temperatures outside and the busted water wipe in your basement? HYGGE IT OUT, that’s what.
No, it’s not a new IKEA dresser, but it sure as fuck is Scandinavian. This trend of making your home warm and cozy in winter months has been a serious trend in North America for the past two years (thanks, Pinterest) but it’s experienced an especially drastic rise this winter, because this shit is frigid.
Pronounced ‘hue-gah’, it’s been a part of the Norwegian vocabulary since the 18th century (so we’re a tad behind – whatever). But it’s more than just a term for “well-being,” it is a concept – a way of living. It’s the acknowledgement of a state of coziness – a way to find the joy in winter (hibernators rejoice!), and we are totally on board.
NOW – since we don’t want you to go out and blow what little cash you’ve got left post-holidays on “cozy accessories” from HomeSense (save your pennies for a beach vacay), we’re going to show you how to nail the ambiance with shit you already have.
The idea is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that friends and family never want to leave. Dinners can still arrive via UberEats and fireplaces can be set with a click of the remote control, because it’s more about the feeling and less about the stuff.
And besides, staying in, is the new going out. (Until we thaw, at least.)
Turn off all white and harsh lighting, and solely rely on low set dimmers, table lamps and an abundance of candles (bonus points if they smell like heaven). If you’ve got some twinkly lights still kicking around from Christmas, leave ’em around for a romantic feel.
* My candle purchases range from Loblaws to boutique stores downtown. You can never have enough; buy ’em when you see ’em.
Bring out every fluffy blanket and pillow you were ever given over the holidays, and sprinkle them around the home on every chair, sofa and bed for an uber soft feel.
* Shout out to Indigo for giving me one as a gift with purchase this year.
3. WARM UP YOUR TOES
Boring socks are… boring. Swap them out for a thick and warm variety, or better yet, moccasins or slippers. Hot tip: Pair with an oversized mens sweater and you’re set.
* My beautiful furry friends were a gift this year from Niki – upcycled from a vintage fur coat by Nicole Manek.
4. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID
This concept is very simple, so it’s less of an overhaul and more of a slight adjustment. Add golds, dried or artificial florals, stacked books and lots of layering for a comfy and welcoming vibe.
* I like to rearrange books, post cards and random decor items I have hidden in the depths of my home and give them a moment in the spotlight.
5. SET THE MOOD
A lot of this concept is tied into the things we do around the house, and not just how it looks. A mug of dark hot chocolate (Soma Drinking Chocolate is the bomb dot com), a bubble bath (or perhaps some cannabis infused bath salts), and putting up a few new winter pics around the house are just a few little things you can do to lift the spirit and prevent you from crying in your pillow ’cause everyone is in Mexico and you’re not.
*I like to play my favorite music on a record player for a cozy, rustic feel that is about 100 times better than asking asking Alexa to find a Thursday night playlist.
6. SLOW DOWN
Rush. Rush. Rush. Doesn’t it feel like that’s all we ever do? Take a moment to consciously slow your pace and savour things as you do them.
*My ultimate luxury is a long hot shower that includes a hair mask, AND a face mask. I created a comfy little nook in my bathroom, so I can really savour that “spa” feeling without ever leaving the house. Which is obviously the best part.
Photos by Aleksandra Jassem