“Cosy – giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.”oxford dictionary
How are we all feeling with the nights getting longer and the temperatures starting to drop? As the wind and rain blows the leaves from the trees and we wrap up warm I thought you’d enjoy a look at all the different terms and ethos that embrace cosiness at their core. let’s get you cosy living and you can nuzzle in with a hot chocolate and a good book in the knowledge that you’re totally doing it right!
Well, unless you’ve been living under a rather large rock for the last few years, you’ll have heard of this one. In a nutshell Hygge is the Danish word that encompasses the feeling of taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things, a feeling of home, surrounded by the people and the things that you love in a comfortable, unguarded way. Soft lighting, (especially candlelight), cosy, natural soft furnishings, furniture arranged to encourage conversation are all Hygge and a way to carry on cosy living.
This is the Japanese term which encompasses the happiness of always being busy. From Japanese words iki, meaning “life,” and gai meaning “value,” it is sometimes translated as “your reason for being”. Ikigai encourages you to surround yourself with things you love while pursuing the things you like to do. It relates to care and attention and this translate into interiors. To have a home filled with Ikigai you must design for beauty and functionality using simplicity, raw materials , minimal clutter and natural light, in this way creating spaces for cosy living.
The Norwegian term explores cosiness in a more social way and almost requires you to share your sanctuary to experience it. It is cosiness while enjoying the company of others and a connection with nature. Think of turning your armchair to face the window and enjoy looking at the weather with a cuppa under a blanket by firelight while chatting happily with family, now that’s cosy living.
Swedish word for taking time out to enjoy being cosy while eating comforting foods. Think of all those cinnamon buns you could eat under your blanket on your sofa!
Dutch word that is untranslatable and goes beyond meaning cosy – it encompasses everything from cosy to friendly, from comfortable to relaxing, and from enjoyable to gregarious. Your space can be Gezellig with warm colors, warm ambiance, many books, plants and knick-knacks. It ties in with another related Swedish term of Lagom.
This Swedish term refers to the art of balanced living – having just the right amount of something and balancing work life and home life. Lgom is about decluttering your life and home creating an honest space where you can enjoy spending time with family and friends. Its encourages moderate, conscious consumption without clutter to create a peaceful home. This combined with minimalist Swedish furniture and the Lagom assertion that functionality is paramount mean that to follow a Lgom lifestyle ones home would be minimalist and clear of clutter with everything built to last with good storage. One wall decorated in wallpaper is Lagom as decorating the entire room would be too much. Sustainability is a big part of Lagom so reusing and up cycling as well as sourcing sustainable new pieces also follows Lagom.
German word that encompasses sensations of coziness, contentment and warmth. The term can also be extended to refer to the sense of social acceptance and well-being. Think of attending a German Christmas market or having a beer in a beer garden with friends – that is the feeling this word covers. At home this feeling can be enhanced by creating a warm comfortable space to welcome guests.
A Scottish Gaelic word meaning cosy and snug also evokes warm fires and cosy blankets and indeed the term “Coorie in” means snuggle in and can be used to invite you to join in a story, game, drink, meal or chat. It evokes a sense of snug welcome. Layering of soft furnishings and cushions as well as low level light combine to create this ambience at home so that you can enjoy cosy living.
All these terms feed into the current trend for cosiness which is clearly a reaction against the stresses we have all faced in the last nearly two years. With trends like cottage core, grand millennial, the homebody economy is growing as we all dream of domestic cosy bliss.
So choose one or a few to try out this winter in your home or take a little cheat and get the best elements from each by :
- Layering Soft lighting and candlelight
- Layering soft furnishings
- Using warm, deep, rich colours
- Surrounding yourself with things you love
- Using scents like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove
- Having plants indoors