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How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-Style

by | Jan 19, 2018 | Decorating Inspiration, Seasonal Decorating & Entertaining, Winter Decorating

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How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-StyleAnne Chessin Designs

When it’s chilly outside, there’s no cozier place than inside. Am I right? Yes, I miss the sunshine as much as anyone. But I don’t seem to mind the weather as long as I can stay home. :).

You may have already made this observation about me, but I’m always quite into the whole Hygge experience this time of year (seeking coziness at home, comfort and gratitude for simple pleasures). Perhaps you crave it, too?

I had to smile at a newly released study by Sterling’s Best Places. The top three most Hygge cities in the U.S. are:

1. Seattle
2. Portland
3. Minneapolis

Ahh, of course Seattle is Home Sweet Home for Hygge. That’s where I live. I’ve actually lived in all three top cities (and I’ve only lived in those states!). Embracing an attitude of coziness and comfort at home is what I enjoy best about this time of year.

Here are five ways to have a happier winter home…hygge-style!

How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-Style

Add Creature Comforts

Lay a fluffy blanket over the end of your bed. Shop for ingredients to prepare your favorite winter meals, perhaps a hearty stew or soup. Pile a stack of winter books and magazines to inspire you right by your most inviting chair or sofa. Gather firewood for your fireplace. Add cozy shades or curtain panels to warm up cold windows (my woven shades can be found here and you can shop my home and curtains here).

Simple Gatherings Book Video

Make Memories

Feeling the chill of winter doldrums inside and out? A warm ‘winter beverage’ gathering for friends and family can be just what the doctor ordered. Even if you set up a coffee or tea station just for you, it’s very Hygge to make the preparation of a hot beverage an enjoyable winter ritual. Savor the warmth of the mug in your hands! For more hostessing tips, gathering ideas and inspiration to welcome guests into your home, you can find my latest book Simple Gatherings here.

How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-StyleStudio McGee

Pretty Puttering

Winter is a delightful season for a little puttering around the house. I like to start with a cleaning frenzy. Once the house is generally clean, it’s fun to move on to beautifying. Fluff or rearrange the pillows, move things from room to room, change up your shelf displays, switch out throw blankets. Add a pretty bouquet on the table or some plants on your shelves.

How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-StyleNew England Home

Beat the Blues with Some Tunes

Music can energize the mood of a cold winter’s day. My kids got me an Amazon Echo Show for Christmas and I just love it! We set it up on our kitchen counter so we can turn on the tunes while we clean or cook, but you could also use a phone or stereo. Set up a winter playlist that will inspire you.

How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-Style

Design a Scent-sational Home

We home lovers often think about how our home looks or feels, but how our home smells can bring us comfort, too. Of course, I love candles, but I don’t want to inadvertently add toxins to the air so I prefer using essential oils in my diffuser (you can find the essential oils and diffusers I use here).

I love lemon and peppermint essential oil in the mornings to help wake me up even when I want to stay curled up in my bed. Joy and orange create a positive mood. Lime and bergamot inspire the feeling of many of my winter afternoons. Cedarwood and lavender in the evenings help me wind down and prepare for a good night sleep.

How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-StyleAtlanta Homes

Create a Cozy Atmosphere

Softly layered lighting will change the atmosphere of a room. Turn off your overhead (center) lights and use twinkly lights, fireplaces and ambient lighting instead.

How to Have a Happier Winter Home: Hygge-StyleRelated Posts:

The Winter House

10 Tips for Styling Large Living Rooms (and other awkward spaces)

Winter Bedrooms: Layers

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (and part two)

Hygge and A Cozy Winter House


  1. Sallie

    Hooray for Hygge!!

  2. Andrea Owens Schnapp

    I just read that many scented candles and oils are very toxic to pets. The scent sinks to the floor.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Blech, wow, that’s awful. It’s really yucky to think about how long I used scents that might have been toxic to pets and people. I’m glad to have made a switch! It’s a great feeling to know we can breathe it all in and still enjoy the cozy scents.

  3. Jo Jo

    Love this post! Love living the hygee life even before I knew I was doing it! lol. I, too, have lived in Minnesota ( 6 years) a long time ago, and 3 other states that received winter’s! Probably that’s why I yearn for coziness at all times, not just in winter. Currently, we are living in a mid-Atlantic state in the southern most part near the ocean…this year we are experiencing a very unusual COLD winter…and have I ever been getting my hygee on! Hot cocoa, coffee, tea station always at the reaady and weekly baking sessions, cleaning and organizing and having friends over all help our home keep cozy this season! ???

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      YAY! Yes, I lived in Minnesota for about the same amount of time, but the rest I’ve been right here in the Northwest. Living the cozy Hygge life! :) Stay warm!

  4. Carolyn

    Well, naturally! I don’t know about Portland, but Minneapolis and Seattle have plenty of people of Scandinavian descent. So it must be in the genes!

  5. Debby

    I’m from Cleveland! Hygge city #9! I guess that explains why I have a cozy throw on every sofa and bed in my home! I also love hot chocolate, throw pillows, homemade cookies, fireplaces, and snuggling with my little white dog and my sweet husband. Cozy winters are the best!

  6. Gail

    Hi Melissa,
    I’m curious about your chunky knit blanket — have you experienced much shedding with it ? Have you had it cleaned yet, and if so how did it hold up ? I have read that it is best to buy these chunky knit blankets with yarn that is “felted” I think was the term. I’d love to hear about your experience with yours ! Thanks !!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I have not cleaned it yet, I’ve only had it for a month or two so I can’t say for sure long term how it will hold up. It’s super cozy and a heavy weight. Mostly ours is just draped over a sofa or the daybed so it’s fairly protected, but we definitely have used it to stay cozy when it’s cold!

  7. Kim

    Hello! Just found you through Thistlewood Farms.. what a delightful blog.. have a question-love the couches. They look gray! Are they and would you mind sharing your source.? Absolutely love them and no luck in the Midwest finding anything close to the look?… would sincerely appreciate the info! Happy Hygge!

  8. Katy Beacher

    Pardon my ignorance, but where did the word “Hygge” come from and exactly what does it mean? I’ve lived in SW Washington State all my life and never heard the term. But from your pictures I think I Like it.!!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      It’s a Danish thing, they are the originators of the name Hygge (although I was into it before I knew anyone called it Hygge!). It is basically a term describing the practice of savoring simple comforts like sitting by the fire in a cozy spot, hot drink in hand, maybe to read a book or with friends and family gathered around. :)

  9. Jamie

    I totally get into this mood come winter, and I just got a book all about hygee (and then I had to look up how to pronounce it lol). Loving it :)

  10. Brittany

    I hadn’t heard of hygee before this post, but I love it. As a fellow Seattleite it is super important to me to stay cozy in the winter and these are some great tips. I especially loved your tips about making your home smell good with essential oils. I just got a diffuser this past Christmas and can’t wait to put it to good use!

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