Let's face it. If we're all hibernating inside, we might as well snuggle up and make the most of it. Here at NODE, we're the masters of hygge, creating joy and coziness in life's everyday moments
As the weather becomes colder, for us, winter here in New Zealand is all about appreciating coziness, warmth, family and practicing mindfulness. Between the long, dark nights and decidedly frosty days, it’s certainly time to embrace such being stuck at home and make the best of it. For us, that means snuggling up in front of a roaring fire wearing thick, woolly socks, hands wrapped around a hot drink and a cozy throw over your lap, and a puppy at your side. Or two.
You’ll be surrounded by things that bring happiness and improve your environment, such as scented candles – scent can boost your mood – and, of course, houseplants which improve the air quality and help you reconnect with nature.
Have you ever heard of the Danish word "hygge"? Well, it pretty much means everything we just described.
hygge: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). The word hygge is pronounced “hoo-gah.”
For us, it's a feeling of someone to walk into your home and immediately get the “I love to live here” vibe. Thing happy, homey, and zen. And I don't know about you guys, but that's something we definitely all need! Here are our best tips for creating a cozy, hygge home this winter!
1. Soft warm lighting
Is there anything more cozy than a room lit by soft warm light? No, didn't think so. Leave those garish fluorescent lights to hospitals and the schools of nightmares, and style your space with lamps with low warm LEDs.
Take advantage of the little natural light we have in winter and try to maximize it at home. Pair with carefully selected lamps to create soothing pools of light that makes your soul sigh with joy. Place your table and floor lamps where you want to invite coziness, and choose light bulbs that are lower in temperature.
We give you full permission to go wild with fairy lights - we certainly have tons of them at NODE.
2. Candles, candles, CANDLES!
And while we're on the topic of light, we can't miss out on candles.
The glow of candles creates the perfect atmosphere, lifting the spirits and casting warm light on a winter evening. Pick a scent that you love; come wintertime we are obsessed with anything vanilla, cinnamon, or even a nice woodsy smell evocative of playing in the snowy forest as a kid (we're looking at you Amber and Clove).
Whether it’s during a night in alone, or while entertaining close friends, there’s nothing more enticing than a room lit by candlelight that smells so good.
3. All of the soft things
Texture is everything when it comes to creating a cozy home. And by texture, we mean soft things. Curved edges and lines.
A variety of textures is comforting and offers a gratifying balance to a room. Think of letting your fingers run across a rough edge wood table, your arms wrapped around an old wool blanket or your toes snuggling into a thick sheepskin rug.
Coziness is key when it comes to hygge decor. One way to do this is by decorating with fluffy pillows and soft blankets, creating a warm space to unwind. Build a little nest or window nook where you can relax with a good book for some peace and quiet.
Can't make a post about crafting your dream home without a little shameless promo for houseplants! The joy that comes from tending to our indoor jungles ties in beautifully with the mindfulness we are looking for. In fact, we founded NODE directly in contrast to the chaos and business of every day life.
Slow down, watch things grow. Now that is beautiful! Bringing nature inside is an easy way to instantly make your house feel welcoming and homey. Houseplants that can have a really positive impact on your space, particularly if your house is feeling a bare or new. And it helps that many are air-purifying and help remove toxins.
We also love to dry flowers and dot them around the house in feature vases, another way to brighten the home with botanicals.
5. A cup of something hot - in a handmade mug
We're unapologetic millennials, and we are here for the pottery Renaissance! It seems everywhere we look local ceramicists are popping up and we love it! Our favorite planters are made by our friends Arete Earthware over in Wanaka.
Nothing screams hygge like being curled up by the fire with a cup of something to warm the heart. And it can totally have alcohol in it.
6. Knickknacks and momentos
Design does not need to be perfect so value the pieces you have. Your personal touches and knickknacks can bring back nostalgic memories and make you smile. Pop bits of yourself around your home here and there to remind you of beautiful memories. Household objects are more than just things. They hold emotional value and tell a story.
For us at NODE, culturing an environment of happiness is immensely important, so what better way than to put up a creative display of all your favorite photos, travel paraphernalia, prints and paintings. What about little bits and bobs you've collected over the years? Our bookshelves are dotted with rocks and shells, tiny momentos.