In the winter, the days are shorter, the nights are longer and the lack of natural light causes all manner of mild and extreme discomforts. Lucky for us in North America, ‘hygge’ has arrived! Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is the Danish and Norwegian word for the feeling you get from cozy surroundings. Look through Danish or Norwegian design magazines and you’ll immediately notice there’s a comforting and restorative mood to their interiors. There are so many ways to make a home cozy and chic simultaneously – lighting is a key factor, especially during the winter. Here are some simple and truly affordable ways to create cozy decor using light:

Lamps 

Everywhere we go, we keep seeing Ikea Magnarp desk and floor lamps. Their rice paper cover diffuses light so beautifully, it offers instant relaxation to anyone that enters the room. There are many ways to add a soft glow to every room in your home: from string lights, paper lanterns, rice paper covered lamp shades, wall lamps, spotlights, track lights to dimmers. Experiment with the types of lightbulbs you use because incandescent light bulbs, LED, and halogen all emit a different kind of light.

Mirrors

Mirror mirror on the wall, what else can you do besides tell me who’s the fairest of them all? Oh, you help with sunlight too, who knew! Yes, mirrors reflect light whether it’s natural light streaming in through a window or light sources in the room. If you already have a mirror in a room, consider moving it to a more strategic spot where daylight will easily reflect. FYI, if you live somewhere with lots of windows and mirrors, you may notice that in the summer your rooms get a bit too hot. Consider removing some mirrors during hot months so not as much sunlight gets reflected.

Candles

Beeswax candles emit a gorgeous warm glow, a soothing honeyed scent and negative ions, which neutralize pollutants found in your home. Although paraffin-based candles are readily available, everywhere from dollar stores to gas stations, beeswax candles are not mass produced and sometimes a challenge to find. Check your local health food store, farmer’s markets, boutiques that specialize in all-natural and eco products or shop online. LED candles are another fabulous option because you won’t need to worry about a fire, waxy drippings or toxic fumes from paraffin candles. From tealites to extra tall pillars, many LED candles come with rechargeable batteries.

 

 

Photo by Zoran Kokanovic