“Hygge is about enjoying the process. About taking things slowly.“
Meik Wiking ~ My Hygge Home
The urge to nest and control our close environments has never been stronger. We spend more time in our homes than anywhere else—but the way in which our homes impact how we feel has remained relatively unexplored until now.
Backed with Danish design principles, years of research, case studies and a sprinkle of hygge, Meik Wiking has created the ultimate guide to turning your home, office, or wherever you may be, into your happy place.
My Hygge Home will teach us all how to create a much-needed cosy safe space in our homes into which we can retreat to escape the tough things going on in the outside world. Meik will explore the size of our spaces, the way we decorate our homes, the amount of natural light coming in, how much access to green space we have and how we can extend these design principles from inside our homes to our neighbourhoods and beyond.
Before I review this book, I need to reveal my bias: I’m a scandiphile. I have lived in Sweden (twice) and have spent quite a bit of time in the other Nordic countries. I love the culture, music, progressive social policies and fondness for cinnamon pastries which can be found throughout the region. When the hygge craze went global about seven years ago, I felt like someone whose favourite band, hitherto unknown and niche, had become an overnight international sensation.
Unsurprisingly, I very much enjoyed Meik Wiking’s first book – The Little Book of Hygge – which played a big role in helping spread the hygge gospel around the globe. Wiking followed this up with the Little Book of Lykke (happiness) and The Art of Making Memories.
In Wiking’s latest book, he takes his inherent knowledge of hygge, combines it with findings from the Happiness Research Institute (of which he is founder and CEO) and mixes in some Danish interior design and architectural ideas. The end result is a beautiful coffee-table book that will take pride of place in any home with hygge aspirations.
Winston Churchill’s quote that, “we shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us”, is cited by Wiking, and neatly sums up what the book is all about: how to create physical spaces that allow us to flourish.
Where The Little Book of Hygge told us to enjoy the simple pleasures of chunky knitwear and candles, My Hygge Home is a more detailed guide to designing homes to maximise happiness and wellbeing – often through creating an atmosphere of, you guessed it, hygge.
But it is more than just creating cosy hygge zones. While there are interior design tips about lighting, colours and soft furnishings, it is also about living minimally, without needing to spend a lot of money, and maximising connections within households and between neighbours.
The growing trend of working from home, exacerbated by Covid-19, makes creating the best possible home environment even more important, and the book examines how to cope with home/office situations.
While there are no great surprises, and many of the suggestions are common-sense, it is still a gorgeous looking book that will inspire you to transform your house into a home that maximises wellbeing and happiness. And as the nights draw in this autumn, there can be few more hygge things than curling up under a blanket, sipping a hot drink and reading My Hygge Home. If that doesn’t make you feel cosy, I’m not sure what will.
Thanks to Penguin Books for the copy. Opinions my own.