Just when we thought we had a grasp on the décor trend and lifestyle philosophy that is minimalism, its Danish cousin Hygge comes along to take the spotlight.
With its cosy textures and sense of comfort, Hygge décor has fast become a favourite on Pinterest, Instagram, and beyond.
So what’s all the hoo-ha about Hygge? And how is it different to minimalism?
It took the world by storm as the hottest decorating trend since inflatable furniture, and it’s still one of the most sought-after looks among designers.
Arguably made mainstream by the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, minimalism is a way of life that focuses on values over possessions.
But simply taking a less is more approach won’t get you that on-trend minimalist look. You’ll need to opt for these minimalist décor elements, too.
Minimalist décor features a light and airy colour palette of whites, creams, and soft greys and beiges (neutrals you’d see in nature). The space should be simple and encourage relaxation. Bright colours and busy patterns aren’t welcome here as they can be jarring and distracting.
Another nod to nature, minimalist décor encourages the use of natural materials such as timber and stone, whether used in flooring, furniture, or décor accessories.
Furniture should be functional and uncomplicated with clean lines and flat surfaces. You’ll find plenty of simple geometric shapes in minimalist décor.
Learn how to fake the minimalist look with these tips.
Pronounced hoo-ga, Hygge is a Danish word that can’t quite be translated into English.
Used to describe a special moment or feeling, it’s all about enjoying the simple things in life, like having coffee with a friend, or reading a good book with your favourite blanket.
While minimalist décor and Hygge décor may have their similarities, minimalism can come across as more clean, stark, and even cold in comparison to Hygge’s warm and cosy feel.
Like minimalism, Hygge embraces spaces that are uncluttered, unassuming, and simple. It also takes inspiration from nature and leans toward neutrals and soft colours over bright colours and patterns.
But while minimalism encourages having only what you need and use, Hygge welcomes the bits and bobs that simply make you feel good (like those 8 throw cushions or those special mementos from your overseas travels).
If you start with a minimalist space and add the following elements, you’ll be on your way to Hygge in no time.
Shaggy rugs, chunky knitted throws, and fluffy cushions are a great start. Hygge décor is all about creating a home that makes you feel comfortable and content, and we can’t think of a better way to evoke those feelings than with layers of textiles and textures.
Another overlap with minimalist décor, Hygge embraces the great outdoors, often featuring leafy indoor plants, and even dried flower arrangements. Nature is known to make us happy, so it’s no surprise feel-good Hygge is all for it.
Minimalist décor would have you keep your books hidden away in a cupboard to keep your coffee table spotless. Hygge décor encourages you to display them, allowing every glance to arouse a sense of joy and nostalgia. The same goes for scented candles and other creature comforts minimalism might consider unnecessary – if it sparks joy (thanks, Marie Kondo), it’s a keeper in the eyes of Hygge. A little indulgence never hurt anybody.
Whether you wish to embrace minimalist décor or Hygge décor, you’ll want to start with a clean slate. Declutter your home, room by room, with this helpful guide.