If there’s one trend that dominated interiors last winter, it had to be hygge. It might seem like I’m a little late to the party on this one, because hygge is just for winter right? Well, no actually. It turns out that it’s a year round deal according to the Danish. So this month I’m chatting about The little book of hygge by Meik Wiking.
You’ve probably seen it cropping up all over Instagram feeds for the past several months. Whilst nobody can deny its insta-worthy credentials, is it actually any good? Here’s what I thought.
The little book of hygge by Meik Wiking
When I first heard about hygge, my initial thought (along with everyone else) is how the hell do you say it? Even now, I pronounce it completely wrong – I know it’s hoo-gaa but I want to pronounce it hy-gee. I just do, let’s move on.
My second thought was, is this just a hipster trend that I should avoid, but will probably get completely sucked into? Nope, wrong about that too! It isn’t new, it’s something the Danish have been enjoying for hundreds of years. Turns out we’re just a bit slow in the uptake here in the UK.
What’s it about?
The premise of the book is a guide to all things hygge. Wiking starts the book by saying that it actually doesn’t matter how you pronounce it, (brownie points already) it’s about a feeling you get. Although there is no direct translation, hygge roughly means cosiness, togetherness and warmth.
Think a relaxed night in with pals, mood lighting – the more candles the better and all the comfort food you can muster. Or perhaps a rainy Sunday afternoon in your comfy joggers, snuggled under a blanket listening to vinyl and eating chocolate.
If this sounds good to you, you might just love hygge and you might like this book too.
The book is divided in to chapters covering the essentials of hygge and how to hygge in winter, summer, at home or even on a budget! It’s a beautifully designed book, with lots of lovely images and very readable indeed (if a little repetitive at times).
Considering Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, it’s no surprise that the book is jam-packed with stats. Don’t let that put you off though, they’re presented in a very user-friendly way.
Danish people are reportedly the happiest in the world and Wiking attributes this in part to hygge. I’m honestly not surprised – very few thing make me happier than candles, blankets, coffee, cake and time at home with my family!
There’s also a number of recipes (mostly savoury) and craft ideas as well as the odd hygge tip here and there. If you fancy visiting Copenhagen (I know I do) there’s even a hygge tour of Copenhagen chapter. If anything it’s definitely peaked my interest in Danish culture. I’m downloading The killing box set as I type.
What I loved
The idea of an emergency hygge kit, packed with all my favourite things – cosy clothes, fluffy socks, chocolate, a candle and a good book. I’m definitely putting one together and I might just share it on the blog, I think a hygge hamper would make an awesome gift too. I also like the list of inexpensive hygge activities – as a parent I’m all about the cosy nights in with friends these days.
What wasn’t so great
It was certainly a pleasant read, with some interesting facts thrown in about Danish culture. If you’re looking for earth shattering revelations about how to improve your life or decorate your home, you’ll be sorely disappointed though. As an interiors fan and given how central home is to the concept of hygge, I would have liked the home chapter to be a little more in-depth. It would have been nice to include a few more images of Danish interiors too. From an interiors perspective I didn’t learn anything new. It simply reminded me of the disappointing fact our house doesn’t have a fireplace.
Would I recommend it?
I do recommend it, although I wouldn’t describe it as a must read – more of a nice to read. At £5 it’s not overly expensive and it’s certainly a pretty book for your shelf. I enjoyed reading it and found it really relaxing – especially snuggled up under a blanket on a Sunday, with a mug of tea and a candle burning for ultra hygge vibes. There’s a few interesting recipes that I would like to try out too.
Have you read The little book of hygge? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.
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