Beat Winter in New England with a Hygge Home

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Hygge Style, with a New England Twist: How This Cozy Philosophy Can Transform Your Winter Home

Even though there’s a nearly 3,000-mile gap between New England and the countries of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, you’d be surprised by how much these seemingly disparate corners of the world have in common with one another.

For example, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of when you hear the phrase “winter in New England”? The first words that come to mind might be things like “long” or “dark” – maybe even “bleak” or “lonely.”

Given New England’s reputation for unpleasant and excessively cold weather during these winter months, there’s a high percentage that at least one of the aforementioned words came to mind.

Two snow-covered houses in a cozy neighborhood

Now, if you were to ask someone from one of these Northern European countries the same question, you’d likely receive many of the same answers, which is why the Scandinavian practice of creating hygge homes is just as important for us New Englanders as it is for those on the northernmost tip of Europe.

With that in mind, you’ve come to the right place to find tips for creating hygge in your home – all of which are sure to make that long, dark New England winter seem a lot more tolerable.

Tips for Creating Hygge in Your Home

If you want to introduce hygge style into your home, you need to fill every room with appropriate hygge style additions, while also embracing the ideas of coziness, togetherness, and, yes, warmth. After all, for the Scandinavians who invented the philosophy, hygge living is just as much about the physical comforts around you as the company you keep.

Here are some great hygge ideas for creating an appropriate sense of coziness, togetherness, and warmth during the cold winter months in New England:

  • Unwind with soft fabrics: Even the smallest acts, such as coming home from work in the dark after a way-too-early sunset, can be made more enjoyable when you enter a house filled with comforting, soft fabrics. To help accomplish this, you could layer faux-fur blankets and woven area rugs together to create a truly hygge living space that takes the cold bite of the outside away as you walk in the door.
  • Get comfy with natural woods: Wood furniture can have a very “warming” effect on a person’s mindset by making you feel closer to nature (albeit from the temp-controlled comfort of your own home, of course). Some examples of how natural wood can be introduced into your home include things like adding reclaimed wood chairs to various rooms, installing rich walnut cabinets, or even adding in some live-edge coffee tables for an additional dose of coffee comfort.
  • Come together in the candlelight: Evoking an intimate atmosphere is an essential part of beating New England’s harsh winters, and one of our favorite hygge ideas for accomplishing this is going all-out with candlelight! Nothing makes a home feel cozy quite like trading in your typical fluorescent lights for scented candles that fill your home with a gentle glow and soothing aroma. When it comes to candles, it’s all about the ambience! Also, if you’re hesitant about adding a bunch of candles into your home, or just don’t like the idea in general, that’s totally understandable! Fortunately, there are plenty of other creative ways you can achieve that hygge style lighting ambience without the candles.
  • Take a winter escape (or make one of your own): Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t go outside – so long as going outside means heading to an even warmer winter getaway, of course. After all, we can’t all have gentle wood-burning stoves or the comforting quiet of country living at our own homes, but fortunately, there’s no shortage of log cabins and other rustic getaways throughout New England where this sort of hygge living can be enjoyed for a limited timespan. And if you do want a winter-ready New England getaway to call your own, you could always talk to an experienced local design-build team about bringing your ideas to life.
  • Drink in the warmth: It’s hard to think of a better way to keep the winter chills away than with a suitable winter drink to warm you from within. With that in mind, you could easily put together a charming little “hot drinks station” in the corner of your kitchen, dining room, or living room. This will surely go over well while you host friends and family throughout the winter. Plus, it’s a relatively inexpensive task since all you need to do is take some time to bring together all your tea, coffee, and hot chocolates with your syrups, milk, cream, honey, and anything else your guests might want, then set them out together for a quaint gathering space that truly embodies hygge style togetherness! Another staple of the hygge style is spiced wine (referred to as “glogg” or “gluhwein”) which can provide the perfect communal-gathering opportunity to show off some idyllic hygge home features similar to this SDP-built wine cellar.
  • Get hygge by the fire: Hygge is all about enjoying the simpler things in life, and there are few pleasures as simple yet comforting as unwinding beside a warm fireplace – especially when you’re surrounded by friends and family. Over the years, we’ve built all manner of custom-built fireplaces, from modern gas fireplaces to more rustic wood-burning fireplaces. Whether in a house or a condo, these additions always prove to be effective for bringing hygge into the home.
  • Come together: Above all else, hygge is about spending time with your loved ones in a cozy, safe, and warm location. After years of experience designing and building custom spaces tailored to communal gatherings of all sorts, we at SDP are no strangers to this part of hygge either.

Cozy interior shot of a hygge home with festive holiday decorations

Examples of Hygge Style

Need some ideas for how to make your home more hygge? Get inspiration from some of these perfectly hygge style rooms we’ve created over the years, including:

  • This luxurious South End penthouse, which required our team to turn a massive (and relatively vacant) living space into a comfortable modern family home, all engineered with comfort and togetherness top of mind.
  • This transitional-style home remodel, which now boasts a jaw-dropping open-concept kitchen absolutely tailor-made for gatherings both large and small thanks to its fantastic center island with built-in breakfast bar (and don’t forget the den’s very hygge-friendly fireplace!).
  • This contemporary farmhouse, complete with warm and inviting parlor room, deluxe custom luxury kitchen, and beautiful light-filled sitting room (with room for plenty of guests, of course).
  • This legacy-style custom home, which includes a spectacularly sized kitchen perfect for delectable social gatherings, plus some interesting additions that take the concept of hygge to the next level – like a custom bowling alley and full-fledged entertainment space. Talk about a getaway!

Three candles brightening up a dimly lit room

Like the Hygge Living Suggestions You Just Read? Have Some Hygge Ideas of Your Own? Get in Contact!

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to create a hygge home that keeps the lingering bite of winter at bay for not only yourself, but your guests as well. Cabin fever will quickly become a thing of the past as you enjoy satisfying drinks, a soothing ambience, and emotional warmth, all thanks to the simple steps you’ve taken to make a more hygge style home.

A snow-covered house on a hillside

If you’re interested in any of the hygge ideas we’ve mentioned above, or have your own ideas for creating hygge in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask our New England-based design/build experts today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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