Understanding the Hygge Living Hype

Since Autumn last year, the wonder of hygge has taken the world by storm. The Danish lifestyle trend has transformed your usual winter into an extremely instagrammable, warm and cosy season that everyone wants to incorporate into their own lifestyles and homes. With so many people adopting this exciting trend, it’s leaving the rest of us wondering how we can get involved. Here’s a brief summary of everything you need to know when it comes to the hygge living hype…

First Things First, Pronunciation

Hygge is a Danish term that can’t actually be translated into one English word. Whilst it may not directly translate into a specific word, the word hygge means to be cosy and happy. Along with meaning cosy and happy, the term also refers to making the most of the simplest things, with a strong message that less really is more. To many, the word hygge looks like it would be pronounced ‘hi-gee’, however, the real way to pronounce this Danish word is ‘hoo-ga’, which is actually very different.

What is Hygge?

Many people experience hygge every day, whether that’s snuggling under a thick cosy blanket with a hot chocolate, watching your favourite film. Or, reading a good book whilst wrapped up in soft joggers and an oversized hoodie. Being cosy and content is the main focus of hygge, with many people now incorporating this Danish trend into their interiors and lifestyles. It’s becoming very easy to adopt this new trend, as more and more stores within the interior market are starting to introduce a touch of hygge to their displays.

Hygge Interiors

The moment you enter a room with a hygge décor style, you’ll instantly feel a warm and welcoming vibe. Hygge interiors are a mixture of thick materials, dark oak furniture and simplistic décor that creates a minimalistic look. The main aim with hygge interiors is to create a welcoming feel throughout the home, without overcrowding or introducing too much to the room. You can find a whole selection of complete kitchen tours and complete home tours on YouTube to give you a feel for how others are adapting to a hygge décor style, and how they’re incorporating it into their own homes.

Hygge Lifestyle

If you’re a fan of hot chocolates, chunky knit blankets, slipper socks and marshmallows, then hygge is the perfect lifestyle trend for you. The moment those colder evenings roll in, you can wrap yourself up nice and warm, light a selection of scented candles and relax in the comfort of your own home. Living a lifestyle with a touch of hygge is extremely comforting and cosy, which in turn makes the dullness of winter fade away and replaces it with a warm and welcoming feel that likes you in a positive mindset.

That’s Very Hygge…

Hygge is a trend that the Danish embrace all year around, especially due to the cold weather conditions they experience from day to day. Whilst the most popular hygge features for us are hot drinks, cosy clothing and thick blankets, the Danish have many more hygge elements that make it even more special to them. Candles are one thing that the Danish love, and they’re also extremely hygge. They don’t get their light from the yellow-tinted lights within the room, their lighting source is the beautiful glow of candlelight, which adds much more character and warmth to the room. You also find that the Danish are always likely to have a grand fireplace in their homes, as this serves as another perfect way to keep the interiors warm and welcoming, the hygge way!

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Everything You Need to Know About LED Lighting in a Family Home

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Running a family home can be expensive. The bills can soon pile up, and money can get tight. It’s only natural that you want to do everything you can to save money, so have you considered investing in LED lighting? The startup cost can be off-putting (although more online lighting retailers are reducing the price of LEDs) but the benefits soon outweigh the initial cost.

Kitchen

A kitchen is one of the most versatile areas of your home. You use it for cooking, eating and socialising as a family, so it makes sense that your lighting needs to be versatile too. In the areas where you prep food, you need bright task lighting. In your eating area, you need ambient lighting. If you use the kitchen to socialise, you’ll need mood lighting to set the tone. That’s a lot to ask of a set of lighting if you just rely on the standard ceiling spotlights. LED bulbs allow you to customise your light. You should go for cool lighting in areas where you cook, with undercabinet lighting. Warm bulbs with a dimmable switch should be used in areas where you eat and socialise. You can even get creative by using plinth lights to light up your worktops, giving the illusion that they are floating.

Bedroom

The bedroom is somewhere where you relax, and your lighting should reflect that. Dimmable wall lighting can work great, and you should avoid blue lighting which can trick your body into thinking it is daylight, disrupting sleep. You can use bedside lamps for reading.

Living Room

Much like the kitchen, the living room has different functions – it could be movie night with your partner, board games with friends or chilling alone with a book. A great structure for your living room lighting is to go for a tall floor lamp with wall lighting. Like the bedroom, you should avoid blue light which can produce serotonin. With LED you can experiment – why not try adding a colour-changing panel behind your TV for the wow factor.

Bathroom

One of the main problems that can occur with bathroom lighting is shadows. This mainly happens when your sole source of lighting in the room comes from the ceiling. To counteract this, focus the lighting around the mirror instead. LEDs work great in the bathroom as they switch on instantly, and the bulbs last much longer than a halogen bulb, so you barely ever need to change them.

Study

Your study should be a highly productive space, and LED lighting can help with that. Use cool white lighting as this will make you feel more focused and alert. Remember to place lighting in an area that won’t cause glare on your screen.

Outside

Outdoor lighting is imperative to keep your home safe and secure. If you have children, you want to keep your decking and paths well-lit to avoid any risk of them falling. LED lighting works well in the garden as it lasts longer, and isn’t as delicate as other types of bulbs, so is generally quite weatherproof.

Cost-saving

There are plenty of benefits to having LED lighting in your home. It lasts longer (for over a decade!), you can customise the colour of the bulb and it comes in a variety of unique styles. LED bulbs convert almost all of their energy to light rather than heat, so they are much more energy efficient. This means that you should see a reduction in your energy bills.

If you’re thinking about trying out LED lighting, why not try it in one room? Then, as each of your halogen/fluorescent bulbs breaks, replace them with LED.

How to Boost Your Energy Without Coffee

If coffee is your go-to drink when you need a boost, you may want to consider getting that much- needed burst of energy from elsewhere. Why? Well, caffeine can actually have harmful effects on the body. If you’re drinking it in large quantities, you may be familiar with the dizziness, headaches and fatigue that occurs after consumption.

While caffeine initially provides a burst of energy, the crash that follows leaves us feeling hungover. Here you can discover healthy alternatives to coffee. Curb that caffeine habit and feel energised with these healthy drinks:

Hot Water with Lemon

I know what you’re thinking: this has nothing on your freshly brewed coffee. However, once you get used to drinking hot water with lemon, it’s actually quite pleasant. I can honestly say that a cup of this stuff each morning works wonders – and that’s coming from someone with three boys!

Lemons are rich in vitamin C which, as you probably already know, boosts your immune system. But did you know that it plays a role in energy production too? Try ditching your morning coffee for hot water with lemon and you’ll soon feel a difference.

Coconut Water

Coconut water has been a fad for some time, but it’s much more than just a trend-leading beverage. The refreshing drink is full of goodness – antioxidants, amino acids, vitamin C and lots of minerals too – so if you swap it for your daily cup of Joe, you’ll soon see a difference in your energy levels.

Coconut water can be enjoyed as it is, but I like to blend it with bananas and strawberries to make a delicious smoothie; it’s a truly tasty way of getting that desired burst of energy.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Green Tea

Green tea really does have an acquired taste. However, once you get used to it, it’s like comfort in a cup. While green tea does contain caffeine, it has significantly less than coffee so it’s the perfect drink if you want to slowly wean yourself off it. You’ll get an energy hit, without the caffeine comedown! Win-win.

My personal tip would be to add a teaspoon of honey to take the edge off or, try a range of green teas until you find one you like!

Chai

I love chai. It’s soothing and, best of all, it’s just as satisfying as coffee. How? I’m a latte lady and chai is made with hot milk, so I almost feel like I’m drinking a smooth and creamy cup of coffee – but with exotic spices. Each spice has health benefits, so it’s almost like drinking a tasty medicine!

If you tend to drink your coffee with milk, chai is the way forward. You’ll naturally cut your caffeine intake by swapping coffee for chai, plus it’s the perfect pick-me-up, particular on colder days.

So, whether you choose to trade in your cup of java for a cold drink or a hot beverage that contains little to no caffeine, you’ll be on track to a healthier lifestyle; you’ll sleep better and wake up with more energy.

About the Author

Joy Richards is the sleep and wellness expert Happy Beds, the UK’s leading bed and mattress store. Joy runs The Comfort Zone – the company’s news hub that’s dedicated to helping customers find the comfiest bed, be it a divan bed for the guest room or a cabin bed for the kid’s room. You can get in touch with Joy by tweeting @HappyBedsUK.  

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Storage solutions that could transform your kitchen

Aside from making sure your kitchen looks the part, it’s important to ensure it includes enough storage space. For some savvy tips and tricks that could help transform your entire cooking area, keep reading.

Full height cabinets

While many traditional style kitchens have separated lower and wall mounted cupboards, this might not be the best option for you, especially if you’re keen to include as much storage space as possible. Instead, you could go for full height cabinets. These cupboards normally extend from the floor all the way up to the ceiling, offering you lots of extra room to store just about anything, from your pots and pans to plates and bowls.

To make sure these cupboards offer you the storage you need, you can often choose how they are assembled. For example, kitchen specialist website www.solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk offers a selection of different arrangements, including full height cupboards with a space for an integrated appliance, such as a microwave, as well as designs featuring long shelved cupboards on top with smaller drawer sections in the lower half.

Kitchen islands

If you’ve got the spare square footage, you could go for a kitchen island. Aside from giving you an additional surface area to prepare and eat meals, this design feature offers you extra storage. A typical island features a combination of drawers and cupboards. However, kitchen islands are available in a variety of different shapes, sizes and styles, so it’s possible to find designs with inbuilt wine racks, baskets and pull-out trays too.

Shelving, racking and hanging hooks

If you have any wall space going spare, why not utilise it? There are a number of simple yet effective ways you can create a convenient place to keep things you use on a regular basis. For example, you could put up shelving to proudly display your best crockery, or you could attach racking to the wall for a quirky way to store your spices. You could even attach hooks to hang up your tea towels and apron.

Pull-out pantry cupboards

Pull-out pantry cupboards are a useful storage solution, especially if you have an awkwardly shaped nook or cranny in your kitchen that’s going to waste. Unlike a regular cabinet with hinged doors, this style of cupboard can be pulled outwards by a handle, meaning that you don’t have to worry about factoring in extra space when it’s opened. Pull-out pantry cupboards are usually fitted with internal shelving or racking, providing you with the perfect place to organise all of your cooking essentials.

Regardless of whether your kitchen is large and spacious or a little on the smaller side, there are a variety of ways you can up your storage game.

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House Envy

Do you ever look at other people’s homes and wish that yours could look like that? Maybe their house is just more organised and spick and span than yours or perhaps they have something in their house that you wish you could have in yours but you can’t for whatever reason (space won’t allow, it just isn’t practical etc). House envy is real and we all suffer from it.

I live in quite a small house – the bedrooms are decently sized but the kitchen is absolutely tiny – I’d love a dishwasher and an American style fridge freezer like my friends have but all I can fit in my kitchen is a tiny washing machine alongside the usual kitchen appliances. Our cupboards are on the wall which doesn’t leave room for a massive fridge freezer.

The same goes for our living room. I’m quite happy with our sofa, with our TV and I like the open plan layout that leads to what we call the dining room. However, there is a massive crack in the wall where they have boarded up an old fireplace and not done it too well. It is very unsightly and I’d much prefer a wall mountable fireplace in the living room to make it look a bit better – so many of my friends have them and I think they look great.

I’m happy with the size of our bedrooms but we are all so disorganised – I’m so envious of my friends who manage to keep their bedrooms completely tidy all of the time. I swear it is impossible when you have kids! I try my hardest to keep on top of it but it seems almost impossible. In fact, I am due a big declutter this weekend to get it done once and for all.

Do you suffer from house envy? What would you like in your house that you don’t have? What would you like your house to look like?

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