GMJ Interiors



A Time for Living Danishly with Danish Zen

A Time for Living Danishly with Danish Zen


Create Cozy Contentment with Scandinavian Simplicity


Homes have become our sanctuary, fostering a trend to the simple, the tranquil, and to surround ourselves with positive vibes. It’s not surprising then, that the concept of Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-ga’) is gaining newfound attention in home design and decorating, as this style of “Danish Zen” delivers all that and more.

Hygge is a Danish word describing feelings of coziness and well-being that come from enjoying the simple things in life and is popular not just in Denmark, but all across all Scandinavia. The countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway make up what is called Scandinavia. Geographically situated in the far northern hemisphere, summers in Scandinavia are short, but blessed with many hours of daylight that linger long into the evening. Autumn is a time when we begin to crave coziness, but the concept of hygge can be applied to your home at any time of year once you embrace the basics.

Warm can be Cool

Hygge generally employs neutral tones, but on the “warm” side of the palette to lend that cozy comfortable feel. Warm colors like yellows are opposite to the cool colors like blues on the color wheel and pass through the spectrum of reds and purples to the blue side, then through greens, and back home to the yellows. Any shade of color can lean to the warm or cool side. Think cream, soft white, tan, taupe and warm gray for a backdrop, and accent colors from nature like autumn leaves, berry reds, forest greens, and browns as the basis for your color scheme.

Touch and Feel

Hygge is as much about how a space feels as well as looks. Be generous with things that are delightful to touch, like thick fleece, wool, lofty pillows as well as smooth surfaces like polished wood. A shag or faux fur rug will treat your feet and add contrast to an expanse of smooth flooring. Bring nature in with stones, sand, or water. Grasses or cacti in small pots can add low-maintenance greenery.

Guided by the Light

The timeless, inviting glow of candles is central to the Hygge style, and there’s no such thing as too many. Available in endless colors, shapes, and sizes, candles are an inexpensive luxury that never goes out of style. During the day you’ll want to allow as much natural light into your living space as possible, and when artificial lighting is needed, opt for free-standing lamps that have sculptural, interesting shapes.

Hot, Hygge Nights

Many city parks and community spaces show outdoor movies in the summer. With today’s incredible array of home technology, you might want to host your own outdoor premiere and enjoy nature right where it is—in your backyard. The slim, lightweight designs of high-def 4k and LED TVs are inobtrusive and more portable than ever, easily moved outside, weather permitting. 3D and laser projectors can deliver eye-popping visuals anywhere it’s dark. A garden wall or garage door will happily supply the screen!

To really bring home the Hygge sense of comfort and contentedness, embellish your cozy neutral canvas with items that have personal meaning to you. They don’t have to be designer-inspired, expensive or fashionable. They just have to have a history, tell a story, and offer sentimental value for you. Reclaimed farm or kitchen tools, such as a favorite garden spade that’s sporting a little rust, or a well-worn wooden rolling pin that grandma used in making your favorite cookies, can be excellent décor items, wrap you in happy memories and make your Hygge home uniquely yours.

Guest Post by Karl Kennedy –