Hygge Entertaining + Lifestyle
The epitome of stress-free gatherings and living, hygge is all about cozy, comfortable design that focuses on finding delight in life's small pleasures.
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A Laid-Back Approach
A hygge gathering is not the moment for a big blowout bash complete with ice sculptures and hors d'oeuvre passed around on silver platters. Entertaining the hygge way shouldn't feel like entertaining at all. The low-key approach is just-right for a small circle of friends or family sharing cozy food, drinks and chats.
Soften Your Living Space
Now's the time to pull out all your cozy blankets and any extra throw pillows. Redress the room so that it's comfy to curl up on the sofa, lay on the floor, sit around your coffee table — a completely relaxed atmosphere where every spot is snuggle-friendly.
Showcase Your Happy
Embrace hygge by filling your spaces with things you love. It's easy to add pieces of joy to our bedrooms and living rooms through beautiful artwork, cushy pillows and stacks of favorite books. But don't overlook your more functional spaces. In the kitchen, display gorgeous cutting boards, vases of flowers, bowls of fresh fruits and eye-catching cookware.
A stack of unsorted mail and a sink of dirty dishes are a surefire way to throw you and your guests out of the hygge mindset. Clear off your kitchen, dining and living surfaces so that you all can enjoy the evening without any visual clutter.
Dim the Lights
Turn off the overhead fixtures and go for a gentler glow. Light candles, set out flickering flameless candles or hang twinkling fairy lights. The latter two options can both be set on timers to illuminate your home as it gets dark outside. Plus, they save you from running around lighting candles at the last minute.
The Coziest Illumination
Get your fireplace going before guests arrive. Not only will it give you a warm backdrop as you prepare for their arrival, but who doesn't relax as soon as they see a crackling fire? No worries though, if you don't have a fireplace. Turn on your TV and set it to Netflix's Fireplace for Your Home or choose from several videos that YouTube has to offer.
Play the Right Tunes
Have soft, soothing music playing in the background. Instrumentals always play well since they don't distract from the conversation, but crowd-pleasing artists set at a low volume work just as well.
Encourage guests to dress the part. Leave the cocktail dresses and heels at home and show up in comfy pants, fuzzy socks and that sweater you never leave the house in. It's for hygge! Have extra throws on hand that they can cuddle up with, and fill your living space with an abundance of plush pillows.
A Group Effort
Take the stress out of your dinner prep by asking for help. Opt for a potluck — you make the main dish and have drinks ready — and ask everyone else to fill in the gaps with yummy sides and a couple of desserts.
Or Make it Super Simple
If you don't want to go the potluck route, choose a rustic menu that's easy to prepare. Make a soup or stew and serve it with crusty bread, cheeses and a delectable dessert. No fuss, little mess and every bit of delicious.
Understated for the Win
No need to pull out your Pinterest-worthy centerpieces and table settings for this one. Relax. Grab your trusty platters, bread bowls and dishes to serve up food family-style. The whole point is to spend your time gathered around the table sharing stories, laughing and eating good, hearty food.
Greet guests with a warm drink — teas, coffee or mulled wine — to instantly get them in the right frame of mind. Invite them into the living room where they can curl up with blankets, surrounded by candlelight and sink into the evening of cozy.
What's Mine is Yours
Open shelves filled with stacks of dishes, cups and serveware evoke a casual, lived-in feel. Guests will feel immediately at home since they won't have to open cabinet after cabinet looking for the mugs. And, of course, the whole aesthetic of this kitchen with its clean white porcelain and accents of blue set against the distressed wood plank wall conjures an instant charm.
Hygge is all about simplifying and being in the moment, so no phones allowed. Have a spot by the door where you and your friends can leave your handhelds and take a true break from the constant stream of information, desire to check social media and reply to every text message.
A Place to Retreat
Before the party starts, prepare your bedroom so that after everyone leaves, you can slip into your own personal haven. Flick on the beside lamp, turn down your bed and have your nighttime essentials — book, glass of water, etc. — already sitting on your nightstand. After a night spent in the calmness of hygge, there's no need to break the spell.