What the hygge? The Danish concept of cosiness in house design

What the hygge? The Danish concept of cosiness in house design

Home Comfort Tip

Home comfort tips

Hygge (pronounced “hue-guh”) is the Danish word for living the good life. A cosy atmosphere, friends and family, happiness… and in your home, comfort.

Hygge was one of Oxford Dictionary’s words of the year in 2016, and it’s recently made a starring turn on The Block. But what is it, and how you can get it at home?

Hygge means, loosely, “hug”. It’s a quality of presence, a feeling of belonging to the moment. Hygge is a winter night on the couch with friends over for a casserole and a movie; in summer, it’s a warm night on the back deck with family, a lingering conversation floating across the table as the cicadas serenade. Like a hug, hygge is comfort.

Danish building codes deliver hygge

Key to the Dane’s experience of home hygge is their high levels of home insulation. Starting in 1961, spurred on following the 1973 oil crisis, and updated several times since, Denmark has strict regulations around home insulation standards, as they believe that the most sustainable energy is saved energy. Similarly, double glazing and air-tight construction standards are given close attention.

The result is the “hygge house”. An effortless, comfortable, quiet home where you are able to be in the moment without being disturbed by noisy neighbours, cold draughts or running expensive artificial heating and cooling appliances, all with reduced energy consumption in homes.

What the hygge? The Danish concept of cosiness in house design
Like a hug, hygge is all about home comfort

Hygge is as Danish as pastries and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul; it may also help explain why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world. You can achieve hygge in your home if you get the foundations right with roof, ceiling, wall and floor insulation, airtight wraps, high quality glass and ventilation. Then add some soft furnishings, a few candles, some friends and a good meal and let the hygge happen.


Curious how heat flows in and out of your house? Get your lab coat on and understand the science behind insulation.