Danish concept of coziness ranks high in design style

Our story so far: As reality has caught up with this blog about converting a 126-year-old Methodist church into our home, I’ve run across a few odds and ends that occurred after I wrote about the subject initially. That’s how it goes with a real-time memoir. Sometimes stuff happens after publication. So for the next week or so, I’ll be sharing a few little stories that will ultimately be integrated into the relevant location in the memoir. Think of this as the time in the novel—especially a mystery novel—when you page back to reread a few passages to remind yourself about what’s going on. Here’s a tidbit for Chapter 13, in which I described our design style.

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The mission statement for our design style was this:

We strive to create a comfortable sanctuary in the modern world, built solidly and maintained orderly.

Comfort was the first adjective for a reason; we didn’t want an art house that required ramrod posture and scared visitors away, and it was an important element of how we intended to decorate our home. I drew some of my inspiration from a book I read about Danish hygge, pronounced hooga.

“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things,” writes Meik Wiking in The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home.”

Wiking goes on to write about the coziness factor of candles, tea, comfort food and being present in the moment. As for décor: “Anything hand-crafted—objects created out of wood, ceramics, wool, leather and so on—is hyggeligt… . The rustic, organic surface of something imperfect or something that has been or will be affected by age appeals to the touch of hygge.” That’s that I wanted in our new home: Hygge.

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Tomorrow: Whatever became of the bat from Chapter 15? Read about it here.


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