Danish interior design: Hygge-inspired designPublished 20.09.19
Danish interior design offers an unfailing sense of warmth, along with feelings of comfort and deep satisfaction. Hygge, a term originating from Norway meaning ‘wellness’, has been widely used in Denmark since the mid 18th century to describe the feeling of cosiness and togetherness. ‘Hyggeligt’ [cosy] interior design is prevalent in many Danish homes, with Danes embracing the cold, dark days with warm lighting, comforting furniture and varying textures. It’s important to remember, however, that hygge refers to a feeling rather than a tangible object – a feeling of genuine happiness and comfort.
Whilst hygge is commonly embraced in the home, since it describes a feeling, it can be embraced almost anywhere. The presence of hygge has been linked to lowered stress and anxiety, and heightened feelings of gratitude and self-worth; all of which can be beneficial to workplace practice. If you’re looking to re-design your workspace, there are simple and inexpensive ways that you can make the space more hyggeligt.
Warm materials and textures
When choosing your fundamental materials and colours, try opting for warm palettes and textures. Natural oak as flooring combined with knitted furnishings, for example, can be highly complementary, with the natural colour and texture of wood softening the space and evoking innate feelings of relaxation. Knitted and fluffy textures can be incorporated into furniture, or added through blankets or cushions to create a home-from-home ambience. When choosing paint colours, try to stick with a neutral colour palette. This not only stays true to the design of Danish homes, but it also leaves ample room for you to emphasise aspects of your brand colours and design.
Danish and Nordic design is very much centred around minimalism and a ‘less is more’ mentality. This is partly due to the fact that a clutter-free environment maximises the mental health benefits we reap from hygge experiences, and also because the Danish lifestyle is centred around focusing on the ‘small things’. Although it can be hard to transition to a more minimalist design in the workplace, it can be made more simple by making room for increased storage, hiding away items that aren’t frequently used, and getting rid of unnecessary clutter.
When it comes to the typical Danish home, lighting is a highly important aspect of hygge-inspired design. You will rarely see a space with a single overhead light; accent lighting is essential, preferably with orange-tinted (rather than bright white) lights. Many people mistakenly think that bright artificial lighting is needed in the office; however, if we’re making the most of the natural daylight, we shouldn’t need additional white lighting – and when evening comes around, bright lights can cause eye strain. Try incorporating desk lamps and warm spot lighting to create softness.
Since hygge-inspired design so often takes a minimalist approach, it’s a good idea to personalise the space wherever you can. Try displaying some of your best products around the workspace, and encourage employees to personalise their desk space – perhaps with photo frames, cosy blankets from home or their favourite mug.
Nature is, of course, embraced in hygge-inspired design, since exposure to natural elements instils feelings of physical and mental wellness. Try dotting some authentic plants around the office, and encourage employees to bring in their own desk plant. Not only does this make us feel closer to our natural surroundings, but having the opportunity to nurture a living plant offers a true sense of purpose and satisfaction.
The beauty of hygge is that it’s all about the way we feel, placing importance on the positive emotions we have the ability to experience, whilst allowing us to feel the benefits. When embraced in the workplace, hygge-inspired design can make for happier, more genuinely satisfied individuals, which should be at the core values of any business.
At Cobus, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with spaces that instil feelings of true harmony, whilst helping to drive their business forward. To find out more, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team.