When the depths of winter settle in and the outside becomes a vast sea of snow and frigid air there is nothing more appealing than curling up on a soft chair next to a warm crackling fireplace. Denmark finds this scenario so appealing that they have a word for it: “hygge” (pronounced hue-gah.) Hygge is a lifestyle and a part of Danish culture that dates back to the 18th century. It is defined as coziness or a feeling of warmth and security.
The way of life that has contributed to the people of Denmark being termed the happiest people in the world made its way into the United States decorating scene in 2019. Since then it has become a go-to for creating a cozy home staging tactic used by realtors to assist in home selling during the cold and dreary winter months when houses generally sell at a slower pace.
Hygge decorating doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, since hygge embodies a simple life it’s best to begin the process of hygge decorating by clearing out the clutter that detracts from the comfort and simplicity of your home. That means removing children’s toys and decluttering overcrowded shelves as well as removing excess furniture that doesn’t lend to the hygge experience.
An overall hygge vibe comes from the color and textures of a house. The colors most associated with hygge style are those that embody a natural cozy vibe. Soft greys and whites, as well as neutral tones of brown, are perfect paint colors for walls. In addition to choosing a neutral paint palette, you could bring in extra warmth with warm wood moldings and flooring. Light oaks and warm mahogany wood add a rustic feel while continuing the hygge style. Stone is another material that lends to hygge decorating. Soft greys and tan stone follow the color tones of hygge while the structure lends to the security in hygge decorating.
Furnishing your house for staging will add to the warmth of your home no matter the temperature outdoors. Furniture that lends well to hygge decorating will be comfortable and soft in texture. Steer clear of hard edges and cold metal materials that will detract from the warmth. Instead, lean toward plush comfortable materials such as cotton, faux furs, and suede. Be sure to arrange a sitting area or padded window seat with plenty of room for a few people to relax and enjoy a cozy evening. And of course, don’t forget a soft plush rug that will make everyone want to take off their shoes and stay awhile.
When your room is decorated with the coziest furniture, be sure to add even more warmth with subtle accents. Simple additions are knit throws and accent pillows, both of which exude warmth and comfort and can also add small additions of color and comfort to any room. You can also use natural accents such as wreaths and small potted plants to bring in more natural energy to your home.
Another big component of hygge decorating is the use of natural light. Avoid harsh overhead lighting and opt for natural sunlight. Stay away from heavy fabric curtains or blackout blinds. Instead, choose sheer curtains that follow the use of whites, neutral, and light colors. If your house won’t be shown until the evening or if natural light is not an option for one of your rooms then use soft warm lights that mimic natural light. Light a few candles in your rooms to add additional warmth and light. Even the smallest of bathrooms can be turned into a relaxing spa by adding candles around the bathtub and sink. Kitchens can be warmed with a few well-placed candles as the fixture of a table centerpiece. And sitting rooms can become venues for cozy conversation when lit by candle.
If your home is equipped with a fireplace you can play up the mantle area to draw attention to the naturally warm appeal of the area. A natural wreath and a few well-placed accent pieces will draw attention to the fireplace. Fireplaces are a helpful selling addition in most areas of the country but are especially well received in areas such as the Northeast where the winter months make an indoor fire a desired addition.
Selling your home during the winter may take a bit longer but it is still possible. Approximately 64% of agents say that homes in their area generally sold slower in the winter compared to other seasons. However, incorporating hygge decorating can help move along the process. Many aspects of hygge decorating are part of agent recommendations for the best winter house showing experience. Over 18% of agents said amping up the cozy factor is the most important recommendation for selling a home, while nearly 25% of agents said letting in natural light would be most important. Incorporating some if not all aspects of hygge decorating into your home staging will make selling your home a simple and cozy experience even in the dead of winter.