That Hygge Feeling in Canada

Hey Hygge Seekers!

So we got the house, told you a little about why we chose it in the previous post, but now we want to talk about just what the heck we’re doing and why.  It all comes down to that Scandinavian feeling of hygge people! There are so many blog posts out there that can spell out what ‘hygge’ means much faster than we can, so consider this a quick run down on what ‘hygge’ is, where it came from and why we want it!

Here we go, your hygge bootcamp! Hygge,  pronounce HUE-GA, is actually originally a Norwegian word (Stace wants everyone to know), meaning ‘well being’.  It was then snapped up by the Danes, known for some of the darkest winters, yet the happiest people. While there is no literal translation, it kinda refers to a mood of comfort and togetherness. It’s basically the Scandinavian secret to getting through winter and still being content.  In Canada, we’re often ‘so over winter’ in mid-Jan and the worst hasn’t even come. Depression sets in.  Why can’t we be like our Scandi friends? We might as well, right?!

Skaters on the Ottawa Rideau Canal on a sunny winter day
The Ottawa Rideau Canal, Winter 2017

Winter doesn’t have to be that depressing if we can bring the feeling of outdoors inside and create a comfort that wouldn’t be possible without winter. When you think of hygge, think warm cups of tea, a crackling fire place, a thick blanket, rich scents of pine and a good book or your best friends sitting around a harvest table enjoying a rich meal. That, our friends, is hygge.

Ok, so now to answer the question of why hygge, why Canada.  In recent years, we have covered parts of Europe together and separately.  During those trips we have been completely overwhelmed by this “scandi” decor and “hygge feeling” you can find in the UK, the Netherlands and clearly, the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  Kaara got her first taste of ‘hygge’ from her friend’s flat in The Hague.  It had this small but amazing kitchen with a paneled fridge and dishwasher, warm lighting, seating made for comfy nights and thick blankets. Everything in that flat seemed like it was purposeful, or it just wasn’t there.

Amsterdam, Holland with Bicycles on the river
Kaara in Amsterdam, Holland, 2013

Stacy, being first generation Canadian from a mix of Norwegian and British heritage.  She is no stranger to Norway, and is arguably obsessed with that side of her ancestry.  Through trips to Norway as a child and an adult, she has learned first-hand what hygge is, and consistently channeled it in her spaces.

Rådhus, Oslo, Norway Sunset
Stacy at the Rådhus in Oslo, Norway, 2014

Together, we went to the UK in 2016, and that’s where we fell in love with our friend Tegan’s unbelievable flat in South-East London.  Like the flat in The Hague, it too had the covered fridge and dishwasher that matched the cabinetry and everything was so bright, white and sleek.  The bathrooms were what really got us in this place – such functionality in such small spaces. It just seemed brilliant and over  bottles of red wine with Tegan, the idea of buying a home, and completely evoking the feelings of Scandinavia was born. Warm, bright, small but functional. And blogging about it the whole way.

In Manchester, UK at United Match
Together in Manchester, UK, 2016

Coming soon – a tour of our tiny post-war home and our renovation plans!

Sending love and light,

Kaara & Stacy


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