My Hygge Studio in the PNW
Hygge is about making every day life magical. What's more magical than a tiny art studio in the snow? For those who don't know of Hygge, it is pronounced "hoo-ga." This Danish concept cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. ... "In other words, what freedom is to Americans. . . hygge is to Danes," Wiking says in his book The Little Book Of Hygge.
This past week here on the Olympic Peninsula, we had nearly 10 inches of snow at my house. The best part of a snowy winter day here in the Pacific Northwest is that you have an excuse for staying home and curling up under a blanket with a warm cup of tea if you are lucky! My art studio is an essential part of my winter Hygge life after living in Los Angeles for over 30 years where there is virtually no winter. Don't get me wrong. I do not love the long stretches of dark and dreary PNW weather in the winter and it's often a challenge to to be motivated to do much on a rainy chilly January day here. That is where Hygge comes in!
Before I even knew what Hygge was, I was instinctually discovering ways to be cozy, warm and content here during the Pacific Northwest winters. My artistic spirit is actually heightened by the winter doldrums. One of my Hygge tips is to buy tiny budding daffodils and place them in the window. I often joke with my husband that "Spring is Here" by showing him my tiny daffodils even though Spring is months away. There's just something so joyful and cheery about yellow!
Another thing I do in my tiny art studio is to
knit while drinking tea and listening to a good podcast. I also write in my art journal about potential new pieces and I write notes to my friends, both of which are a way to cheer me up on a dreary day.
Tips and tricks others have told me about include simmering spiced apple cider on the stove, making a big pot of soup or lighting candles. I have a couple of candles in my tiny she shed and they provide a cozy atmosphere in there while I am creating, writing or reading.
I also am obsessed with terrariums in the winter as a way to get something cute and green into my life when the outdoor foliage is mostly dormant and gray. I totally LOVE moss and it is everywhere so it is easy to make a terrarium that looks like a magical happy thing. Below is a photo of one of my recent terrarium projects. I use plants that can handle the cold because the terrariums live on my studio porch. I actually made this one on New Year's Day because we had a sunny warmish day and it was so nice to get outside!
I hope these few tips will inspire you to find your Hygge! They say "home is where the heart is," but I think home is also where the Hygge is. As the world seems to be spinning out of control, the concept of embracing comfort and coziness of Hygge is more important than ever.
You will find me hanging out in the waning light of the day here in my studio. I'd love to hear your Hygge tips too and if you are new to this concept, I hope you find this post helpful. Whether you are looking to find your own cozy place to call home or you'd like to learn more about my creative process I'd love to hear from you!