The Danish word 'hygge' has recently found a place for itself in cultures across the world, largely thanks to its contributions to interior design. English dictionaries define the Danish term as a 'quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.'
It's easy to see why the concept has year-round appeal in the international world of design, but the warm feeling of hygge is undoubtedly at its most potent during the winter months.
Although hygge is typically associated with interior design, it can be worked into outside décor, too. Here are a handful of ways to incorporate that Scandi feeling into your patio and garden areas this festive season.
Materials form the canvas of your overall aesthetic, playing a deciding role in the tone and feel of your patio space. When it comes to an outside area, materials also need to respond well to the elements. Permanent outdoor fixtures should be resistant to rain and wind, for example.
Wooden cladding captures that cosy hygge feel and holds up to the weather, making it a smart choice. It taps into the natural elements of Scandi design, while bringing to mind cosy cabins and mid-century nordic houses. You can easily extend the use of wood to modern outdoor furniture, creating a charming, open-air dining area.
In the design world, Northern Europe is perhaps most famous for its sleek, Scandinavian furniture. Simplicity and minimalism are key here, so shop for clean lines and bold shapes.
The palette of your Scandinavian-style furniture will also play a considerable role in the feel of your outside living area. Neutral tones are a central feature of this design's identity, especially monochrome palettes and soft, cooler shades. Simple modern outdoor furniture can be deftly offset by the inclusion of boldly coloured potted plants (try Poinsettias for festive flair) and weather-proof cushions. Add a touch of Christmas spirit by opting for a reindeer-patterned throw, a potted fir tree and a smattering of gently twinkling outdoor fairy lights.
While outdoor living poses some fresh challenges to designers, we can still take our cues from interior design when it comes to decoration. Bring your fireplace into the garden with a fire pit or wood burner for an enchanting, winter-friendly outdoor living space. These create a focal point for your garden, whilst also keeping everyone toasty as they lounge on Scandinavian-style furniture enjoying the starry skies. Roast some chestnuts over the flames for a festive treat.
A Scandi-inspired garden is one that's inviting all year round. The cool palette thrives in the summer sun, while the cosy, hygge details draw you in on dark winter evenings. Read through previous Engel & Völkers blogs on garden design to find more ways of extending the life of your garden throughout all the seasons.