Home / News / Emulate Danish pursuit of happiness with modern, cozy interiors – Orange County Register
Emulate Danish pursuit of happiness with modern, cozy interiors – Orange County Register
Dorothy had it right: There’s no place like home, and if you need convincing, consider the feel-good trend of the moment — hygge, the Danish lifestyle that conjures up thoughts of coziness and comfort. It’s about togetherness, harmony, presence and pleasure.
Laurie Barnett and Mary OBrien own the new Hens Kitchen Shoppe in downtown Claremont where everything is geared toward the heart of the home. (Courtesy photo)
Bringing in touches of nature, a good book and a quiet place to relax allow the mind and body to recoup from everyday stress. (Courtesy of Amy Bartlam. Design by 22 Interiors)
White walls paired with wood furniture and accessories fits nicely into the hygge at home concept.
A warm blanket or throw, a comfy couch and a quiet corner of the house combine for an ideal sense of hygge at home. (Courtesy of Amy Bartlam. Design by 22 Interiors)
Fireplaces provide the crackling of burning wood, the smells of home and subtle lighting to relax. (Courtesy of Amy Bartlam. Design by 22 Interiors)
Specially selected meaningful objects accent the home providng for a curated but not cluttered look. Plenty of natural light adds to the ambience. (Courtesy of Amy Bartlam. Design by 22 Interiors)
There are blogs, websites and even a manifesto proclaiming 10 tenets, but the idea is simple and easy to replicate. Hygge is an atmosphere and an experience, about being with people you love and feeling safe, according to Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. Yes, it’s a place and they take the idea seriously. He’s even written the latest in a slew of books on the topic: “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living.” Actually, it’s not all that secret, just maybe things individuals have forgotten. “Hygge has been called everything from ‘the art of creating intimacy’ and ‘coziness of the soul’ to ‘cocoa by candlelight,’ ” he said in an email. “Some of the key ingredients are togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence and comfort. The true essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness. It’s basically like a hug, just without the physical touch.”
And that’s universal.
“Scandanavia is cold and dark. Here, we are in sunny beautiful Southern California. We should have been the ones to have invented it,” Mary O’Brien said with a chuckle.
Longtime friend and business partner Laurie Barnett couldn’t agree more, even if she wasn’t exactly sure how to pronounce the word (it’s “hoo-gah”). “We had hygge. We just didn’t call it that.”
You’ll find lots of hygge and then some in their recently opened home décor store, The Hens’ Kitchen Shoppe, in downtown Claremont. The sister store to The Speckled Hens is packed with big bowls, quality pans and all the things that make cooking a hobby, a communal endeavor and an art. Kitchens are the hearts of the homes, where friends and family gather. That’s why they plan cooking…