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7 Easy & Cozy Apartment Design Lessons to Learn From “Hygge”

Fall is the season of self-care: Cozy loungewear, warm drinks and leaf-covered sidewalks visible from the window are the ideal features of a season where “comfort” is the keyword. But make no mistake: Achieving this in today’s hectic and “always-on-the-run” culture is truly an artform.

Fortunately, this is where “hygge” comes into play. This Danish concept has no direct translation but is best described as a type of comfort that prioritizes your well-being and helps you show gratitude to yourself. (Plus, it requires barely any money and just some effort. That’s the beauty of “hygge” — even adopting it feels comfortable!)

So, if you’re willing to start giving thanks a little earlier this month, here are the seven lessons that “hygge” teaches us about making an apartment a cozy haven.

Embrace the Cozy


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Is there anything better than lounging around on a sofa with a thick, soft blanket wrapped around you? No, there isn’t! That’s why blankets and pillows are absolutely necessary for achieving that “hygge” aesthetic — and, the fluffier, the better! Specifically, wool, fleece and cashmere all make for great materials for a cozy blanket. But if you’re looking for something more hypoallergenic, then cotton is your best bet. Notably, warm and neutral colors are best for creating a relaxing environment. Then, to enhance the look, simply throw in some pillows and a luxurious-looking rug.

Vintage Is Back In

This might not be surprising, but the fact is that vintage never left, and for a good reason too: It’s stylish, eco-friendly and affordable! Moreover, vintage pieces are also a great way to give your apartment a little bit of personality and show some love to old and cherished objects. From odd ceramic dog statues to brass ornaments and antique books to the (clearly superior) hand-carved wooden cat figurines a few vintage knick-knacks are sure to be great conversation starters during any dinner party. And the best part is that you can find plenty of these at flea markets for very reasonable prices.

Take Your Coffee Game One Step Further

Connecting with people is a core concept of “hygge”, which is especially heartwarming during the colder months. Essentially, this means allocating time to spend with loved ones just sitting around without constantly checking your phone. While that sounds quite cozy, the truth is that sometimes it’s hard to get all of your friends in one place. Luckily, there’s one easy fix for that — a coffee table! Although it sounds simple, a wooden coffee table and some sitting pillows make for the perfect place to have small gatherings of friends while enjoying a cup of coffee — or even some tea or hot chocolate if you’re feeling particularly daring.

Light Up Your Life One Candle at a Time


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Lighting a candle in a dark room creates an atmosphere of coziness and intimacy, which is exactly what “hygge” is trying to capture, too. So, if you want to light up your evening even just a little, try lighting a candle. Recommended are those made from beeswax, soy wax or coconut wax as their natural ingredients are considered safer than other types of wax (and they’re the most eco-friendly too.) But, if you’re not into that, no problem: Fairy lights or lamps make for great substitutes, providing you with warm, low light that’s perfect for getting you in a reading mood. Alternatively, if you’re really in need of relaxation, the soft, pink glow of a Himalayan salt lamp might be just what you need.

Show Yourself Off


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Keepsakes are not only great reminders of old adventures, but they also make for endearing decorations. Old newspaper clippings, tattered books, that one family heirloom your dad won’t stop talking about at family gatherings — they’re all parts of treasured moments in our lives, so don’t be shy about putting them on display. Plus, bookshelves filled with these items can make for a great addition to a “hygge”-inspired home. Or, go the extra step and build a showcase for them. Nothing screams intimate more than a handmade display case filled with all of your personalized items.

Let Your Inner Shutterbug Out

Instead of letting your old photo albums gather dust in the closet or on a bookshelf, why not bring them out? While photo frames might seem too ordinary, there’s a simple way to make them pop by creating wall galleries, photo collages or, if you’re feeling particularly bold, photo strings! Lights are already a significant aspect of “hygge,” so why not kill two birds with one stone and display your childhood memories alongside a row of twinkling lights for that cozy, comfortable aesthetic? To that end, wooden pegs to hang your photos from work particularly well. And, the best part is that it makes it easy to switch them out in intervals if you ever feel the need for a change. So, bring out your inner shutterbug — or at least it’s overly organized cousin, the scrapbook enthusiast.

Freshen Up Your Life with Some Dried Flowers

Everybody loves receiving flowers, right? They help brighten your day when you’re feeling down and smell lovely. There are also very few downsides to them, which is why “hygge” encourages bringing a little bit of nature inside during those harsh and cold months. The only issue is that fresh flowers are notoriously short-lived, but even that’s not something to fret over as the answer is quite simple: Use dried flowers, instead! A bouquet of dried flowers can last up to three years and they’re also fun DIY projects to occupy your time with. In fact, a few strategically placed bouquets can make your home look just like a meadow in fall.

Adina Dragos
Adina Dragos
Adina Dragos is a creative writer at RentCafe, with a passion for reading, research and cats. As a fellow renter, Adina's articles cover various topics such as the state of the real estate market or how creative interior design choices improve the experience of living in a rental. She also enjoys exploring subjects like urbanization, green living and historical buildings. Adina has a BA in English and Norwegian Language and Literature.

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