Hygge is a Scandinavian way of life that encompasses coziness, togetherness, and peace. In the last several years, it has wound its way into design in such a way that it is its own design style now.

Hygge design is minimal, calming, and neutral. It is design meant to create the Scandinavian ideal of zen living. There’s a good chance you could identify hygge style despite never having heard the word. It is so pervasive in design today you really can’t get away from it. It’s woven into modern farmhouse, boho, minimalism, and more.

If the current state of the world has made you crave the coziness of hygge, you’re in the right place. Here’s some dos and don’ts for getting the ultimate hygge living room.

Neutral colored living room with gray sofa and organic-shaped coffee table.

Colors


Hygge colors are warm and neutral. They lend a sense of calm that adds greatly to the harmony of the overall design.

Dos


Use neutral colors liberally. Grays, creams, beige, and greige are excellent foundational colors. To add color, stick to muted warm tones and pastels.

Don’ts


Steer clear of bright or distracting colors. You don’t want any color in the room to draw attention to itself. The popular concept of “pops of color'' is not something you want to do in a hygge living room.

Light colored living room with built in bookshelves and white couch.

Fireplace


Huddling around the fireplace is the idyllic situation in the hygge living room. It’s soft warm glow and warmth, not to mention comforting ambiance, is a necessity.

Dos


Make your fireplace the center of attention in the space. Let it be the thing you gather around with family and the spot you congregate with friends. Any kind of fireplace will do: gas, electric, or traditional. Use your fireplace often. If you have an electric fireplace, you can turn off the heat and use it year round.

Don’ts


Your fireplace isn’t simply a mantel to place decorations. You should use it for its physical warmth and emotional ambiance. If you don’t like the mess of a wood burning fireplace and that keeps you from using it, opt for an electric fireplace that has no mess or maintenance.

Textures


Cozy is the standard measurement for all things hygge, including textures. Hygge needs lots of soft, plush textures. Without them, hygge simply isn’t complete.

Dos


Throw blankets, plush pillows, and sofas that beg to be touched are musts for the hygge living room. Sherpa type textures are excellent, as are shag rugs. It can also be helpful to pick curved, flowing lines instead of straighter, harder lines for furniture.

Natural materials are a winner in the hygge design as well. Wood, wool, stone, etc. all have a warmth that ups the cozy factor. Stick to matte finishes and if you must have metallics, choose the brushed look.

Don’ts


Stay away from modern type furniture with straighter lines. Streamlined sofas aren’t as inviting as overstuffed ones. Shiny finishes are too sleek for a hygge aesthetic.

Lighting


Lighting is key to creating the right ambiance for your hygge living room. It can make or break your cozy design. Keep it soft, warm, and cozy and you’ll be set.

Dos


Keep to soft light bulbs and candlelight-type lighting that invites warmth. Can lights are good for general lighting. Add intimate lamps for task lighting. Accent lighting amps up the cozy factor because it lends a magical sort of feel to the space. Twinkle lights are excellent. Candles and firelight are must-haves.

Don’ts


Don’t be tempted by harsher lighting like fluorescent or LED lights. Anything in the blue light range comes off as a bit too hard for a hygge living room. Try not to use bare bulbs or shadeless lights that can be too bold.


Transform your living room into an oasis of hygge style and living. Everything soft, warm, and cozy will make your living room a comforting space you’ll love to live in.

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