We’re probably all a little nervous about the long winter ahead right now. I’m choosing to focus on making our home and lives as cozy and comfortable as possible, because that’s kind of what I do! 🙂 Here are ten quarantine Hygge ideas that I’m implementing this fall and winter!
So here it is the beginning of November. Our howling winter winds really kicked in a few days ago, and as I was reading through the news and hearing about new lockdowns being implemented around the world, I had this feeling like “Oh no! Winter. is. here.” We’re lucky to have a low case count where we live, but we’re still definitely very cautious and we’ve had a few little outbreaks pop up that really remind us that we’re not out of the woods yet. Things are definitely not back to normal and the types of things that get you out of the house and break up your day when you work mostly from home are the types of things that just aren’t happening right now. Of course. So I had this little moment of panic and then I decided to write down a few strategies that I can implement during the cold weather this year to hopefully help us just glide right through this season of life. We’re not really technically in “quarantine” or in lockdown at all, but I think we all know what I mean. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts just in case someone else sees one that might work well for them too. Here are ten quarantine hygge ideas for this year!
Fresh Air and Lots of it
I might be starting to sound like a bit of a broken record right now, but fresh air really is the ultimate remedy for everything, and we really don’t do the best job of getting us all outside as much as we would like to. It’s absolutely critical that we take advantage of days where the weather is beautiful and get outside, and it’s even more important to get outside when the weather isn’t so beautiful. What feels better than coming into a warm house after being outside on a cold day? This is really the essence of what Hygge is all about. Getting outside for some fresh and hopefully a little nature, then coming inside and really appreciating the warmth and comfort.
Feel Good Decor
What’s feel good decor? Basically, anything that makes you feel happy in the moment. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the typical big cozy blankets and fluffy pillows that you hear people talk about when they mention hygge. It can be anything that makes you feel settled and content in your home. Right now for me it’s things with shiny finishes that catch the morning light, clean and uncluttered surfaces, and things with a bit of a natural, handmade feel to them, along with a healthy dose of blue and white. The things that you surround yourself with matter!
Mixing Things Up
As the colder months start to drag on, I think it will be really important to mix things up, move things around and not let our surroundings start to feel stale. The winter months can be long, and may feel even longer this year, and any little bright spot that will provide a happy distraction is a good thing. I love the trick of taking your house plants and moving them to new locations around the house. Of course, plants are an immediate mood booster, but we start to not notice them as much when they’re in the same place for a long time. Moving them somewhere new kind really helps them catch your eye a bit more throughout the day and renews their powers a little bit. 🙂
I’m all for eating healthy, of course, but sometimes treats are just necessary. Of course I’m going to try to bake more, because there’s nothing better than the smell of fresh baking coming from the oven, but I’m also stocked up on store bought treats more than usual, so we can still treat ourselves even if I don’t find the time to bake as much as I would like to.
Optimizing for Netflix
One little thing that bugs me in my day-to-day life is that we never have a chance to watch all the things that we hear about other people watching. It’s just never fit into our lives. It’s not a big thing, but the idea of having the time to sit down and watch multiple episodes of a show on Netflix, or even just one a night, has started to started to sound pretty luxurious to me. I’m going to make a point to spend some quality time with our TV and set the scene for coziness so I can get caught up on those shows that everyone is talking about. I know out there in the real world, people just resign themselves to watching Netflix if they have nothing better to do, but I’m fully looking forward to adding this little luxury into my life.
One thing I’ve always craved every year for my Christmas seasons is quietness. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily happen as much as I would like it to, because Christmas season is BUSY. This year though, quietness in all areas of life is pretty much unavoidable. So rather than being nervous about that and some of the other changes that are making our world feel a little upside down right now, I’m taking this as my chance to really lean in to that quiet time. I’ll probably never have as quiet of a winter ever again so it’s now or never!
One of the foundational principles of the hygge philosophy is to take time to appreciate the simple joys in life, and there is just so much joy in simple repetition. It’s the reason why traditions and little daily rituals feel so special. Rather than thinking of our daily lives during COVID as mundane, I think it’s time to really appreciate the repetitive nature of our days and to make those little moments that we find ourselves repeating as pleasant as possible.
Candles and Lamps
Lighting up your home in warm light is a big part of the hygge experience. Traditionally, lots of candles are used throughout the home, but lamp light works well too. The key here is to actually use those lamps that you have around the house. It’s such a simple little goal to set for yourself to just turn on your lamps in the evening when the sun goes down, but it will create a really lovely atmosphere. I’m pretty good with using the lamps in our living room and our bedroom, but I’m kind of ashamed to admit that the beautiful lamps in our dining room aren’t even plugged in! I’m going to change that.
Fireplaces (And fireplace-like vibes)
A fireplace creates in instant feel-good atmosphere, whether it’s gas, electrical, or wood-burning. And it doesn’t stop there. You can even pull up a fireplace video on youtube and feel instantly just a little bit better, or you can even burn one of those wood wick candles. I turn our new fireplace on every chance I get, but I’m going to try to incorporate some fireplacey ideas in other places around the house as well.
Fresh Flowers in Pretty Vases
This probably sounds like an idea so simple that it’s almost silly, but there’s no denying that fresh flowers, or ever just fresh greenery make such an impact on a space. And greenery in some kind of beautiful vessel is even better. It kind of becomes a work of art and a reminder that warmer weather will be back again all at the same time. In years past, I’ve implemented “Friday flowers” where I’d go pick up a bouquet of grocery store flowers for myself every Friday during the coldest, darkest months of the year. These days, I almost always have some kind of fresh greenery or fresh flowers around the house leftover from our photo shoots, so I really just need to make the effort to actually arrange those leftovers into something beautiful and put them where I can enjoy them.
Have you started to think of things you’ll be doing this winter to make things feel extra cozy and comforting?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.