Now that cooler temperatures are upon us, it’s the perfect time to embrace hygge design. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” the Danish word means “comfort” and who couldn’t use more of that? With that in mind, we’ve decided to bring you our best tips for creating a hygge aesthetic. Use them to keep your home feeling warm and cozy all winter long.

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hygge home

Build the room around a neutral color palette. Image: Zastolskiy Victor/Shutterstock

Start with neutral colors

Color is the first building block for any design. It helps to set the tone for the space and to bring the different design elements in your space together in a cohesive manner. Hygge spaces are no exception to this rule, which is why you should always start your hygge designs by relying mainly on a neutral color palette.

Since hygge is all about comfort, neutral tones give the eye plenty of places to rest. With that in mind, you’ll want to stick with softer neutrals, in particular. Work in plenty of soft grays, rich creams and icy blues. You’ll want to limit the use of higher contrast neutrals like black or dark brown, as these can be more visually taxing.

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comfort

Hygge is all about creating comfort. Image: PlusONE/Shutterstock

Focus on comfort

An article in TIME explains the Danish concept as “an approach to living that embraces positivity and enjoyment of everyday experiences.” Practically, it’s about enjoying life’s simple pleasures, like the feeling of curling up under a blanket or slipping into bed after a long day.

From that perspective, creating a hygge home is all about infusing the space with a feeling of comfort. To do that, you want to ensure that your furniture is as h as possible. Think big, comfy sofas and gloriously overstuffed chairs.

You also want to invest in plenty of textiles. Textiles like rugs, woven wall hangings, pillows and blankets will do a lot to bring warmth and, therefore, comfort into a room. Layer them one on top of the other to add some visual complexity into the space, but don’t get too caught up in making the layers look neat. Hygge is also about accepting imperfections as a part of life.

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lighting

Add in plenty of soft lighting. Image: Alina Yudina/Shutterstock

Include plenty of soft lighting

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: creating the right lighting scheme has a huge effect on the way a space feels. If you need proof, just think about how draining overhead, industrial lights can feel in an office setting. Alternatively, remember how peaceful and relaxing lighting some candles feels at the end of a long day. In this instance, we’re looking to set the latter mood.

To that end, make sure to bring plenty of soft lighting into the room. In this case, while every room does need some ambient lighting, it should almost be an afterthought to your other types of lighting. Here, you’ll focus on including some accent lighting like soft fairy lights or even candles

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essentials

Avoid any unnecessary clutter. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Stick to the essentials

Keep in mind, what’s not included in these interiors is just as important as the pieces you select. A central principle of hygge is allowing yourself enough material pleasures to feel comfortable without feeling the need to go overboard. This is one occasion where less is more.

To do this effectively, your best bet is to start from scratch. Remove all the items from the space and, once you have a blank canvas, move them back in piece by piece. Think like a curator and decide individually whether each item adds specific value to the design. Whenever you’re unsure, feel free to leave that piece out.

We know that, for some, negative space can feel uncomfortable at first. If you’re one of these people, try not to give in to your initial impulses. Give yourself some time to adjust to the room’s new design. If, after a few days, the space still feels too empty, consider which parts of the design need work. Tweak those until you find your perfect balance.

To maintain a sense of comfort, especially in the winter, make sure your room temperature is an after thought. You can do this by setting your smart thermostat to work with your schedule.  Also consider the use of other warming devices in your home such as a fireplace, electric blanket or oversized sweater.  What is more comforting then curling up on the couch in front of the fireplace on a snowy winter evening? Happy Hygge!