5 Simple Ways to Create a Hygge Reading Nook
In everyday life we squash our reading into the most uncomfortable of circumstances, from standing up on a bus to five hurried minutes in our lunch break. What we should be doing is taking a lesson from the Danes and embracing Hygge (hoo-gah), which simply means embracing the good things in life and taking time to relax. Some may define Hygge as 'cosiness'.
And the concept marries perfectly with the activity of reading - which all book-lovers know really deserves our time and respect. No matter where it is, we all have a corner in our homes that can be reserved as a reading sanctuary.
So however small your reading space, here's how to give it a little Hygge magic!
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Few things create a relaxing atmosphere more than candles. For a great range of moon-inspired soy candles check out Northumberland-based St Lunar. This relatively new company has some great reviews, and little wonder - these candles have great scent throw.
Find ideas for using candles to add atmosphere here.
2. Tea and Coffee
Traditionally, coffee is more hygge than tea - but we Brits do have a penchant for tea. Anyway, following rules goes against the principles of hygge! Either way, reading and hot drinks go hand in hand.
If making a pot of fresh filter coffee is too time-consuming and messy, try these fabulous coffee bags. You won't be able to tell the difference - really. The aroma is incredible. I now buy in bulk. I'm also now addicted to white tea - try Clipper for a superior taste. I'm buying this in bulk, too!
What's the point of tea or coffee without an edible sugar fix as chaperone? Out of loyalty to the Danish, try making one of their favourite cakes, the Danish Dream Cake. However, my favourite Scandinavian cake hails from Sweden: Kladdkaka, better known as Swedish Chocolate Cake. The recipe is fool-proof (trust me) and the result is delicious - every single time.
Or you could always pop to Ikea and buy their version of it ...
4. String Lights
Whether indoor or outdoor, festoon lights are an integral part of the hygge experience. No longer restricted to the confines of the season of goodwill, many homes are graced with string lights all year round. Not only are they a great source of atmospheric lighting but they've been found to stimulate our happy hormones. A good book and string lights equate to Hygge heaven!
I like the simplicity of the the Scandinavian style and think these warm white berry lights are perfect.
5. Blankets and Throws
Blankets and throws are Hygge layering must-haves. If Hygge is defined by intimacy and warmth then the humble blanket epitomises these concepts, so it's an essential component of your reading sanctuary.
Ideally, choose blankets and throws that are made of natural materials and have soft textures. This chunky knit throw from Dunelm is good value and does its job admirably. Alternatively, you could go all Tom Daly and knit one, purl one ...
So all there's left to do is huddle into that blanket with your latest page-turner best friend and shut out the world (forget the idea that Hygge is also about good company and conviviality...).
Add the sound of a crackling fire from YouTube (unless you're lucky enough to have the real thing) and Bob's your uncle.
Sensory escapism complete!