The 2020 Factor – The Need For “HYGGE”

Nestled on the tip of the Great Dividing Range, Toowoomba is placed far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the capital cities to be peaceful, enmeshed in our own local eco-system. It can seem strange for us to therefore reflect on how we can be impacted by a global event like the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this virus has had unexpected and far-reaching impact within our industry, effecting both our building processes and design.

Let’s be honest, since “our Mary” married Prince Frederick and became the Crown Princess of Denmark, we have held a little love in hearts for the Danes! So, it may come as no surprise to us Aussies, that 2020 brought us a little more understanding of the Danish word “Hygge”. The Danes are used to dealing with long, dark winters, and Hygge – roughly translated to a feeling of cosiness – stems from how they counteract this long bleak season. Hygge is often described by referring to terms like warmth, cosy, firelight, comfort, candlelight, and peace. This term has increased in popularity around the world in 2020, as the world faced a long, bleak season of lockdown. The search for Hygge was on!

The challenge came in creating a sense of calm, cosiness and peace, without being able to leave your home. Online shopping trends veered toward weighted blankets, fluffy warm knitted throws, and chunky cable knit cushions. Twinkling fairy lights were bought in abundance, with reports of some stores selling out as soon as they stocked their shelves!

Hygge has also flowed into building design with the elements of warmth coming through use of timbers, stacked stone, and even marble. Surfaces were prized for their natural occurring patterns, muted colourways, and reflection back to nature. Rather than just purely perfunctory, hard surfaces like flooring, walls, tiling all had to look beautiful and reflect serenity and cosiness. While fresh minimal white was still popular, it was being offset with darker colours like storm grey, navy and black. Rattan and natural fibres, combined with botanical prints created liveliness and colour. Rooms are purposed for softer lighting, incorporating lamps and pools or pockets of warm, yellow toned, light.

It is always fascinating to step back and see how world events actually influence creativity in our industry. What about your space? Have you incorporated Hygge into your home design and décor?

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