Here in Britain we have a diverse interpretation of the popular Danish concept of ‘hygge’, which is actually just as relevant in summer as in winter. Those wonderful feelings of wellbeing, conviviality and contentment that underlie the hygge concept are around us all year round, and noticeably during these long sunny days and warm summer evenings, with the energy and ‘holiday vibe’ that the sunshine brings making us all feel more content.
In fact, in a recent survey that we commissioned about Brits’ interpretation of hygge, many of the respondents said they felt things like natural light, fresh air and nice scents all provided a feeling of hygge in the home. Almost one in five said that throwing open the windows and doors helped them to feel more content, while just under a third like to bring natural elements into the house. This certainly supports the view that in Britain hygge is a year-round and season-wide concept.
This week we are at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and wherever you look, there are some great examples of summertime hygge. A wander around the show gardens and vibrant stands, set against the stunning backdrop of the Palace, not only instils an instant feelgood factor but also provides a wealth of ideas and inspiration for bringing hygge into your home and garden over the summer months.
Warmth, aesthetics and the environment are three of the fundamentals of creating a feeling of hygge in the home, and the summer offers these in abundance, with all on show here at Hampton Court – the sunshine; the beautiful colours and scents of flowers; the bees, birds and butterflies; and much more besides.
A key element of hygge is the enjoyment of nature and natural materials. Here wood and stone have been integrated into many of the gardens to create format and texture, while the use of water, whether though elaborate water features or pretty little ponds, reflects the changing sunlight throughout the day and creates a soothing soundtrack that’s sure to help you feel relaxed.
Bringing the outside in and the inside out is always a great way of connecting with nature and improving your sense of wellbeing, whether that’s relaxing outside in a hammock or hanging cocoon, spending time with friends in a beautiful garden room, or bringing herbs and flowers into the house to fill the rooms with fragrance and colour. Creating areas that feel like rooms within the garden and making the most of nature indoors are both excellent ways to appreciate the world around us, boosting our sense of belonging and contentment.
What makes us feel most at ease is different for all of us. It might be finding a cosy little nook in the garden where you can relax and read a book, it might be hanging out in an old shed listening to the radio, or it might be hosting a party for friends in your stunning new garden room. Whatever your style, there’s certainly plenty here that will inspire you to create your perfect summer hygge.
If you’re coming along to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week, pop by the Everest stand within the Celebrity Theatre to find out more about home hygge and pick up a copy of the new book, A Very British Hygge. As the author writes within it, “Let the sunshine in, and the hygge will follow.”