In the search for the right words to sum up the themes of this issue for our cover, ‘cosy’ kept popping up. But why is it that ‘cosy’ can sometimes call to mind spaces that are small, cluttered or old-fashioned, rather than rooms with the stylish, relaxed intimacy we’re aiming to conjure in our homes at this time of year?
Short of giving cosy a rebrand, I’m thinking we could also adopt the Danish notion of hygge to describe the effect we’re wanting to create when the weather has us holed up inside. According to the Collins English Dictionary, hygge is the ‘concept of creating cosy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing’.
And in essence, isn’t that what all our homemaking efforts are in aid of?
Danish translator ToveMaren Stakkestad has said that “hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.” And this issue we’re aiming to provide you with an insider’s guide to achieving that feeling at your place this winter.
Snuggling under a blanket on the sofa with a pot of tea perched on a side table while you read by the soft glow of a lamp – that’s hygge.
And if you’re in the market for said table and lamp, you’ll find a round-up of suitably sophisticated combinations in our ‘Buyer’s Guide’ on page 27. Preparing a hearty meal to enjoy with friends on a Saturday night in is hygge too, and on page 120 Unna Burch of The Forest Cantina shares the perfect recipes for the occasion from her new book.
Sometimes a sense of hygge can be achieved on an afternoon spent pottering and rearranging your living spaces. If you’re in need of inspiration, turn to page 38, where we show how to refresh your rooms with a relaxed reboot of the decorating rulebook.
By the time you read this, I’ll be at home embracing all things hygge myself to prepare for the most exciting addition to our household yet: a new baby. In my absence, homestyle will be in the capable hands of acting editor Lisa Morton, but I’ll be dabbling in the odd styling project, so if you want to keep in touch while I’m away on maternity leave, you can follow me on Instagram.
In the meantime, here’s to cosy nights in with family and friends.
Alice Lines, Editor