Home as Sanctuary

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), has been a buzzword in design for a couple of years now. But the concept has been a way of living in Denmark since the 18th century. For the Danes, it can apply to any season; in the U.S. it’s most embodied in the depth of winter. Loosely defined as “cozy” or “wellbeing,” it’s one of those words that’s difficult to pinpoint, but you know it when you feel it. Picture a roaring fire in the fireplace, snuggling under a throw in a comfy chair, cushy slippers or woolly socks keeping toes warm, a fragrant candle alight nearby, and a cup of steaming hot tea cradled in your hands. 

Shown above: An essential complement to a lazy fireside afternoon, Tourance describes their throws as feeling “like resting in a bed of feathers and flower petals” and they’re not far off. It’s super soft and at 45-inches by 60-inches, it’s insanely cuddly-worthy. The PJ Salvage fur slides are a perfect match. Throw, $150; Slides, $40. Both available at The Little Shop Next Door (Westwood Hills). Gray felt Graf Lantz basket to the left of the fireplace is ideal for caching magazines, dog toys, or various and sundry other objects. $110, available at Floc5 & Co. (Crossroads). All photos by Aaron Leimkuehler.


That’s hygge. 

It’s peaceful, it’s tranquil, it’s the state of being most comfortable in your home. To embrace the concept in your own home, interior designer Kathy Kelly (that’s her home, left) has a few tips. “An uncluttered, serene room is always more hygge than one filled with stuff,” she says. “Everything should be in its place. Soft, textured fabrics are more inviting than stiff, shiny ones.” And as a designer, Kelly is always concerned about layers of light. “Light from a fire, a burning candle, the late afternoon winter sun, all set the mood. Then sit back and take it all in—and relax.”

Hygge doesn’t require redecorating. It’s about appreciating the little things that make life worthwhile.


Please sit. Curl up in the aptly named Reading chair from Century Furniture and the arms practically embrace you. All you need is a good book and the aforementioned roaring fire and life is good. From $2,540, to order from Madden McFarland (135th St. & State Line).

Brrrrr. Apothecary Guild’s Siberian Fir candle—with fragrant notes of wintergreen, eucalyptus, blue spruce, balsam fir, and cedar wood—smells like winter itself. The scent evokes the warmth and comfort of seasons past. From $30, at Webster House (Crossroads).

Cuddle buddy. The chunky knit construction and luscious softness of this organic cotton throw from Zestt Organics is a generously sized 50-inches by 60-inches, which makes it perfect for wrapping yourself (or possibly you and a sweetie) on cold winter nights. $135, at Floc5 & Co. (Crossroads).