And no wonder we need a little springtime hygge. For our ancestors, this was the season of new hope, but also scarcity and chill. Dry fuel for heat was hard to find. The thaw brought back icy rain and swollen rivers, and wildlife that required long outdoor hours to catch. It was a time of hunger, when food gathered in the autumn and consumed through winter ran out.
And it’s in our refuges and cosiness amid spring winds and showers that we see most clearly the key ‘secret’ ingredient for hygge: a sense of freedom from worry or concerns about the future.
As one ECCO colleague puts it, “Hygge is far more than furry blankets and cups of cocoa. It’s a moment of awareness and thankfulness, a conscious state of peace.”
For something so tightly connected with Denmark, it’s a surprise that the word did not originate there at all. Its roots lie in the Old Norse word for thinking, hyggja. Hygge, with its familiar connection to comfort and cosiness, first appeared in Old Norwegian in the Middle Ages. Its association with Denmark specifically is a recent phenomenon, promoted by a country eager to help the world understand just what makes Danish design so special. Hygge is the metaphorical software that helps us to enjoy Danish furniture’s elegant, comfortable, life-enhancing and supremely liveable hardware.
This is the deeper connection. Hygge, year-round, reflects the values of Danish society. Equality, lightness, transparency, and ensuring that everyone’s comfort and holistic wellbeing come first.
These are the principles that unite Denmark’s architecture, social history, design heritage, style and aesthetics, and the physical and emotional wellbeing of its people. And just as no Danish-inspired room is complete without the built-in potential for the comfort, ease, cosiness and freedom from worry that hygge brings, so Danish designers have brought that principle to their creations.