Gift Guides

Hygge: a Hug’s Danish Cousin

October 13, 2016

Hygge Collection | UncommonGoods

A hot bowl of homemade porridge for breakfast; a leisurely bike ride past warm, welcoming shops; a fresh pot of tea shared with an old friend; the comforting glow of candles—lots of candles. All of these things are hallmarks of hygge, an essential ingredient of life in Denmark. Though it has no tidy translation in English, some etymologists think it’s a distant Danish cousin of the word hug, an association encouraged by the cozy, comforting essence of both words. It may be hard for English speakers to pronounce (try “hyoo-gah”), but it’s not so hard to attain. The new Little Book of Hygge offers pointers on the Danish way to live well, while Morley College in London has started teaching hygge along with their Danish language instruction. But hygge isn’t just about warm, fuzzy feelings—it’s central to Denmark’s status as the happiest country in the world. That’s right, Denmark is consistently crowned the #1 country for happiness, according to the UN’s official World Happiness Report. And if it’s not too much of an oxymoron, the Danes are serious about their happiness. Just ask the staff of the Happiness Research Institute of Copenhagen. With chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire season just around the corner, we offer this cozy collection of uncommon goods that can help you mix more hygge into your home and lifestyle, whether you live in Copenhagen or Corpus Christi.


You might say that hygge is part of the Scandinavian landscape: serene stands of fir and birch, mossy forest floors dotted with red-capped mushrooms that might just be gnomes out of the corner of your eye…Our Nordic Tea Light Trough lends a soothing alpine glow to your decor. 


Cheese and crackers are always on the hygge menu, and especially appetizing with a side of ampersand. This solid maple serving board offers cozy crevices for crackers and space for cheese in between—extra hygge across the board.


Your hygge shouldn’t halt when you turn in for the night. This porcelain nightlight is a miniature, illuminated landscape featuring hand-colored waves of aurora. With the flick of a switch, a cozier bedroom beckons.


Hand-warming hot coffee or tea and the organic appeal of wood grain—these faux bois mugs feature two hallmarks of hygge in one design. Plus, they’re personalized with the initials of you and your coffee-break partner. You and hygge 4EVR.


You might call this churner a hand-operated, hygge-making machine. Just add whipping cream, crank, and…fresh butter in about ten minutes. Handmade hygge is spreading.


Now that you’ve got scratch-made butter for your breakfast spread, how can your toast get any more hygge? With small-batch jellies handmade from craft beer, that’s how. Sweet, spreadable, hoppy goodness—make that your morning mantra.


That fire’s not going to start itself. So why not make your kindling extra-hygge with fire-starters made with real, roasty coffee? Add a dog or cat who likes to curl up with you, and you’re in the cozy zone.


The botanical bliss of herbal tea is just the ticket for any cold Danish afternoon. This holistic set invites you to sip from an array of nine herbs and three varieties of eco-certified, organic green tea. Hygge meets Zen rejuvenation.


From Danish Lake Furesø to the shores of Lake Minnetonka, birch bark makes uniquely woodsy jewelry—especially the gilded bark of Deborah Bushinski’s necklace. Accessorize, hygge style.


Peanut butter may not be very Danish, but the ultimate spreadable comfort food is a shoo-in for honorary hygge status. With blends like White Chocolate Pretzel, this sampler is a supremely comforting collection.

MUCH MORE COZY NOW…The words woven into Alexandra Ferguson’s Merino wool blend throw say it all. It’s hygge you can throw around your shoulders or on your lap at a moment’s notice.

More candles = more cozy. You really can’t have enough. And mason jar candles with crackling wood wicks and delightful autumn aromas? Hella hygge.


Like the floral folk art of Scandinavia (rosemåling), Anna Branning and Mara Murphy’s botanical prints of state birds and flowers offer an utterly charming touch of hygge to your decor.

The warmth of wood is always welcome for hygge-worthy handcrafts. Handmade from sheesham wood, this yarn bowl keeps balls of yarn cozily contained.


When you get right down to it, hygge is about staying warm through the winter. Because you can’t take your crackling candles or soothing pot of tea with you, consider these knit accessories wearable hygge helpers.


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