Hygge—at this point you’ve likely seen this Danish noun, even if you have yet to learn how to pronounce it. In 2016, it was one of the finalists for the Oxford English Dictionaries’ “word of the year.” While it eventually lost out to “post-truth,” books extolling hygge’s virtues and about how to bring hygge into your own life have been coming out almost as fast as the Hobacks get skied out on a powder day. (BTW, it’s pronounced hoo-gah.)
Hygge has no direct translation from Danish to English, but “cozy” comes close. Danes define it as a “quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Hygge is candles, cracking fires, a pet curled up in your lap or at your feet, flannels, thick woolens, coffee or tea with friends, potluck dinners, pies and pastries, reading in a comfy chair by the window, the hour immediately after sunrise or before sunset, and nature. And shearling, whether a jackets, rug, or slippers, is very hygge. If you have/do any of this and there’s a raging snowstorm outside, that totally ups the hygge factor. (Winter is definitely the most hygge time of year.)
While hygge is easy to joke about and poke fun at, hyggelig is the adjective form, what it gets at is something serious, the simple pleasures in life. The truest sense of hygge is spending time with loved ones in a relaxing, intimate atmosphere. Our luxury vacation homes can help you get your hygge on.
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, writes in his best-selling book, “The Little Book of Hygge,” that every house needs a hyggekrog, a nook where you can curl up with a book and a warm drink. At Royal Wulff Lodge, the master suite has the perfect hyggekrog. Also helping the suite’s hygge is a wood-burning fireplace.
Pets, picnics, winter, flannel, family, fuzzy hats—yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes! All of these are super hygge. The Clear Creek Group’s Concierge Team can arrange for an outdoor picnic for your family or group of friends, complete with a private chef creating a menu of hyggelig foods and drinks like stews, crusty breads, roasts, wine, roasted veggies, hot chocolate, or you can plan your own. (Maybe with a little help from Signe Johansen’s cookbook and wellness guide, “How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life.”)
JH GOLF & TENNIS CABIN 15 GREAT ROOM
Tucked into thick stands of cottonwoods away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Jackson, everything about Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Cabin 15 is hygge. In the great room, there are shearling accents, over-stuffed furniture, and a wood-burning fireplace—perfect for hanging out with friends and family, napping (very hygge), reading a book, or watching a movie. See the outdoor fire pit on the patio attached to the great room?
The back deck at Lost in the Woods has a freestanding stone hearth and fireplace. Pour yourself a drink, get a fire going, and settle into the nearby hot tub to soak in all the hygge.
The master bedroom in Four Pines 8 is a lovely blend of hygge and sophistication with its abundance of natural light—windows face three different directions—cozy textures, canopy bed, and warm whites. And the chairs flanking the fireplace? Hygge 101.
Danes have a word for that schlubby, pilled pair of pants you’d never wear into public but are secretly the favorite thing in your closet: hyggebusker. Get a fire going, proudly put your hyggebusker on, and make yourself a cup of hot chocolate (marshmallows optional). Hygge is that easy. (After all, the word does derive from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, that is related to the English word “hug.”)
What book are you going to read while sitting in this hygge window seat in the master bedroom of Four Pines 9? While wood-burning fires are more hygge than gas fireplaces like the one at the foot of this king size bed, we love the latter’s convenience.
Who needs to après ski at a bar or restaurant when you can open a bottle of wine at home and settle into one of the chairs in front of this protected, outdoor fireplace on the flagstone back porch at The Lodge at Shooting Star 1?