As the season stretches on, it’s time to think hygge thoughts and turn your home into a warm and cozy sanctuary.


There comes a moment every winter when reality sinks in that the cold, dark days and long nights are nowhere near over. You can hardly remember a time when your apartment did not feel tropical, the unfortunate result of an overly ambitious radiator. And your relationship with that Amazon coat, which seemed so on-trend last winter, has definitely soured. That moment, reader, is upon us.

But rather than grind through the dreariness, perhaps it’s time to celebrate it — or, at the very least, surrender to it, and turn your space into a cozy cabin. Winter enthusiasts insist that with the right mix of candles, mirrors, alpaca blankets and hot tea, hunkering down can feel downright blissful. You’re not a recluse, you’re embracing hygge, the Danish cultural outlook that likens life to a favorite woolen sweater, minus the itchy collar.

“There is no getting around winter. The only natural resource we have in abundance here is darkness,” said Meik Wiking, the author of “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” and the chief executive of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, a city where the sun currently sets at around 4:40 in the afternoon. “So it’s just something you have to embrace.”

Coziness is as much a state of mind as it is a collection of soft throw blankets. There’s an art to it, at least among those who do it with gusto. It’s about creating a space where your friends show up long before the stew has finished cooking, polish off a bottle of wine while it simmers, and leave well after the pot is empty.

By Ronda Kaysen