How to Apply the Danish Hygge Concept to Cozy Up Your Workspace

If you’re seeking a calmer, happier mental state throughout the workday, start by taking a look at your workspace. Does your desk stress you out? Do you have reminders pinned chaotically? Is your space generally dreary?

If you answered yes to any of the above, don’t worry. There’s a Scandinavian design concept that just might save your workspace—and subsequently your mental state. Enter, hygge.

Never heard of it? The exact definition varies online, but the New York Times calls hygge the “Danish word for cozy,” and goes on to explain “it is also a national manifesto, nay, an obsession expressed in the constant pursuit of homespun pleasures involving candlelight, fires, fuzzy knitted socks, porridge, coffee, cake and other people.”

Our favorite take on the concept comes from Helen Russell, the author of The Year of Living Danishly, via Time. Russell declares hygge “complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming,” with a focus on togetherness and prioritizing the people in your life.

Out with the annoying, in with the pleasant? We’re down for that. Here are three ways to hygge your workspace and clear your mind.

Incorporate Cozy Textures


Style Me Pretty

Hygge is focused on design elements that evoke comfort, and soft, textured items—like pillows, rugs, and blankets—are a great way to add coziness and warmth to a space. Try draping a chunky knit blanket over your chair, or placing a shaggy rug underfoot (extra hygge points if you run your toes through it all day—we won’t tell anyone).

Remove Visual Clutter


Michael Wells, Design by Jed Lind

You know all of those Post-It notes plastered on every inch of your desk? Sorry, they’ve got to go. Evoke calm by keeping your notes to one space and placing stress-inducing articles out of sight.

Add Happy Details


Julia Robbs for Homepolish, designed by Tali Roth

One of the core concepts of hygge is to remove discomfort and focus on anything that brings you joy—whether that’s your friendships, travel memories, that weird painting you picked up on the Venice Beach boardwalk, whatever. While you probably can’t cart your friends to work with you everyday, try posting a couple joy-inducing memories throughout your space to up the cheer of your everyday routine.

To learn more about applying hygge to all areas of your life, check out The Little Book of Hygge ($12).

Have any other ways you like to upgrade your workspace? We’d love to hear them below!

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