Hygge in the Springtime
From the first time I heard of the Danish concept of hygge, I’ve been enchanted. I instantly related to the whole idea of coziness and sweet little pleasures. In fact, it seems like something created just for me.
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There has been an absolute explosion of books, articles and blog posts about hygge in recent years. For some reason hygge is truly resonating with us. I have my theories about why that is but I’ll save those for another day.
We tend to equate hygge with winter and cold weather. Snuggly blankets, hot cocoa, a roaring fire in the fireplace…this is the stereotypical image of hygge we have come to embrace.
However, there is absolutely no reason we can’t bring the spirit of hygge with us into springtime. Let’s examine some ways we can “Hygge in the Springtime”.
If you have been reading this blog any length of time or know me personally you likely know how much I love “porch time“. As soon as it gets warm enough I take to the porch. It usually starts with the occasional warm afternoon but at some point “porch time” can happen at any hour.
Morning: Is there anything as delicious as a warm spring morning on the porch? I love to take my morning cup of Earl Grey to the porch and enjoy the birdsong. There is no better symphony.
Afternoon: During colder months I take afternoon tea in my library. This is a ritual I love and look forward to each day. However, when spring arrives I often observe teatime on the porch. When it gets very warm I may opt for iced coffee rather than hot tea. In either case, I light some incense and either listen to music or read. I even have a Spotify playlist titled, Porch Time.
Evening: And then there is perhaps my favorite — evening Porch Time. I get David to light the torches for me while I light several candles and incense. I bring my Bose outside and we usually listen to something romantic and bluesy while sipping wine.
Dinner on the Patio
I’m always happy when it’s warm enough to start grilling. And yes, that’s partly because I get some help with the cooking. Now that David has built a roof over our back patio I have big plans for decorating the space with lots of hanging plants, wind chimes and a nice table and chairs set. I would love to have a few friends over for grilled burgers, margaritas, music and conversation. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
David and I adore stargazing. We lie back in our chairs and ponder the universe. Sometimes we chat a bit; sometimes we are silent. And sometimes we listen to music. I just put together a playlist for stargazing
A walk after dinner
This is a sweet little ritual I want to implement around here. At least until it gets too hot! We live in the country and have a huge circle drive in front of our house. It’s about a third of a mile around. We can take our dog, Shiloh with us and let him enjoy this hygge ritual with us.
A picnic is yet another way to enjoy the spirit of hygge in the springtime. Pack a basket with some delicious food and enjoy a meal al fresco with family, friends or that special someone. Click here for lots of ideas to help you plan a picnic.
More Ways to Enjoy Hygge in the Springtime
Create a Hygge Box — Find a pretty, decorative box or other container and fill it with items that just speak “hygge” to you. A favorite cozy novel, decadent chocolates, an expensive tea you save for special moments, a particularly special candle, etc.
Evenings by the Fire Pit — If you have room for one, a fire pit is a wonderful thing. There is something truly mesmerizing about watching a fire. When it gets too warm for the fireplace you may still have several weeks of cool nights. Pour a glass of wine, turn on some music and enjoy an hour or so outdoors by the fire pit. Or roast marshmallows!
Change Your Evening Beverage — If you usually enjoy a cup of hot tea late in the evenings during colder months, perhaps a change is in order when it warms up (although I still often have hot tea year round!). Perhaps you’d like to create a seasonal cocktail. David and I sometimes enjoy a cocktail on Friday night if we are at home. It signals the end of the workweek and the beginning of the weekend. Check out this recipe for an Earl Grey Martini for a very refreshing option.
Change Your Wine — I’m generally a red wine drinker but with warmer weather and lighter foods, a rosé or white wine can be a nice choice. Or take it up a notch and splurge on Champagne!
Choose a Television Series — We don’t watch a lot of television around here so finding a series we both enjoy watching together is a cozy, hygge thing for us. We loved Sunday evenings watching Downton Abbey or Mad Men when those series were still on. In fact, we loved them so much we bought them both on DVD. Just this past Sunday we started Downton Abbey all over again and plan to make it our Sunday night ritual until we’ve watched the entire series again. And then we may start Mad Men.
Read a Book — Spend a rainy afternoon reading one of your favorite books from childhood. There is simply nothing cozier.
Plant Something — Flowers, herbs, a vegetable garden…it doesn’t matter. There is something special about putting one’s hands in the soil and then nurturing life with frequent attention.
Baby Chicks! — Speaking of life, one of my favorite springtime activities is a visit to the local farm and ranch store to see the baby chicks. I’ve raised chickens in the past and hope to do so again one of these days. It’s not practical for us right now because we travel a fair bit and it can be hard to find someone to take care of chickens in addition to Shiloh. But I can certainly go visit the sweet wee things.
Ice Cream — Purchase a really good ice cream, or make it yourself. Then serve a tiny portion in a beautiful dish. Maybe get out a couple of teaspoons from the good silver you only use on holidays. Take teeny, tiny bites and make a ritual out it.
Fresh Flowers — If there’s anything lovelier than fresh flowers I’m not sure what it is. Certainly, one can purchase flowers year round and that’s a practice I highly recommend. But springtime absolutely calls for flowers in the house. If you grow your own you can have them indoors rather inexpensively. David spoils me with beautiful bouquets from the florist about once a month. I then do my best to extend that loveliness as long as possible by changing the water and trimming the ends frequently. I remove the flowers one by one as necessary and then fill in with inexpensive flowers from Aldi’s or from my yard if there is something blooming. I can often keep a bouquet going for close to a month this way.
Lighten Up — Spring is a good time to clear clutter that may have accumulated over the winter. Unless minimalism is truly your aesthetic (It’s not mine), don’t feel you have to be drastic with this. You can still have pillows and throws on your sofas — just switch them out for lighter colors and weights.
Spring Clean — A freshly cleaned home is a truly lovely thing. Wash windows so the sunshine sparkles on them. Polish mirrors and silver and anything shiny. Take a hard look at each room and do at least one thing to freshen it up. We can get a little complacent in the winter but now is time to look at our houses with fresh eyes so we can continue to enjoy home as a refuge.
Invite Friends Over — Part of the hygge aesthetic involves interaction with others. Some of us tend to hibernate during the winter (raising my hand!) so when the weather turns warm it’s good to start being social again. Invite a few friends over. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. You can order in pizza and play a game (our favorite is Cards Against Humanity). Make a pitcher of margaritas and sit outside listening to music. Or if you are really fortunate and have friends who are musicians, ask them to bring a guitar and have a singalong.
Visit the Farmers Market — Make regular trips to the farmers market and cook light, nourishing meals. We try to eat seasonally, at least to a degree, so I am thrilled when I can bring home a huge bag of fresh sweet corn, new potatoes, green beans, peaches and other locally grown produce.
Candles — Candles are practically essential for the practice of hygge and you don’t have to give them up when winter is over. Just change the color and scents. My current favorite is Mrs. Meyer’s lavender scent.
I also have bought a couple of lilac-scented candles at Aldi’s recently. Lilacs are one of my very favorite flowers and I adore the scent.
Indulge — I generally buy handmade goats milk soap made here in Oklahoma by a homeschooling family. It is really good soap and I love the patchouli version. David really likes it, too. However, sometimes you just need a little indulgence. And if it smells like lilacs? All the better. I’ve been using Caswell-Massey’s lilac soap lately…love it!
Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to bring the spirit of hygge into springtime. If you have more ideas, I’d love to hear them. Leave me a comment!
Originally published at lifewithdee.com on April 4, 2017.