Dorothy had it right: There’s no place like home, and if you need convincing, consider the feel-good trend of the moment — hygge, the Danish lifestyle that conjures up thoughts of coziness and comfort. It’s about togetherness, harmony, presence and pleasure.
There are blogs, websites and even a manifesto proclaiming 10 tenets, but the idea is simple and easy to replicate. Hygge is an atmosphere and an experience, about being with people you love and feeling safe, according to Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. Yes, it’s a place and they take the idea seriously. He’s even written the latest in a slew of books on the topic: “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living.”
Actually, it’s not all that secret, just maybe things individuals have forgotten.
“Hygge has been called everything from ‘the art of creating intimacy’ and ‘coziness of the soul’ to ‘cocoa by candlelight,’ ” he said in an email. “Some of the key ingredients are togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence and comfort. The true essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness. It’s basically like a hug, just without the physical touch.”
And that’s universal.
“Scandanavia is cold and dark. Here, we are in sunny beautiful Southern California. We should have been the ones to have invented it,” Mary O’Brien said with a chuckle.
Longtime friend and business partner Laurie Barnett couldn’t agree more, even if she wasn’t exactly sure how to pronounce the word (it’s “hoo-gah”). “We had hygge. We just didn’t call it that.”
You’ll find lots of hygge and then some in their recently opened home décor store, The Hens’ Kitchen Shoppe, in downtown Claremont. The sister store to The Speckled Hens is packed with big bowls, quality pans and all the things that make cooking a hobby, a communal endeavor and an art. Kitchens are the hearts of the homes, where friends and family gather. That’s why they plan cooking…