Embracing Hygge: Wellness Tips For Your Outdoor Space

Embracing hugge with a tenderflame candle lit on a garden coffee table in the evening

In other languages, there are many words which express something for which there is no English language equivalent. One such word is “hygge” (pronounced “hoo-guh”), which describes the art of restrained pleasure, of taking in the simple joys of life in small doses. Hygge can be used as a noun, adjective or verb, and originates from 16th-century Norway when it was united with Denmark. The original word, “hugga”, means “to comfort” or “to console”.

Its existence is the complete absence of stress and feeds off feelings of happiness and relaxation; in Denmark, doctors even recommend tea and hygge as a cure for the common cold. In recent years, it has become a lifestyle phenomenon that has spread worldwide. Many wish to adopt the hygge way of life, of settling into an ultra-comfortable setting and taking in the warm feeling of comfort. However, several aspects of hygge have been lost in translation amongst the craze.

Danish people are famous for their outlook, being named the second happiest country in the world in 2023 in the UN’s World Happiness Report. Plus, studies show that being exposed to nature is beneficial to mental health, physical activity and sleep patterns.

As such, we’ve created a guide to achieving a Hygge atmosphere in your outdoor space. Whether you’re looking to create a snug corner for reading, a warm and inviting space for gatherings, or simply a serene spot to enjoy the beauty of nature, our cosy garden ideas will guide you on how to achieve these goals with simplicity and warmth at the core.

Get Comfortable Garden Furniture

couple relax in the garden on Kettlers elba relaxers.

Hygge embodies comfort and creates a soothing ambience. Crafting an outdoor space that captures this essence involves selecting furniture that prioritises comfort and durability. Consider incorporating Kettler’s lounge and corner sets that come with double-piped cushions and a thick foam core and are constructed from lush natural materials like synthetic rattan and wood. These comfy garden furniture elements can help you achieve a hygge-inspired setting.

Creating a Sense of Enclosure

Hygge lives for contrast. If you’re cuddled up in a blanket sipping hot chocolate under your garden canopy, the only thing that could make the scene more hygge is if it was under a rainforest-like downpour. Having a canopy to nestle in under the rain creates an intimate, cosy shelter. Couple this with a freestanding or mounted outdoor heater, and you’ll keep toasty under whisper-quiet temperature control. This canopy setting can prove that there’s no such thing as bad weather.

Embrace the Winter

Winter is the most hygge time of year. That aforementioned contrast applies to sitting in warmth amongst the chill of a winter’s night, with warm lighting as the sun goes down creating a cosy and inviting outdoor environment. If you’d like to find out more about how to warm yourself in the garden to relax outside in the winter, check out our blog on how to warm your garden to relax outside.

Add a Visual Feature

Adding a visual feature to the garden gives you something to lose yourself in and rest your eyes on, saving you from losing the moment in your phone. For the daytime, a water feature can lend the serenity of a Japanese Koi garden or Balinese garden to your home. At night, the light of a fire pit table can dance, protected against the wind by glass panels, as you rest in your lounge set, or you could even incorporate ambient lighting through Tenderflame’s clean and atmosphere-setting candles and tabletop lights. It’s not just a visual treat but a sonic background that hits your ears and placates them – the snap and crackle of the fire and the bustling heat of the air around it, or the water of a water feature flowing with a peaceful steadiness.

Make It Communal

freind relax on a Kettler elba corner set on the garden terrace

Cosiness is often seen as an intimate thing shared alone or with a significant other, but Danes don’t see it this way. Danes prefer to gather in small groups to, in the words of author Louisa Thomsen Brits, “emphasise the unity of their inner circles.” Expand your patio area to accommodate more people with added chairs and side tables to match your existing lounge or dining set design. This communal setting fosters a sense of togetherness and warmth, making your outdoor space a perfect hygge retreat for friends and family alike.