How to Entertain Like the Danes
With temperatures dropping and the holidays just around the corner, there’s no better time for a cozy night spent inside with friends and family. In Danish culture that warm and fuzzy familial feeling is something they call Hygge. And with centuries of practice, they know just about all there is to know about entertaining with coziness and conviviality.
So, when setting the scene for your next gathering, consider incorporating Hygge into your home decor—and it doesn’t hurt that Danish modern design is always on trend. In addition to being stylish, a Hygge-ified home should also cultivate a sense of wellness and contentment. Here’s how to accomplish it in your own design scheme:
Keep guests comfortable with plenty of plush seating options in the living room. Soft, sumptuous fabric, like velvet, brushed cotton, and suede, paired with a generous down-feather fill ensure comfort and style from all angles. For added Hygge flair, dress curvy, Scandinavian-style accent chairs with cable-knit toss pillows and faux-fur blankets. If your furniture follows a cool color palette, offset the look with accessories in warm, neutral shades such as mustard yellow, peachy pink, and beige.
A Hygge gathering isn’t complete without candles and mood lighting. For a steady overhead glow, hang a pendant above the dining table, fitted with a soft white bulb for a beam of diffused light. When placed along a door frame or around molding, string lights also make for a welcoming light source. And don’t forget the fireplace! There’s nothing more relaxed and calming than flickering flames and the crackle of firewood.
Encourage casual conversation and dining by serving guests seated in the living room or surrounding a small table with family-size trays. In addition to drinks and small bites, serving trays can also be topped with candles and sparkling vases as a thoughtful finishing touch. Tabletop trays also help cut back on clutter, which can throw off a cozy and calm vibe. If the trays start to get swamped with dirty dinnerware, they can be easily removed to free up surface space.
There’s no need for fancy side chairs and white tablecloths when it comes to hosting a Hygge gathering in the dining room. Instead, encourage guests to kick back and relax as they eat and drink with wooden barstools scattered around a more informal kitchen island. Drape a sheepskin throw or wool blanket atop any hard seating surfaces like benches and breakfast nooks. Accent rugs can also bring soft contrast to a dining space. Anchor a shag or chenille design beneath the table for a plush feeling underfoot.
Coffee Tables for Cocktails
As the night winds down, guests typically take to the living room for a nightcap and conversation. A sleek coffee makes for a sensible and stylish focal point to balance cocktails and dessert. To mimic the look of a Scandinavian design, opt for a sharp silhouette with a shiny metal base and a richly figured wood top. The contrast of each material will create a feel that’s at once eye-catching and cozy.
A happy, Hygge-inspired home makes for even happier guests and a memorable night in. And remember, entertaining like the Danes doesn’t mean an entire design overhaul, but rather a few thoughtful additions. When in doubt, simply layer up on textured textiles, mood lighting, and cozy, comfortable seating.
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