You may have seen on my Instagram feed lately that I had a lovely weekend in Copenhagen last weekend. The design, style and way of life in the city was so inspiring I just had to write a blog post about it.

Image copyright Native Native

Image copyright Native Native

 Less is more

The Danish attitude to life is largely based on a ‘less is more’ philosophy and that is echoed through the design of the shops, bars and restaurants.  There is an serious lack of clutter and more importance placed on carefully choosen functional or decorative objects which compliment the furniture, lighting and architecture.

 Hygge and how to create an atmosphere of warmth, connection and well-being

The majority of people in Copenhagen travel around the city on a bicycle and the whole transport system is organised around two wheels rather than four. During the winter time and when the weather is cold and wet the Danes enjoy going indoors in an environment that is ‘hygge’ which generally translates as ‘cosy’. Hygge has become a bit of a phenomenon this year with quite a lot of talk about it in the media.  Apparently, at least nine books in the UK have been released about the topic this winter! 

The use of traditional textiles such as sheep’s skin, woollen blankets and rugs made from natural fibres help create an atmosphere at a gathering, party or an event.  It's important that the choice of décor makes people feel warm, welcome as well as creating a space which is conducive to sharing a meal and facilitating good conversation with others.

Apparently Danish people burn the most candles in the world. The use of candles during an intimate gathering or dinner party help reinforce the feeling of ‘hygge’.  I was surprised by how many bars and restaurants in Copenhagen displayed candles outside the entrance as well as inside, this works well at making someone feel welcome. Candles also reinforce a feeling of intimacy and as ‘Hygge’ means giving and receiving, the presence of candles is crucial to creating an atmosphere of closeness, warmth and sharing. 

Natural fabrics and materials to create a rustic feel

The use of natural textiles, bare brick, wooden furniture are very typical aspects of Danish interior design, which relates back to the idea of less is more.  A Copenhagen-based visual storyteller and creative consultant who captures this beautifully is Signe Bay. She specialises in food, interiors and travel and shoots most of her photos from her studio. In the gatherings that she captures on Instagram she features wooden tables, glass and ceramic vases and tableware and fresh or foraged flowers to create a rustic and authentic feel to her photos. As an event designer, I find her work very inspiring as it’s incredible how she is able to capture the spirit of a gathering, dinner party or simple meal at home by combining different textures, colours and objects.

For more inspiration of how to create a Hygge themed party, check out my Pinterest board below: