Winters last longer in Minnesota than nearly any other place in the continental United States. While Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Near Year make the first few months cruise by, northern residents must find a way to endure the final few months of “false spring” after “false spring.” Take a cue from Danish and Norwegian friends and practice the art of hygge! Here is our ultimate guide for practicing hygge in your apartment setup.
The basis of any good hygge setup is an abundance of candles. Sunlight is less present in the winter, so creating a twinkly lights environment helps to mimic the effects of sunlight while the real Vitamin D is hidden away.
Unscented candles in many varieties can be purchased for affordable prices at the Swedish manufacturer IKEA.
While many rental companies do allow real flames in your unit, not all do. One modern alternative to live flame is a battery-operated candle.
For some, candles aren’t about the light; they’re all about filling your home with good scents! And if you’re gifted a scented candle for a special occasion, you don’t want to leave it nagging you on your shelf for your entire lease. Enjoy your favorite scents with a candle warmer lamp! The bulb in the lamp is designed specifically to melt the wax in the candle without a live flame.
Plus, the melted wax doesn’t disappear; it reforms after the heat is removed. The scent will eventually fade, but if you ever move somewhere flame is allowed you can reuse the candle as an unscented mood-setter.
A natural solution to beat the cold season is to pile on the blankets! Textiles will not only keep you physically warm, they also warm up the decor in your space, bringing a cozy environment to help pass the season along.
A good winter rule of thumb? Have a throw blanket available in every room! And a few extra in hosting spaces. Having a blanket nearby will keep you warm, and you can also use it to wrap yourself in a tight hug when you need one.
You can buy beautiful and affordable throw blankets and pillows or pillow covers at big box stores like IKEA, Target, or Walmart.
If you’re able to spend a little more money, consider splurging on a handmade blanket. Handmade items bring a whole other dimension to hygge, providing a comforting reminder of how your life crosses with others’. Or you can take up a new winter hobby and create handmade blankets for yourself and your friends!
The grey winter skies can make the days feel lacking depth. Bring meaningful experiences into these slow seasons by investing in high-quality hot drinks.
Tea can get a bad rap as “flavorless leaf water.” But a high-quality tea and knowing proper brew methods can take “leaves” to an amazing aromatic experience.
Try a tea flavor you’re familiar with under a new brand. Tried-and-true tea brands like Rishi tea or teas from your local co-op are a great place to start!
Similar to tea, the quality of your coffee beans greatly impacts your experience. In general, coffee beans that are between $15-22 are a good balance of affordability and quality for a beginner coffee snob.
Another influencing factor on your coffee enjoyment is how you choose to brew your cup. Start with purchasing whole beans and a grinder for the freshest option. If you have a few extra minutes each morning, explore a new brew method like a V60, Chemex, or Aeropress. Many third-wave local coffee shops offer “pour over” options if you want to “try before you buy.”
Most commonly known as mulled wine, Glühwein is a spiced red wine warmed with mulling spices and served with garnishes such as cinnamon stickers, star anise, and orange slices.
You can make Glühwein at home or buy a pre-mixed bottle at your local liquor store. Simply pour the mixture into a stove pot or crockpot and let it warm before serving in heat-proof glasses or mugs. This alcoholic cocktail is best enjoyed with friends!
While each of these items adds to your apartment hygge experience, the ultimate key is to enjoy any of these with a few close friends or family members. And while you’re at it, say a “thank-you” to our Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish neighbors for paving the way to enjoy long cozy winters.