After finding out what was ‘inside’ the box, we caught up with Gabby and Sally, founders of the new HyggeBox to find out how their Hygge journeys started and how we all can get a little more Hygge in our lives.
What does Hygge mean to you?
Gabby: Slowness – living at a slower pace of life and noticing more. Years ago (when working 9-5 during winter)it was really dark after work – you couldn’t go out for walks, the weather turns a bit cold and damp and I began to resent the ‘winter’. Once I started Hygge coming home in the dark became a pleasure because I felt excited to be inside. Hygge for me is about ‘being inside’, taking pleasure in your environment at home. Rather than feeling the pressure to do stuff and be outside I started to enjoy the simple things like board games, candles, home cooked food and the Hygge décor around me. Hygge transformed a part of the year that I dreaded into something joyful.
Celebrating your indoors is key for me. We all have houses and homes that we spend a lot of time and money decorating and yet in England we don’t seem to celebrate being in them, it has become a chore to stay indoors.
It’s important for me as part of the Hygge journey to take time to really enjoy the simple things in life. Life moves so quickly these days and we often find ourselves multi-tasking. Hygge is the opposite of belting down a sandwich at your desk – it’s a long lunch with friends.
Sally: Hygge is an attitude. It is setting a determination to make things comfortable & more enjoyable, things that we often take for granted. It is about making time instead of being busy, busy, busy. Enjoying nature, hot drinks even the sun and sky being beautiful at different times of the day. Taking the attitude that you will realise what’s going on around your rather than just doing, doing and more doing. Living in the moment, basically it’s like mindfulness.
Hygge is more than that though as it has taken on specific cultural activities. I had never heard of it before I met Gabby but I find the Danish way of living exciting. Winter has always been a chore for me, in fact I often spend it in a sunny country because the dark just kills me but I am finding that Hygge is changing that. Just lighting candles & not using electric lights has made a huge difference to the evenings & now I look forward to coming home.
We inspired each other. Over summer and coming up to Autumn we discussed Hygge and how we were Hygge-ing to help each other with the changes of seasons and the bits we both didn’t enjoy. Gabby is a winter lover and Sally enjoys the summer a lot more. Through that, we developed the idea of a Subscription Box devoted to Hygge as well as our love of Danish. We wanted to create a box that allowed people to celebrate Hygge with us as a seasonal journey. A lot of what goes in to HyggeBox is our own favourites and activities we are doing at the same time of year.
The HyggeBox will evolve, it already has in some ways, as we continue along our journey. Sally had been living the attitude of Hygge & after meeting Gabby realised it had a name. Gabby had been fascinated with Hygge & for a long time after coming across it as a student. The merging of those two things culminated in this box.
HyggeBox is for the UK – Gabby is super into everything Danish but the HyggeBox is relevant to people here and how we live our lives. We add in Danish Language cards and items but our boxes are very much about Hygge at home in the UK and how it can become a part of our lives as well as the Danish.
Describe the perfect Hygge Night in?
There isn’t one. Everyone’s idea of a perfect Hygge night is different and that’s the beauty of it. Hygge is not something to force, but to enjoy. HyggeBox gives you a range of ideas, items and things to help create Hygge but how you spend your evening with your HyggeBox is up to you.
For us, there are a few key things on our Hygge night in list. Lighting – we use candles all around our apartment. The only place we have lights on – is the kitchen.
Having a nice dinner is key for us, we are both big foodies. Sally is a Chef and so she is normally in the kitchen whipping up something marvellous for dinner. We often spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. Whilst Sally cooks, Gabby talks and reads stuff out about the day. We discuss all things HyggeBox and other projects that we have. We normally eat dinner at the table next to one of many groups of candles.
After Dinner, it’s music on the stereo or a dvd under blankets on the sofa. Doris the four-legged resident in our apartment normally sits on the sofa opposite us enjoying the relaxing atmosphere.
Chocolate is always present and we currently have an obsession with Dark Chocolate and Mint.
Oh and not forgetting our fluffy sock slippers!
Gabby: I’m no longer boiling hot in the summer. I used to feel very uncomfortable in the hot weather. I have started wearing linen trousers – as the Danish say ‘there is no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes’! It never occurred to me that you could Hygge in the summer until I met Sally. She took me for picnics, we played lots of badminton in the park & I realised what we were creating were Hygge moments.
Sally: I’m no longer dreading winter. Over the last 10 years I’ve only spent 2 years in England because I hated the darkness. As the nights, have closed in I have panicked a bit but having Hyggeligt moments like getting snug, taking time with each other and friends and walking around the city at night has made me start to look forward to it. Winter doesn’t have to mean you must shut yourself in and when we do it is a joy because our home is so Hygge.
Visit HyggeBox to find out more on their wonderful subscriptions.
Words by Danielle Alexandria
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