Hygge in the Home: Cosy Materials Scandinavians Love


As the days get shorter, retreating to a warm, cosy home becomes more and more appealing.

Just imagine yourself in a beautifully-decorated space created for your comfort, a home you could truly relax in! Pure bliss.

So, let’s get some inspiration. Who does ‘cosy’ best? The answer’s simple - the Scandinavians of course. In fact, the Danish word ‘hygge’, loosely translated as ‘cosy’, is a whole way of life in the Nordic countries. 

So, what is hygge?

Hygge is the art of creating a pleasant atmosphere and the warm, gratifying feeling that results.

The pursuit of this feeling is reflected in many elements of Nordic life, including Scandinavian home decor. Scandi-inspired homes are calm, comfortable, and cosy, taking inspiration from nature to create naturally chill environments. But, how do the Nords create these serene spaces?

In this article, we will run through the cosy materials Scandinavians love using in their homes. From rustic wood to warming, shaggy fabrics, Scandi interiors get that cosy feel just right! Try these tips in your home.



Make a feature out of wood

Let’s start with the base - your furniture.

Scandinavians feature a lot of wood in their interiors. It’s a beautiful, seamless way to bring the outdoors in. Wood is also a very practical material. It’s hard-wearing and easy to keep, making it the perfect material for your bigger, investment pieces to be made out of.

Unlike in other countries, wood is often left untreated in Scandinavia. The natural grain of wood adds an interesting texture to the home environment, a sort of natural decoration.

So, you know the drill. Look out for beautiful wooden coffee tables with the knots in the wood still showing. Or, what about a lovely dresser for your bedroom?

A subtle way of introducing wooden detailing is by hanging posters in wooden frames. We have an extensive collection of Scandinavian-style posters at Project Nord. Posters also really add to the cosy feeling of a room. Abstract images are soothing to look at, taking your mind off the pressures of a long day. What’s more hygge than that?

Hygge Home article. Image of leather sofa in a living room.jpg

Use leather in your soft and hard furnishings

Leather is another natural material Scandinavians love and there are loads of ways you could incorporate it into your interior. 

Leather armchairs are the ultimate place to cosy up during the colder months. Or, if you already have your chairs sorted, look out for leather cushions instead. So comfortable! As leather gets worn in, it will become more and more supple. This will make it even comfier to relax in and you get to see the leather age gracefully over time. 

Leathers are also a lovely way of bringing a neutral colour palette into your room. Although a deep orange colour might stand out in other items, brighter leathers get away with it! 

If you’re not so keen on the idea of using animal products, why not look for second-hand items? For many people, it feels more ethical buying leather which already exists rather than creating demand for more.


Warm, cosy materials to soften up your space

The thing with wood and leather is that they can be quite cool. So, it’s important to soften them up with some comfy fabrics. 

As wool is another natural material, it suits Scandinavian interiors beautifully. Try arranging a woolen throw on your sofa. You can experiment with complementary colours too. Not only will this look lovely, but the throw could double up as a blanket on colder days. Now that’s hygge! 

Also, make sure to remember that there are different sorts of wool that have different properties. For example, if you really want to splash out, a cashmere blanket will offer you the max level of hygge. Cashmere is considered the most luxurious type of wool with its fine fibres. It’s also one of the warmest kinds you can get your hands on. So, if you take your hygge levels seriously, go cashmere. 

A well-placed rug can also tie a room together, making it feel luxuriously cosy. Just think about where your feet might be bare on the floor. Under your dining table? In front of your sofa? These are the ultimate places to put your rug so it serves the purpose of keeping your feet warm, as well as looking fab. What a lovely example of form follows function Scandi design.

Hygge Home article. Image of cosy living room with rug.jpg

That was our guide to the cosy materials Scandinavians love. Are you ready to up the levels of hygge in the home? Try incorporating these materials!

If you’d like some more advice on how to stay cosy, take a look at our article 5 Tips on How to Make a Cosy Room.


Written by Jessica Slater

Images sourced from Pinterest and the Project Nord website.