Hygge Lighting: Both Warm and Sustainable
While we may be blessed with long and beautiful summer days, Scandinavian winter, with its dark and short days, stays with us for as long as six months.
Thankfully, nordic people really know their way around decorations. So whether you're living close to seaside, where you miss snow or more north, where snowy Christmas is a common thing, the atmosphere is impeccable.
In an attempt to stay warm and bright during this period, the lighting in your apartment might be the way to keep yourself in a good mood and Christmas spirit. We dig a little deeper into the best and, of course, the most sustainable options there are to light up an apartment.
What's all the fuss about?
Hygge is one of the first words you learn when moving to Denmark, and one that surely becomes an essential part of your life. This Scandinavian phenomenon, which, as most people will tell you, can't be properly translated into English, plays a special role during the moody autumn and winter days.
A fundamental part of hygge is played by candles. In fact, according to Meik Wiking from The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, 28% of Danes light up candles every day of a week. And since this is probably the closest you can get to a perfect hygge light, something like the warm colours of sunrise and sunset, we also know that these are not environmentally friendly at all because the soot from only one produces as much pollution as if you started a diesel engine inside your home. In addition, the paraffin wax candles are actually really harmful for your health, so you might want to limit their use.
But don't be scared, you don't have to give up on the candles and your hygge dream. You just have to find more sustainable options.
Give more space to sustainability in your home
If you can't give up your candle-habits, we suggest buying the ones made with 100% organic non-GMO soy wax, which use only organic essential oils as this is the best possible option for candle enthusiasts.
Thankfully, there are more and more alternatives coming our way. In countries like the UK or Germany, designers are working mainly with LED lights designs. And according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the government is supporting co-operations between Danish designers and leading lamp manufacturers and engineers to find new ways of working with light-emitting diodes (LED).
LED is known for consuming only a fraction of the energy used by a regular bulb and offers a huge variety of colours and intensity control. And there is a perfect hygge alternative for your bedroom- LED string lights!
However, if you are not a fan of LED lighting, there is another accessible, and both economic and environmentally friendly option we can suggest.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL). These will save you almost 180 dkk/month in energy cost and according to inhabitat.com:
“if every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with a CFL, it would prevent enough pollution as removing one million cars from the road.”
CFL bulbs represent almost 80% energy saving and can last 10 times longer than a regular light bulb. You can even choose the colour temperature, just remember, the lower this is, the warmer the brightness will be.
If you've read our article on The Best Scandinavian Designers, then among others, you know about Greta Grossman. This Swedish interior and furniture designer is behind one of the most beautiful designs, Gubi and their Gräshoppa Floor Lamp.
This piece is perfect for both your bedroom or living room, depending on where you prefer to cuddle up in your blanket and read your favourite book.
If you're up for something more extravagant and out of the ordinary, we have a right fit for you! Finnish designer Harri Koskinen is behind one of the most interesting designs, the Block Lamp. As much as we understand that the first impression might be shocking, just wait until you style the lamp inside your bedroom. It's so versatile and definitely hygge, we became a bit obsessed with it.
And a little pro tip from us: try to style it with one of our Project Nord posters. We are big fans of clean spaces, so our suggestion is to place your poster on the floor and style the Block Lamp right in front of it. It looks amazing, doesn't it?
Some of the Scandinavian most classic designs
If you are longing for some vintage lightning, there is only one way and that is The PH Lamp. Legendary Danish designer Poul Henningsen created his first piece in 1925 an ever since there have been many more. His source of inspiration were petroleum lamps used back in time, covered from the top because of the rain. And even though his designs push the use of an electric light to the next level, they still maintain the luminous softness of a petroleum lamp.
Swedish-born designer Anders Pehrson worked for swedish design company Ateljé Lyktan for several years, during which time he created some of his most famous designs. This design might sound a bit weird, but it looks beautiful as an interior decoration. Meet the Fungus lamp! Pehrson was a master of work space design, and so are his lamps. If you are a busy bee and love to dive into work even outside office hours, this lamp will create a perfect comfort in your house-work space.
Another statement Scandinavian design is Umage lamp. It has many variations, but each one of them can create super cosy atmosphere. Plus, with so many designs, there is no chance you won't be able to find the one for your apartment. Our favourite ones are Eos Pendant, Asteria and Silvia lamps.
Thinking smart with the space
Don't limit yourself only on your bedroom. You can create hygge atmosphere in any room inside your home.
Another Scandinavian trick that works perfectly to illuminate any apartment is to use light colours and reflective materials on your walls, ceiling or floor. Light colours reflect a lot of the ambience glare and visibly brighten your space.
If you have a quick look into any Scandinavian interior design magazine, you may notice the bright shades of natural colours these nordic nations use to illuminate any room.
And since colours can affect our mood, the lighter your place gets, the happier you will be.
One more trick is to choose furniture and homeware with clean lines. If you need some help with cleaning up the space inside your home, you can read our Ultimate Decluttering Guide.
But next time you're shopping for a furniture to go with your kitchen style, remember to look for the pieces with clean lines, designed in bright colours and simple shapes.
Or in case you go for a bold shape, remember to make that piece of furniture a statement piece in your living room and keep the rest very simple. It's much easier to add cushions and light into clean shaped and bright space, rather that over furnished room.
Lighting has this magical power over space and our mood, so hopefully we gave you some good tips on how to create the best lighting in your home. And don't forget that the light has to shine on something amazing, so find your very own Project Nord poster that goes perfectly with your new interior.
Written by Lujza Grossmanová
Images sourced from Pinterest