How to create a Hygge inspired bathroom

Once autumn arrives, the nights become noticeably longer and temperatures significantly cooler. Here in the UK, the clocks go back in October plunging us all back into the early morning and early evening darkness which can frankly be a little depressing. Even more important, then, to cope with approaching stresses of the festive season by creating essential relaxation time for yourself and a great way to do this is to incorporate the principles of Hygge by creating a Hygge bathroom. 

What is Hygge?

In Meik Wiking’s book “The Little Book Of Hygge“, he defines Hygge thus.

“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things.  It is about being with the people we love.  A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.

Hygge is about creating your safe space and what better place to do that than your bathroom? I know that whenever I am feeling stressed or anxious, I head straight for a bath or a long hot shower.  As a therapy, it runs a very close second to my other favourite taking a nap!

Hygge is a relative newcomer to the interior design scene and is showing no sign of declining in popularity. It is more than just a style trend; it’s an attitude which teaches us to appreciate a simpler lifestyle.

The principles have been fervently applied to interior design in every aspect of the home. Hygge is a Danish phrase loosely translated as ‘cosy’, so here are the top tips to create the perfect cosy bathroom.

Create your Hygge bathroom  

Use candles 

According to recent surveys, the Danes are the nation which burns the most candles. We Brits are trying to give them a run for their money with our enthusiastic adoption of their culture. Candles are paramount in creating a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere. The soft lighting instantly calms and relaxes you. These are highly useful to use around the entire home; however, there seems to be something so enticingly indulgent in the warm tones and comforting lighting for your bathroom. 

White furniture  

The Scandinavians are known for their love of minimalism, using white as a basic staple in their homes. White bathroom furniture provides the perfect base to create the Hygge environment. By using a simple white base for your bathroom, the furniture will not only be timeless but also produce a serene space. Make sure your bathroom is free from clutter by fitting plenty of storage units to hide away unsightly toiletries and cleaning products. White bathroom furniture also offers a great base to build layers with various materials and textures.  

Adjust your colour scheme

If white furniture isn’t your thing, try clean, contemporary furniture, for example, light and blond woods, complemented with soft and cosy colour palettes. Add a mirror or two to reflect back the light.

Lighting

Talking of lighting, your bathroom lights should be soft and warm rather than harsh and clinical.  Who wants to see their wrinkles first thing in the morning! Try installing a light with a dimmer switch.

Create warmth 

Longer nights generally mean the central heating comes on earlier and stays on later. Danish living centres itself around creating a cosy and warm atmosphere to bring the family together and this applies to the bathroom too.

To create the best minimalist effect as well as creating optimum heating, consider installing underfloor heating. This produces an even and ambient temperature which is kind to your bare feet. 

Your choice of heating will depend on the size of your bathroom, your style preferences and your budget but there are plenty of radiators styles to choose from, including straight ladder, curved and traditional radiators.
And there is nothing like a heated towel rail to help you wrap yourself up against the early morning chill.

Make it spa-like  

Ensure your bathroom is a place for rest and relaxation after a long six weeks of entertaining the children. Nothing beats a soak in a spacious bathtub filled with steaming hot water for the optimal spa-like hideaway.

Be sure you’ve got plenty of scented bubble bath so you can luxuriate whilst soothing aching muscles. Add texture to create the perfect opulent spa experience by including plush materials such as fluffy towels and soft bathrobes.  

Declutter

Declutter your room to declutter your mind they say and certainly it’s hard to take a relaxing bath when you are surrounded by cluttered windowsills drowning in half-used toiletries.

A vanity unit will help, or at least a sink with a cabinet underneath to conceal those skincare purchases you made to cheer yourself up.

Go natural with your toiletries

Talking about your toiletries, why not introduce some pure, organic, vegan-friendly soaps and body washes and swop out those products containing nasties that are bad for our skin.

You could even make your own bath products.  In Susanna Seton’s lovely book “Simple Pleasures Of The Home“, she recommends making a calming bath using essential oils:-

  • 4 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops clary sage essential oil

Run a warm bath and drop the essential oils into the pouring water.  Relax in your bath for 10-15 minutes.

And environmental friendly with your household cleaners

You can make your own household cleaning products too and evict toxic products which are bad for the environment and our health – particularly important if you have children and pets.

You can find some simple household cleaner recipes in this post.

Add some greenery

If you have room, or perhaps a bathroom window which catches the sun, add a houseplant or two. Spider plants, orchids, Peace Lillies and even Aloe Vera will do well in the higher humidity.

Grab a great book

There’s nothing nicer than reading in the bath, as long as you don’t mind the pages getting a little damp and curled.  You could try the latest waterproof Amazon Kindle or just do what we did in school in the ‘old days’ – cover your books with sticky-backed plastic!

Failing that, how about a portable radio to listen to some classic music whilst you sip a chilled glass of wine or sparkling mineral water.

By applying the Danish lifestyle into your bathroom and creating a cosy retreat from the family, you won’t ever want to leave.

Top 30 Signs You Are Time Poor

Now I’m a girl with Cornish ancestors and it transpires that they would probably have been a whole heap calmer than me, had they followed the Art of Attes – a Cornish word which means relaxed, unhurried and easy going.

Attes - pocket watch in a gold case
Image credit: Pixabay

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I have to say there are no visible signs of anybody following the Attes way in Poldark since Ross and Demelza seem to spend most of their time speeding off on horseback.

That said, there is no doubt we could all do with taking a breather and reducing our stress levels by adopting a calmer, more chilled approach to some of life’s more minor challenges.

Research by Kelly’s of Cornwall Ice Cream discovered that half the population reckon they are time poor, with eating dinner late at night and buying ready-peeled vegetables among the signs you are too busy.

A poll of 2,000 adults found ordering takeaways because you don’t have time to cook the biggest indicator you need more hours in the day.

Eating breakfast on the commute, multitasking while watching TV by sending emails or shopping online and still doing laundry late into the night are also among the top five signs you are short of time.

Other ‘time poor’ indicators to feature in the top 30 include checking emails as you walk, using dry shampoo instead of washing your hair and buying ready-grated cheese.

It also found time poverty is a real problem in the UK, with three-quarters of Brits saying they are too stressed to have fun and 40 per cent stating they spend most of their time working and juggling household chores.

The poll, of 2,000 adults found almost three-quarters of Brits wish they had more time to relax.

And 54 per cent wish there was more time in the day, with the average adult saying they need an extra three hours a day to get everything done.

After work, four in ten say their spare time is mostly taken up with the household chores, while 16 per cent reckons running around after the family accounts for most of their time.

But almost one in ten admit they can’t remember the last time they had an evening night to spare, while 16 per cent can’t remember the last time they had a lie-in.

This is having a real impact on the nation’s well-being though, with 89 per cent admitting they feel that life is too serious for them.

And three-quarters wish they had more time to relax and be more laid-back.

Charlotte Hambling, of Kelly’s of Cornwall Ice Cream, said: “It’s often expressed that the pace of life in Cornwall is slower and more laid-back than elsewhere, and we have a word here – Attes.

“We are launching our Art of Attes lifestyle campaign to encourage Brits to adopt this easygoing and lighter approach to life, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

“Sometimes it’s OK to not take life quite so seriously. We say, grab an ice cream, kick back and geddon!”

The Kelly’s School of Cornish will be educating the masses on all things Cornwall, from Cornish language translations to showcasing the Cornish lifestyle.

You can keep Hygge and Lagon.  It’s all about Attes from now on.

TOP 30 SIGNS YOU ARE TIME POOR

1. Ordering a takeaway as you don’t have time to cook
2. Eating dinner at 10 pm
3. Eating breakfast on the commute into work
4. Multi-tasking while ‘watching’ TV – i.e. emails/messaging/working late
5. Washing and drying clothes at 11 pm
6. Only wearing clothes that don’t need ironing
7. Falling asleep after reading one page of your book/watching 2 mins of a film
8. Multitasking while cleaning your teeth in the morning
9. Checking emails while walking
10. Having to plan months ahead to meet a group of friends because everyone is busy
11. Putting on your make up on public transport
12. Buying ready peeled or sliced vegetables
13. Using dry shampoo instead of washing your hair
14. Re-wearing something from the laundry basket
15. Doing all your shopping online
16. Having a cleaner
17. Buying ready grated cheese
18. Recording everything/watching it on catch-up because you haven’t got time for adverts
19. Being late for school/late-play pick-up
20. Hardly ever wearing handwash only garments, as you never have time to wash them
21. Growing a beard to save time shaving
22. Doing last-minute times tables/ revision/ spellings in the car on the way to school
23. Having a dog walker
24. Growing your hair long as you don’t have time to go to the hairdresser
25. Using hands-free in the car to catch up with distant relatives
26. Watching catch-up TV on your commute
27. Never making packed lunches for kids, always school dinners
28. Buying frozen ready chopped fruit for your smoothies
29. Buying audiobooks for the car because you don’t have time to read
30. Running with the dog because there’s no time to walk him/her and go out for a run

Journal with notes open at the breakfast table

Ten top tips from psychologist Honey Langcaster-James on how you can inject some Attes in your life:

1. Use your animal instinct. Animals are far less complicated than humans so spend time around them, stroke a cat, play with a dog, or just ‘monkey’ around.

2. Attes is all about being friendly. Say ‘Hello’ or as the Cornish say “Alright? Yeah you?” and strike up a conversation with strangers when you’re catching a bus, standing in a queue, or in a lift. Any place where they can’t just walk away from you is ideal.

3. Make a splash! The Cornish have long had an affinity with water. Introduce water therapy into your daily routine by taking a brisk cold shower in a morning. It’s a bit brrrr…but it is brrrrrrilliant for your mood.

4. Make art, make music, heck…make love! Just be creative and let yourself go.

5. “Ground control to Major Tom!” Imagine you’re a spaceman looking down on yourself from above. It helps to put things into perspective.

6. Live a little. It’s important to be healthy but don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Every so often treat yourself to something delicious, maybe even a little naughty. You deserve it!

7. Be a Peter Pan (or a Wendy). Release your inner child by running around, playing silly games or even dressing up occasionally. Go on, you know you want to!

8. Have a good clear out. The Art of Attes is about letting go, both figuratively and literally, so reduce the junk in your life and say goodbye to clutter.

9. Adopt an easy-going attitude towards others. If other people are irritating you, try to remember that most people are doing the best they can, with the resources they have available to them at the time. “Hakuna Matata” and all that!

10. Let go of perfection. The Cornish art of Attes is all about having a rugged, natural, easy going nature. So, feel free to mess up your hair, go out ‘au naturel’ without makeup, you don’t even have to shave your legs if you don’t want to. It’s liberating!

11. Squeezing in an extra one for good measure… ultimately all you need to do is kick-back, grab an ice cream and geddon!

And ps.  there is absolutely nothing wrong in buying grated cheese.