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Joshua Smith

Hygge and The Conscious Home

My dear friend, Lys, recently sent over a fascinating read in the San Francisco Chronicle that I think truly expresses “Conscious Home”.   Denmark, the number one country on the U.N.’s Happiness Report, has found their joy and bliss through hygge, pronounced “Hoo-ga”.

Hygge is a word that doesn’t have a direct translation in the U.S.  But some examples include: “the pursuit of everyday happiness”, “all things warm and fuzzy”, “living simple pleasures as a way of life”, “beauty in minimalism”, or my favorite – “the art of creating intimacy”.

Alex Bauchamp, author of www.hyggehouse.com refers to it as “leisurely charm”.  She describes it as “the feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday moments more meaningful, beautiful or special.”

A hygge home isn’t a house filled with Danish furniture.  It’s very similar to my Conscious Home philosophy.  Your home should be a sanctuary and an experience that invites how you want to feel or be in your best lived life.   The Hygge trend is another signal that our consciousness is coming home.  And why? Perhaps it’s the essential anecdote to the hyper-stressed world we live in today.  Now more than ever, people are creating deeply meaningful places and spaces for joy in their lives.  We are finding happiness where it has always been – in the quiet, meditative and simple moments in our lives.  Design can help us create space to connect to our true self and center it, in what we find beautiful.

All of this reminds me of a quote from my favorite designer Barbara Barry. “The awareness of everyday beauty – seeing the extraordinary in what I once thought was ordinary has transformed my life.  When I live with beauty, when I see it and actually stop to take it in, I am changed for the better; somehow beauty softens me.”

Beauty softens me.

Whether you call it “Conscious Home or hygge”, this is about our right to soften.  We find our spiritual connection and welcome it into our home. Conscious Home design is the creative process at home to nourish your soul and add more meaning to your life.  This is foundational to how I approach design – creating environments that helps us live our best life; personalized to who we are and how we deserve to feel.

Hygge is the best house guest we can ask for.  And all we need to do is consciously invite her in.


Here is the article in the San Francisco Chronicle: “How to Hygge: The Danish Secret to a Happy Home”

Room above designed by Barbara Barry.