Winter is the perfect season for a little injection of Northern culture. From hearty food to knitted clothes, Nordic and Scandinavian life emphasizes all things cozy and comfortable. The Danish concept of “hygge” showcases this best. Hygge is all about balance, contentment, and taking things slow. Rather the daily rush of work, chores, getting dinner on the table, and routines that prioritize efficiency and productivity, “hygge” asks us to take a more holistic approach to our days. Instead of getting everything done, focus more on connecting with others and with ourselves. Curl up by a warm fire in your favorite soft blanket. Invite friends over to chat over a cup of hot cocoa or tea. Take a relaxing walk in nature and notice which flowers are in bloom and how birds call to each other from tree to tree.
Hygge acknowledges that it’s the little things in life that are the most rewarding. Scandinavian design follows a similar ethos, with architecture and furniture adopting a minimalist aesthetic with an emphasis on natural materials and shapes–evident in everything from the latest IKEA releases to the iconic wishbone chair.
While Scandi design often feels modern, Nordic and Scandinavian culture also celebrate their traditions. Intricate floral patterns, runes, and rustic baked dishes that highlight seasonal ingredients emphasize this heritage and fit right alongside today’s cottagecore trends.
Take a look below to check out some of our favorite books that showcase the food, clothes, and lifestyle of these Northern lands, and then click into our title list to explore even more!