A secret British passion for yet another aspect of Scandinavian culture is revealed today.
After flat-pack furniture, meatballs and dark crime thrillers, it turns out we share a powerful love of ‘hygge’ too.
New research shows that while many of us may be unfamiliar with the meaning of the Danish word hygge – less than a quarter (22 per cent) of those surveyed said they understood it – the Brits really do grasp the concept, even if they don’t realise it.
Hygge centres on the simple things that make us feel cosy and content. Although there is no English translation, UK homeowners are more tuned in than they know, with almost all respondents (98 per cent) saying that they feel their home has an impact on their sense of wellbeing.
The survey by Everest Home Improvements shows that the simple things work well for us too. More than a third of those questioned (38 per cent) say that nice scents create a feeling of hygge in their homes, while two out of five (40 per cent) say natural light is important.
More than half (58 per cent) say they feel content simply spending time with family, friends or partners, and 43 per cent say the simple act of locking their doors and windows gives them a sense of wellbeing.
In true Scandinavian style, nearly a quarter of respondents (23 per cent) light a fire or log burner to help them feel contented, while around half (52 per cent) draw the curtains and almost a third (32 per cent) opt for the intimate appeal of candlelight. Bringing natural elements into the house such as flowers and pine cones creates hygge for three in ten of us (29 per cent).
Bottom of the list for bringing hygge into the home was communication with the outside world, with only one in ten (11 per cent) saying their devices helped them feel content.