If you move in minimalist circles or read minimalist articles, you’ve probably heard of “
Hygge is derived from a Danish word that means to comfort and console, and it encourages you to slow down and enjoy life. Imported to Britain and America in 2016, hygge quickly became a popular trend in decorating and lifestyle.
But though minimalist and
Since Denmark, hygge’s country of origin, has one of the highest tax rates at roughly 60%, while also providing for the basic needs of all of their citizens, Danes focus on cultivating life experiences that don’t rely or focus on wealth. Instead, they find joy in simple pleasures like a warm drink, good food, and a nice book, as well as spending time with friends, exploring nature, and working together on shared goals. The underlying motto is that you don’t have to spend extra money on trying to achieve a life worthy of contentment.
On the other hand, minimalism is focused on choosing to consume less as a countercultural response to society’s emphasis on consumption. The carefully-chosen elements of the minimalist lifestyle are often rather expensive, and are chosen to justify spending less money on furnishings and decorations that one does not need. Furthermore, minimalist décor isn’t often described as “cozy.” Instead, the light color palette fosters tranquility and mental clarity.
Both run counter to a culture of consumption.
According to hygge, perfect contentment is a cozy blanket, pair of fuzzy socks, and a heartwarming movie away. As a result, one does not have to spend money on endless trinkets and entertainments. Hygge encourages one to slow down, take a break from the hectic pace of modern life, and relax and reflect.
Conversely, while minimalism also seeks to run counter to a culture of consumption, it is often touted as a way to become more productive, more focused, and more efficient. While it doesn’t emphasize contentment, it quietly acknowledges that you might be happier if you felt like you could get more work done.
Both approaches change how your life looks.
Hygge has taken social media by storm, particularly in wintertime. Hand-knit blankets, warm sweaters, specialty hot-chocolate, crackling fireplaces, mugs, gatherings of friends, and more are often tagged with #hygge. The result is a life that looks like an appealing lodge tucked away in the wintry mountains — one that might still be cluttered.
Conversely, minimalism strips life down to its elements. Whether it’s the clean, versatile pieces of a capsule wardrobe, or the stainless steel coffee table with a vase of flowers on it, the aesthetic differs dramatically from hygge.
While hygge and minimalism both stress spending less, investing in high-quality furnishings, and making your life look different, they ultimately have very different end-goals. Hygge focuses on removing one’s self from the fast-paced flow of modern life, while minimalism helps one more readily embrace modern life with fewer distractions.
Regardless of which path you choose, you can make your life look different — and be happier while doing it.