February 28th 2022 was International Hygge Day. ‘What is that’? you may ask.

Hygge is a Danish word, pronounced Hoo-guh, that has no direct translation. It refers to a mood, encouraging a slowing down and appreciation of the calm, cosy aspects of life with the people that matter to you. It can refer to the décor and/or the activities you engage in. There is no right or wrong way to experience hygge because it is about doing what makes you feel happy, whilst relaxing and experiencing joy in the little things. It may be the reason that Denmark is consistently ranked one of the highest countries in the World Happiness Report!

At home, your hygge may be snuggling up under a blanket watching a favourite film or reading a favourite book with your children, going for a walk in the woods or the park, followed by a warm drink together sitting in your favourite chair.

Holyrood Nursery Indoors

At Holyrood Princes Dock our whole nursery is designed as a space that encourages a sense of calm and peace and community. There are cosy areas and a home from home feel. Our experiences and environments encourage learning through the use of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell which therefore promotes a sense of emotional well-being, allowing children and adults be more present and open to connecting with one another. Our nursery is full of objects that invite exploration, curiosity and conversation with each other. All of which are in line with the hygge lifestyle, and allows children and staff to feel a sense of belonging, which, research shows, impacts our health and wellbeing. The report by Public Health England reminds us that “Pupils with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically.”

Practitioner reading to child

How can you create a Hygge environment?



Hygge is about calm, soft, soothing and comfortable.

  • The colours chosen are a significant part of setting a relaxing space. The use of neutral colours on the wall actually help to calm your mind.
Holyrood Nursery Indoors


Hygge is about warmth and connection, so in the nursery use decor not only to create a calming space but also to create conversation.

  • A calming environment can be created with the use of accessories, such as wood elements and indoor plants.
  • In the nursery we include pieces that have special meaning such as pictures of family
  • At home you can place photo albums on the coffee table with pictures of travel or experiences that you’ve shared with others.
Holyrood Nursery Indoors


Lighting is an essential part of creating a sense of hygge in the living space.

  • Warm, soft white light creates an inviting and comfortable space. Using floor and table lamps can create a more intimate lit space.
  • Fireplaces are often associated with the hygge lifestyle. In the nursery we use small fairy lights in certain areas to help create that inviting warmth that a fireplace would give.
  • At home candles can create a warm, soft light and a sense of relaxation and comfort, if they cannot be used safely with your children you can use LED candles.
Holyrood Nursery Outdoors


Embracing nature is an important element of Hygge.

  • We love to be outside at our nursery, feeling the cold, the wind, the sun, smelling and touching the plants around us, then heading back inside for that cosy feeling of coming in from the cold.
  • At home, why not go for a walk, stop, look at the trees and the leaves, breathe deeply. Then follow that with warm drinks, blankets and a chat about what you saw.
Children playdough

What are the benefits?

Research reports that by integrating hygge into your lifestyle, sharing moments with key people, reduces stress levels, reduces anxiety, improves sleep and helps create stronger bonds with family and friends.

What’s not to like! Why not put away your phone or laptop, find a blanket and snuggle up with a warm drink and start your hygge journey.

If this is something you want to know more about try The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Becca Oberg, Interim Nursery Manager, Holyrood Princes Dock