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Tips from the Danes: Simple & Cozy

walking in Copenhagen

A year ago, we were exploring a new-to-us corner of the world: Stockholm for two nights and Copenhagen for the rest of the week. (Recall, Ashley’s advice on prepping for Danish fashion and culture, and traveling in general.)

Evidently, I’m a fake blogger because I didn’t record the trip after the fact. (Ashley did! Here and here.) But now that it’s getting cooler, the smell of autumn air is bringing back Copenhagen memories.

It was a lovely trip—obviously!—and the charming Scandinavian way of life and simple aesthetic were inspiring. Here are a few specific ideas to make your life simpler and cozier this fall:

  • Nix the top sheet. The Danes and Swedes sleep on a fitted sheet with just a fluffy down comforter. I did this last night, after Mary Tobin peed through our quilt and top sheet. (I don’t think she did it out of spite, but I can’t be sure!) So I stripped those and pulled out the comforter that had been stored away for summer. It was a delicious night of sleep. And if you’ve got two comforters, a separate one for your partner, I think it could solve some marriage problems.
  • Candles, that’s all. The Danes were so into candles it was ridiculous. Clear off all other tchotchkes and light your (unscented) candles. Ashley and her husband rented a furnished apartment, really just the basics—mostly from IKEA of course!—but it felt so cozy even as the days grew darker and shorter. I was inspired to evaluate what we really need, materially. (Of course, I did go nuts at their equivalent of the dollar store, stocking up on cool Scandinavian napkins and weird trinkets.)
  • French press. Yummier coffee, no counter space. I’m so happy we made the switch.
  • Go outside anyway. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” All the restaurants and cafes still had their outdoor seating available. They added blankets to the chairs and cranked up the outdoor heaters. What a dream it would be to install an outdoor heater on our little balcony! But for now I’ll pull out our sturdiest blanket and park it out there.

Thoughts, feelings, emotions? Other ideas for creating hyggelige? Would you try any of these?

copenhagen hygge

P.S. For more on cultural differences—more than just tighter jeans and “blondes have more fun”—read Ashley’s thoughts as they wrapped up their year in Copenhagen: lessons from the Danes.

P.P.S. If you need another boost to simplify your possessions, here’s a post for you: Nobody’s Dream Job.


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