While both concepts hail from Denmark, there are actually some major differences between the two that are worth noting. Read ahead for a breakdown on all things hygge and niksen — and how to score some of each at home.
Kind of like our idea of holiday spirit, the Scandinavian concept of hygge is used to express the warm feelings of happiness, comfort, and coziness we aim to achieve during the cold weather season. Since Nordic winters are marked by unusually long periods of darkness — the sun usually sets around 3pm every day — the Danes invented hygge (and the decor and activities associated with it) to help counter the mental side effects, like depression and fatigue, that come from getting less sunlight throughout the day.
Here are a few decor items that will usher some hygge-inspired vibes into your home this season:
Made from natural salt crystals from the Himalayan Mountains, these organic lamps emit a soft, warm glow and negative ions that are believed to enhance your home's ambience and your mood.
You can always count on a fragrant candle to transform the atmosphere of a room. This smoky and leathery scented candle will instantly transport you to a cozy cabin in the woods no matter where you are.
Nothing makes you feel snugger than cuddling up on your sofa with a comfy throw blanket. This Brooklinen plush throw is composed of pure wool and boasts a stylish fringe trim to boot.
While hygge emphasizes the value of coziness, the Dutch concept of niksen is all about the importance of doing nothing — and not thinking about anything — from time to time. Instead of focusing on creating an atmosphere of contentment and comfort, niksen is about periodically allowing your mind to wander without guilt or expectation, so you can take mini mental vacays throughout the day.
Here are a few decor items that can help you practice niksen while you're at home:
Looking for a way to slow down your brain in style? Designer oil diffusers disperse essential oils into the air so that you can reap the benefits of aromatherapy, including reduced stress and improved breathing.
Nothing makes you zone out faster than a plush sofa or armchair to cuddle up on. Invest in an extra comfy seat and simply stare out the window for a few minutes every day to make being unproductive a breeze.
Studies show that soothing sounds naturally help our minds and bodies relax. Play a sound machine to help your brain shut off whenever you want to unwind and do nothing at home.