It's technically fall for another month at least, but in Minnesota, there's no doubt winter has landed. Whether we like it or not, it's time to bust out the hats, scarves, blankets, snuggies, slippers, socks, and parkas and layer them all on top of one another because IT IS COLD.
For anyone who doesn't live here, it's mid-November and the temperature this morning was 9 degrees with a windchill of 1 degree. A single degree. A teeny, tiny, ice cold degree.
What that means is that we have a choice in the tundra: either continue to live in denial and frolic around in cute flannels and an unzipped coat pretending we're still in the magic hour of fall, OR we can hunker down and embrace hygge in all its glory. I am 100% a member of the latter.
Hygge is what I live for this time of year. It's the art of creating moments of coziness, intimacy, and enjoyment, and embracing all things in life with a vein of contentment. Sounds luxurious, doesn't it? It is, my friends. It is.
So, to get us all in the hygge mood, here's a lovely little mood board with a few tips & tricks for making your home a hygge getaway. Because we all need a dose of warmth and cozy right about now. Cheers!
GET THAT FIREPLACE GOING
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a fireplace in their home, but if you do - whether it's gas, wood-burning, or electric - get that puppy up and running ASAP. There's nothing that says "hygge" more than time spent relaxing in front of a roaring fire.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY CANDLES
This one is self-explanatory. Candles are THE BEST way to add instant ambiance to your space, giving off the perfect flicker of relaxing mood lighting for a dash of hygge we can all get behind.
LAYER ON THE BLANKETS
Remember that tiny one degree I woke up to this morning? The solution is to layer on up. Toss a few throws around your home - on the arms of your sofa, across the back of a chair, you name it - they'll be easy to grab and you'll be beyond glad for the extra warmth.
POUR YOURSELF A SPOT OF TEA
The best way to top it all off and really relax into that hygge feeling is to have a warm cup of your fave winter drink. Tea, coffee, cocoa, cider, hot toddy - whatever your poison, let it warm you right up and keep you happy despite that winter chill.
Millennial Pink might be on the decline (or so I hear), but I'm all kinds of inspired by it right now.
Call it summer vibes, call it an urge to head to a tropical destination - whatever it is, I'm so far gone on the train to pink land. Who could possibly resist?!
Now let's be clear - I'm not talking hot pink or that jarring shade the Pink Panther always seems to don. Those are fine and all, but they're not exactly my style.
What I've been loving lately is more along the lines of softer pinks - think rose, blush, or flamingo. They've got iconic beach town written all over them, and every time I see them I want to throw on my swimsuit and dive into the waves (hypothetically, of course - I live in Minnesota, so waves aren't exactly easy to come by).
There's just something so feminine and elegant about these shades, but not in an obnoxious or showy way. Pink makes a statement that combines class with fun, refinement with adventure. It's a color pop that immediately invites.
The important thing to keep in mind with pink, though, is that you want to choose a shade that's subtle - generally, it's best to stick to "seaside escape" or "Parisian romance" inspiration instead of "Barbie's dream house." Soft pinks can bring character to a room, or help you make your house stand out from the crowd, but a pink that's too harsh can feel visually jarring and cringe-worthy.
Here's how to incorporate this color into your home without letting it go overboard:
Paint the exterior of your home
Don't think pink is a good color for Minnesota? I beg to differ. The right shade can make your home simultaneously blend in and stand out in the midst of your neighbor's homes. As good as it looks in the summer time, it's a simple stunner when the snow starts to fall, too. Pink tends to be a softer alternative to the typical greys and blues that dominate the Midwest, and it's a brighter option than sticking to whites or beiges.
Paint your doors pink
Keeping the surrounding area neutral, use pink on your doors as a way to add a pop of personality and playfulness to your home. Not ready to commit to an exterior door? Try it in a laundry room or another room in your home - it can become a statement piece all on its own.
Incorporate pink into your decor
Splashes of soft pinks - especially in your bedroom - can have a welcoming and calming effect. Especially if you're typically drawn to more of a neutral color scheme, pink can help to add some spice to the room without straying too far into the bold color realm. You don't want to cover every surface in it, of course, but a little here or there can really make a difference.
Embrace retro vibes with pink tile or appliances
Remember how nearly every 1950s rambler once had a completely pink bathroom (I'm talking floor to ceiling pink)? Well don't worry, I'm not advocating for exactly that. However, a little pink can give a splash of retro to a room in a way that's tasteful. Similar to adding pink into your bedroom decor, they key to adding pink to a bathroom or kitchen is to keep it minimal. A beautiful rose tile or a pink vintage style refrigerator can be stunning - but be strategic about it, and balance it out with neutrals or other complementary colors in the room. Let the tile or appliance be an exciting and surprising element, but don't try to match every other part of the room to that shade. There's a fine line between an outdated bathroom and a contemporary spa getaway.
If you're not quite ready to run to the hardware store to pick up a gallon of pink, that's totally okay. It's not for everyone. But for those of you who are as obsessed over this color as I am, just remember to keep it simple and lean towards the muted and softer shades. If you're purposeful about where you incorporate it into your home, it can completely transform your space into that perfect combination of happiness and style we all crave. And frankly, I can't think of a more enjoyable way to live.
By MEGAN JOHANSSON
If you're wondering which decor trend you absolutely should have in your home, it's lucite. Why? It's retro, it's airy, and most of all, it's a clear winner (Ha - get it? Clear?)
While in the past I've preferred to avoid clear glass tabletops at all costs (fingerprints are the pits), lucite is a different gem altogether that definitely shouldn't be overlooked. It's the perfect way to add an eclectic yet understated element to any room, and its see-through material means that it'll never feel like you've cluttered up your space (this is especially important for people looking to spice up their studio apartments or upgrade their starter single family homes without adding bulk and taking up that precious little floor space). The visual weight is next to nothing, so it'll make your room feel light and airy while still providing design kudos.
While there are plenty of shops out there selling brand new lucite furniture and decor, this trend has been around for quite some time, so there are a ton of options for you to incorporate this into your home. Originally developed in the 1930s, it's become a staple in homes and businesses for nearly a century, and you've probably also seen it in a wide array of items beyond furniture (think phones, appliances, signage, and food display cases, to name a few). It's even been used in aquariums, hockey rinks, and for police riot gear - so, you know, you can always use that side chair for protection if a swarm of fire-breathing sports fans come barreling through your door. Good times, am I right?
All jokes aside, lucite gives you a near-endless supply of uses in your home decor. If you're looking for a more modern take, try adding a side table with clean lines or go for an all-out lucite dining table and chairs set.
If you're more of a midcentury fan, check out your local thrift and vintage shops for unique pieces that you can mix and match with non-lucite design elements (with this style, using lucite as a complement to a more solid, bold, or patterned piece will make it much more retro and less hard-line modern).
You can even go more traditional by keeping to classic styles that happen to be made of lucite.
Whichever way you choose to add this to your space, remember that a lucite piece is a great investment because it's essentially a neutral staple. With the change in seasons, you can play with its look by adding a cozy throw over the back of a chair in the winter, or a bright vase of fresh flowers to bring in warmer weather. The clear color makes lucite just about the easiest thing to dress up or down in any room.
And don't forget - it's crazy easy to clean. No need to worry about staining that upholstered seat cushion of your fave chair with your fave wine. Lucite's acrylic surface means you can wipe up spills in no time.
I'd say overall it's clearly a design frontrunner that you don't want to miss. (Oops. I did it again.)
By MEGAN JOHANSSON
I loved colors when I was a kid – and bright ones at that. The more I could tack onto my walls, the more complete I felt my space was. Stimulation was my jam, and so much so that one bored Saturday I decided to paint purple, hot pink, and orange circles on my ceiling to give my light pink walls some “contrast.” In case you’re wondering, I had a closet-sized basement bedroom with no windows, so calling this “a bit much” was an understatement.
Thinking about that space today makes me start to hyperventilate and want to run outside for a breath of fresh air. There was just so much to look at. It was basically a Phish concert packed into a box, which is nice for some but definitely not for me. Thankfully I have since moved on and in the past few years, I’ve embarked on the magical path that is minimalism.
So what does it take to be a minimalist? Well, you can go all-in and completely purge your belongings until you have so little that you could literally move anywhere with a small suitcase. Or, you could become a semi-committed minimalist (like yours truly) and start with this basic set of rules to give your space that refreshing vibe you’ve probably always wanted (but never had the time to achieve):
A - Attack Your Closet (If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.)
I spent years breaking this rule before I finally looked at a beautiful pair of “one day” pants sitting at the very top corner of my closet, then looked at my never-going-to-be-seventeen-again hips, and knew something had to be done. Keeping clothes in your closet that you never wear because they’re either too small, too big, have holes/stains, or don’t fit your style is a giant waste of space.
Unless you’re holding onto something for a particularly sentimental reason, then it’s got to go. Sell it, donate it, or if it’s in bad shape, toss/recycle it - whatever works as long as it goes away.
You may think you’ll have the time to patch up that sweater, or turn those shrunken jeans into cut-off beach shorts, but be real – how long have you been telling yourself that? Whenever you’ve had free time for the past two years, have you ever wanted to devote it to mending a worn garment? I promise that if you do a closet overhaul, you’ll be amazed at how much clearer your space feels, and how many things you actually do have in your closet that you want to wear. When everything isn’t hiding under old t-shirts, it’s much easier to find that top you actually like.
B – Be Selective with Your Décor (Avoid over-stimulation.)
Just because each room has four walls does not mean that each wall has to be covered in artwork. Your décor should be selected purposefully for a room, and it should reflect your interests and work with the space. Many of us have the tendency to want to spruce up a room, but instead of starting completely fresh, we just add to what we already have. This can cause a room to feel cluttered and out of sync.
The best way to know if your décor is working is to make a blank slate, then add elements one at a time until you are satisfied. Take down all of the frames and artwork from the walls and clear off your bookshelves. Then look at the décor you have on hand. Which pieces do you love, and which ones are you tired of looking at? Take the I’m tired of you items and either put them away in storage if you still love them and want to use them again one day, or donate/sell them to get rid of them completely.
Once you’ve got your pile of heck yes items, see if finding a new home for them – perhaps in another room, or on another wall – does the trick. Maybe you want to combine a few frames into a gallery wall? Or maybe the hallway would be a much better spot for your wedding photo? Keep playing around until you find a combination that works for you.
After that, you should feel much more at ease with your space and refreshed, but if you still feel like the room is missing something, then by all means go on a hunt to find the perfect piece. Just remember that you want it to be cohesive with your new décor setup, and you don’t want it to overwhelm the space. Selectivity is key here. You want some whitespace on your walls, otherwise you’ll be right back to square one with a cluttered vibe.
C – Cut Down on Storage (Avoid buying more bins at all costs.)
It’s incredibly easy to rack up more and more storage “solutions” in your home. While I’m a big fan of organization and of those neat little in-drawer boxes that keep all your undies in line, most storage bins and boxes end up adding to the clutter.
Before you go out and spend $100 on a bunch of see-through plastic tubs, first take inventory of what it is you are trying to store. Do you actually need those items? If not, can they be sold, donated, or recycled? The less junk you keep hanging around your house, the more calm and content you will feel.
We like to accumulate things, yes. But don’t automatically hang onto something without seriously considering why you are doing so. I loved my CD collection as a kid, but there is absolutely no reason for me to keep a stack of those babies hanging out on a shelf in my basement for all eternity.
Make what you keep intentional. If it doesn’t have a purpose, then let it go.
Ready to give minimalism a shot? Start with this list, and I think you’ll find that as you eliminate what you own, you’ll be less inclined to add to an already-full space. And remember to start small – it doesn’t have to be 100% minimal on day one. You can do one drawer, or tackle your t-shirt pile first. Pretty soon you’ll be wondering why you ever thought you needed so much stuff in the first place.