Tromsø hygge – a remedy for the dark season
In Tromsø, Norway, the residents don’t see the sun for two months during the winter. Yet they seem to know the secret to happiness. Find out how you too can fight the winter blues.
1. Accept the dark as a part of life
Well above the Arctic Circle, daylight in the town of Tromsø shifts dramatically with the seasons. Midnight sun in summer to complete darkness four months later. Still, winter depression is almost non-existent (there are even scientific studies supporting this). First step: acceptance.
2. Do daylight activities (only without the daylight)
Darkness apparently doesn’t distract the residents’ outdoorsy lifestyle. Whether in wait for the elusive Northern Lights or the next hike, picnic gear and outdoor clothing is best kept within reach. Also, an extra torch or flashlight is always useful. Step two: ignore the dark.
3. Make your life more “hygge”
When darkness falls, resort to hygge. It’s a Nordic word for the concept of enjoying comfort and life’s simple pleasures. Gather with friends and share warm beverages. Use candles and lamps to bring ambiance and intimacy to those early evenings. Step three: let hygge do its magic.
4. Surround yourself with winter textiles
Thick curtains in plush materials, such as velvet, create a warm and cosy feeling in the room. Keep them open during the day to soak up the sun (if there is any), and keep them shut at night to add another layer of insulation. Decorate with lots of soft pillows, and drape blankets over chairs and sofas. Step four: cosy up with textiles.
5. Enjoy the cosiness created
To really maximise the hygge, layer rugs to add a warm, inviting feel to your winter haven. Use different ones to create your own unique “pattern” on the floor (and minimise draft in the process). As you can see, making the Arctic night – or winter nights anywhere – more pleasant wasn’t so hard after all. Step five: The secret to defying darkness? Embrace it.
Interior designer: Ellen Vidstige
Photographer: Fredrik Bjelkerud
Writers: Vi Cooper/Henrik Annemark