5 ways to use the idea of hygge to make your home a cosy retreat

Create a cosy retreat from the outside world by applying the concept of hygge to each area of your home with a Gem Personal Loan

5 ways to use the idea of hygge to make your home a cosy retreat

Hygge is the Danish word that describes the warm, glowing, cosy feeling that is often found while relaxing with food, family and friends. Bring this comfy concept to your home with our inspiring room guide below and discover how making your renovation dream a reality may be easier than you think.

1. Living Room

The living room is the heart of hygge as this is where you can get seriously snuggled up. Relaxed furniture, layers of texture and lots of room for books and cups of tea are key when creating a space to enjoy that feeling of warmth and contentment.

Choose chairs and sofas that invite lounging, napping or cuddling up with a pet and a book.
Add cushions, sheepskins, throws and blankets, and keep baskets handy for spares.
Bookshelves are a great way to create a feeling of hygge as they encourage browsing and reflection. Display mementoes from your life on the shelves to deepen the sense of contemplation.
Ensure a coffee table or side table is always nearby for cups of tea, as is a floor lamp or reading light.
Luxurious carpet should be layered with rugs and hides for extra toe-snuggling warmth.
If you need a TV, place it inside a cabinet or behind a screen to encourage conversation or meditation, rather than zoning out.

2. Entryway

Spending a little time thinking about your entry as part of a home reno can make a big difference to how you feel when you walk in the door, as well as the functionality of your space. Aim to make this area cheerful, welcoming and useful to set the tone for your cosy hygge home.

+ Consider using a patterned wallpaper or dark colour in this area – as the entry is usually quite small, you can afford to experiment with something bold.
+ Create lots of storage for wet coats, umbrellas, school bags and sports gear.
+ Set up a shoe rack for kicking off muddy shoes and keep your slippers here, too, so you can snuggle straight into them.
+ You can never have too many hooks for jackets, scarves, hats and bags, and you can also keep a warm cardigan here to change into when you get home.
+ Add a Scandi-style chair or bench seat for yanking on gumboots.

3. Bedroom

Sometimes getting out of bed is too much to ask and we need to turn the bedroom into a haven for a day of rest and relaxation. The hygge bedroom is an extension of the living area but will be a simpler space where less is demanded of the senses. Keep it simple and snuggly!

Bedrooms are places for retiring from our hyper-connected world so create a sense of introspection with deep tones and rich colours.
Bedding is layered with natural linen, organic cotton, faux fur, velvet, sheepskin or silk all combining to create a truly sensual nest.
Large side tables leave lots of room for books, magazines, drinks, snacks and a cosy light.
Shaggy rugs keep your toes warm when you climb out of bed.
A beautiful indoor plant will cleanse the air as you sleep and provide something beautiful for your eyes to linger on.

4. Kitchen

As the kitchen is where we often gather when entertaining friends, it’s important to make it inviting and warm. Ensure the kitchen has good connections to your living spaces so you can get on with talking, reading or enjoying solitude while food simmers on the stove.

+ Use clean colours and natural textures such as stone, wood, linen and terracotta.
+ Create open shelving for displaying hand-thrown ceramics, heirloom objects and jars of cookies.
+ Keep your cookware on display by hanging pots from butcher’s hooks or a hanging rack. Choose beautiful pots that you’ll love using.
+ Maintain a connection with nature by displaying fruit and veges, as well as growing herbs on the windowsill and cultivating some hanging plants.
+ Keep the wine glasses and tea cups handy for preparing a welcoming drink for guests.

5. Dining

Creating space for conversation, laughter and unhurried eating sessions is what hygge is all about. Your dining area should be inviting, relaxing and comfortable so friends and family will feel welcome to try everything and stay for dessert.

+ Choose a generous dining table that can seat lots of your favourite people, as well as accommodating a newspaper or jigsaw puzzle.
+ Dining chairs should be the comfiest you can find, with a soft base, arm rests and a back for leaning into. Bench seats are great for creating a convivial mood, but make sure you add squab cushions.
+ Large serving dishes and sharing plates will cut down on food prep and dishes, but will also create a feeling of plenty, and encourage an enjoyable mess.
+ Light your dining table with carefully chosen pendants that can be dimmed or brightened according to the mood you want to create. Alternatively use candlelight to deepen the sense of warmth and intimacy and make everyone look their best.

How to achieve your hygge home makeover

What home reno spending pitfalls should I avoid?
Losing a bedroom is a decision you should never make lightly. Also, if this is your forever home don’t buy cheap window treatments, invest in something that will stand the test of time. Lastly, don’t overspend in areas you don’t use often.

What are the benefits of taking out a personal loan for home renovation?
A personal loan gives you greater flexibility when borrowing, does not require security, and allows you to pay off what you’ve borrowed over a shorter term than an average mortgage. This means you could enjoy a significantly lower interest cost compared to putting it on a longer-term mortgage.

What if I’m not sure how much my renovation will cost yet?
When you complete a personal loan application with Gem, we can tell you how much you’re able to borrow so you can plan with confidence. We offer great flexibility so when you do draw down the loan you can choose your payment frequency, make bulk payments and even pay the balance off early with no early repayment fees or charges.

Will I pay more interest on a personal loan?
If you are looking to finance a home renovation, online debt calculators can be helpful for working out the total interest you will pay based on the length and interest rate of your borrowing. With a Gem Personal Loan*, your interest rate is based on your personal circumstances and if you have a great credit rating we could offer you a better interest rate on your loan. You may be surprised that a $15,000 personal loan on a three-year fixed term at 14.99% p.a. would cost $3,717 in interest, whereas the same amount on a 15-year mortgage at the median floating rate at 5.82% p.a. would incur double the interest costs at $7,522. Our loans start from 12.99% through to 29.99% fixed per annum.

Get a Gem Personal Loan to cover your home makeover and score free design advice!

If you apply between 1 April and 31 July 2018 for a Gem Personal Loan to cover your home makeover, once approved, you’ll be offered a free interior decoration service from Freedom which includes two consultations.+ Plus you’ll be eligible for 10% off your next purchase of $500 or more at Freedom^. Apply for a Gem Personal Loan to cover your home reno using the promo code ‘GemReno’ by calling Gem on 0800 22 057 or visiting

Scroll to see how to get the hygge look:

Photography by: Chris Warnes/

TERMS & CONDITIONS *Credit, lending criteria, fees including a $240 establishment fee, and our terms and conditions apply. Gem Personal Loans are provided by Latitude Financial Services Limited. +Book your obligation-free Freedom Decorator Service appointment by emailing the Freedom contact Gem supply to you before 30 September 2018, and Freedom will waive its $100 consultation fee. Offer not redeemable for cash. ^Email the Freedom contact Gem supply to you to claim your 10% discount. Discount expires 31 October 2018. Discount cannot be used on already discounted items, in Freedom outlet stores or in conjunction with any other offer including Gem Visa long-term interest-free deals.

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