Contrary to popular belief (or some beautiful Instagram posts), the Danish concept of hygge is not a new thing.
I grew up for part of my life in Denmark and making your home hyggelig (an adjective that describes something that is hygge-like) was a common thing to do.
Pronounced hue-guh, the word essentially means having cozy feelings in a warm, comfortable space—especially on a cold winter day.
Hygge also describes the warm and cozy feeling you get when talking with friends around a good meal or spending time with family in front of the fireplace.
Sitting around a campfire while wrapped in a blanket and enjoying a hot drink is the epitome of hygge, so there is no reason why you can’t expand the idea into your camper or trailer.
The idea of hygge stems from Denmark, Sweden, and other northern European countries most likely because of their lack of sunshine during the long, cold winter.
Having a home that is hygge not only saves your sanity but is a wonderful and simple design aesthetic. If you decide to do some cold weather camping in your RV, bringing some Scandinavian style and ideas into your RV can turn your camper or trailer into a little hygge haven.
1. It’s all about the lighting.
Candles are an essential part of Scandinavian culture. They are placed on windowsills, on live Christmas trees, and decorate every dinner table no matter what the night.
Having real candles in an RV is not really safe or practical, but there are some excellent battery-operated, flameless candles and tea lights available. Look for battery-operated candles and tea lights that cast a warm glow rather than a colder, blue light.
Another option is strings of battery operated fairy lights that also cast a warm glow. These can be hung from curtain rods, ceiling hooks, or awning rails.
2. Add some texture.
A hyggelig home depends a lot on the type of textures it contains. The same goes for an RV. For a cozy, warm look, add fluffy or furry throw blankets to beds and couches, wool or knitted throw pillows, microfleece and hand-knitted items.
In addition, consider installing or adding textural-looking materials as well. This can include vinyl flooring with a wood pattern, real wood on the walls, baskets made of natural fibers, or even wallpaper in warm tones.
3. Warm up with color.
Don’t be afraid of using some warm colors in your RV space. This can include painting one or two walls, adding a few colorful rugs, a new backsplash, or decorating some cabinets.
Scandinavians tend to choose colors like warm red, deep blue, orange, yellow, and brown accents for their homes. Color can also be added in less permanent ways with pillows, blankets, and towels.
4. Pack some beloved books.
Installing a small bookshelf or place to store books and magazines can make your camper a lot more homey and cozy.
Having books around encourages more reading and when you are parked far away from cell service or WiFi, books can be your best source of entertainment. Unfortunately, cell phones and other connected devices are not considered very hygge.
5. Stock up on cuddly clothes.
Keeping warm and cozy items like wool socks, shawls, sweaters, or even your favorite sweatpants in your RV closet can help with a sense of hygge.
Scarves are also a very popular Scandinavian accessory and having one or two scarves or warm tubular scarves can ward off more chilly mornings.
If you really want to look like a hygge pro, add a few Scandinavian inspired pieces to your space. How about a Swedish Dala horse, which is a painted wooden horse that you can find in many northern European homes?
7. Make a hot drink.
An RV should always have a way to quickly make a hot drink, especially when it’s chilly out. Hyggelig drinks are primarily sweet and frothy and include tea, coffee, glugcg (a Swedish mulled wine), or even a hot toddy.
Stocking your RV with your favorite teas, chai, coffee, or some adult beverages will give you a head start on a cozy weekend.
8. Add curtains for nesting.
While many RVers know the benefit of having curtains in their rig, the choice of curtains can affect the hygge concept. Those cold, dark nights are kept at bay with thicker curtains made of textured or warmer materials.
Darker colors are important with curtains as well. In traditional Swedish culture, beds were built into cabinets and curtains were hung in front to keep in the warmth. The design of some RVs make this option very easy.
9. Embrace the (faux) fireplace.
An important part of hygge is actual warmth and the fireplace is a central focus in a hyggelig home. Having a fireplace in an RV is not the most practical thing in the world, but there are alternatives.
10. Invite some good company.
Apart from all the material items or hot drinks, the most important part of hygge is being able to share it with someone.
While having a good conversation away from electronic devices, enjoying good food or wine, and keeping warm from the elements you will instantly recognize the hygge concept.
Make sure you have places for all your guests or family to be comfortable both inside and outside the RV and the best times will come naturally.