Hygge Feng Shui Fancypants

Hygge Feng Shui Fancypants
When you ask AI for "cozy"

We've switched our downstairs up; swapping the living room and dining room. You can see the candle-powered before views here.

The roots of the swap were a happy and literal malfunction. The dining room lighting failed, wouldn't light. Our go-to old-house electrician, Jeff, disconnected the switch and removed the elaborate chan-dell-ier that crowned our dining table. A spaghetti of wires protruded from the ceiling. For months, the room languished in autumn's gathering gloom.

"What could we do?", we inquired of Jeff. Any new fixture would need to have a cord dangling from it to plug into a wall socket. Electricians call this "swagging". Our search for replacement lights led us to ColorCord, the build-a-bear workshop of home and business lighting. You pick out the pieces, including the eponymous fabric color cord. An electrician or enthusiastic amateur can piece it all together to make elaborate, decorative light fixtures.

Jeff is on the job

We ordered a tasteful collection of smokey glass bulbs and cream-colored cord, emerging from a central canopy. Smart bulbs give us a way to set various combinations of lights and brightness at a click of a smart switch. Smart!

Smokey bulbs and creamy cords

Humanity has invented many terms to describe the effect we've created:

  • Hygge: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
  • Rococo: of or relating to an artistic style especially of the 18th century characterized by fanciful curved asymmetrical forms and elaborate ornamentation
  • Hallmark: a greeting card company that's pivoted to delivering quantities of romantic quasi-dramas set in picturesque, highly-decorated, holiday-themed rural spaces.

The entire effect is at a turn bright and glittery and yet homey and warm. It's become our favorite room with someone lounging on the couch or in the window seat at any time of the day.

Can you find the dog in this picture?

Ginnie and I are not stuff people. We don't collect, nor have objects we particularly cherish. We imagine ourselves perfectly happy with two backpacks and a laptop. This works to the detriment of our home decor. We're happy to live in others beauty while our own spaces are sparse, populated by whatever comes easily to hand. This has made this room transformation especially surprising.

Here are two things that worked.

It worked to lean into the clutter and busy-ness of the existing decor. The room already had an elaborate wainscoted wallpaper setup. We couldn't bring ourselves to replace or change it. Now it feels like it belongs.

Finally, the bay window transformed from an ignored space to the heroic centerpiece of the room. The solution was both getting some seat cushions and adding the icicle lighting that highlights the beautiful stained glass.

Our hero