HOW TO CREATE AN INSPIRING ECO-FRIENDLY HYGGE WORKSPACE
In our fast-paced, ever-changing business world it is comforting to know that with a few key elements we can create a beautiful and rewarding workspace to help us through those long and tiresome hours as we pour our heart and soul into our entrepreneurial kingdom!
WHAT IS HYGGE
What the heck is Hygge and how do you even say that word?
Well…. I’m glad you ask!
Hygge loosely translated from the Danish language means “a big hug”! - well not really!! But that’s how I like to think of it and to have the remote chance of remembering how to say it!
Phonetically it is said as Hue-guh. I like to call it huggie – as this word is not really a statement or a word for something, but more of a word for a feeling or a moment. So… as I sit here in the warmth of our winter sun, coffee in hand and woolly jumper over my lap in case the breeze gets chilly, overlooking the magnificent coastline scenery, writing about my favorite subject – Design, I feel Hygge!! Warm, cozy and content!
HOW TO BRING HYGGE INTO YOUR WORKSPACE AND DAY
As an Interior Designer and someone who is big on how something ‘feels’ I endeavor to bring some hygge into every design, and today we are going to look at how you can bring some hygge into your studio or office along with the added bonus of being mindful of eco-friendly and healthy design options. Before we get into specifics with Hygge, let’s have a look at the eco-friendly and healthy design ideas just mentioned.
HOW TO CREATE ECO-FRIENDLY AND HEALTHY WORKSPACES
Eco-friendly and healthy workspaces?… please tell me more!
Have you ever considered if the plastics in the furniture you use at work could be doing you or the environment harm? As you sit on your vinyl padded chair, leaning your arms on your laminated desk planning your next fabulous social media post, could you be passively ingesting chemicals?
Have you ever noticed a strange chemical smell emitting from manmade objects that have been sitting in the sun? Or that new carpet or piece of furniture has a strong chemical odor that gives you headaches? If the answer is yes, you may well be exposed to some chemicals that are emitting vapors or gases that can cause a variety of health concerns.
WHAT IS VOC
Have you heard of VOC? … and why you need to ask one very important question!
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound. While this sounds friendly – after all, it is Organic right?? it couldn’t be further from the truth! Not only can they cause headaches and dizziness, they are suspected carcinogens. VOC’s are emitted as gases and vapors from certain solids and liquids like paints, cleaning products, pesticides, building materials, furnishings, adhesives, permanent markers and more.
The big question you need to ask when choosing items for your home and in this case, your office/studio space is “how low is the VOC rating on this product?” Sometimes a sales rep won’t have any idea what you are asking, other times they don’t want to know what you are asking. I have had many sales reps promise to find out about the VOC rating on an item to never hear from them again!
HOW TO DESIGN A WORKSPACE
Ok, now that you understand the threat of chemicals and what Hygge is…. let’s get into the fun part …how to design a fabulous workspace
First up assess what you need from your workspace, does it need to have large storage areas? How much desk space do you need? Where will you store your computer and printer? Would you enjoy a little space to chill and how much natural light and ventilation does your office have?
When you have decided what are the essentials for your space then you can consider what extras you would like to put into this space to make it welcoming for you and potential visitors?
I suggest grabbing a pen and paper and drawing your workspace plan on the paper. Be sure to add your desk/s, chair, cupboards or other storage solutions, comfy sitting chair (if room permits), shelving - whether it be on the wall or stand alone. Ask yourself are you happy with the layout? Is it functional for your work needs? When you are sitting at your desk with your computer can you easily reach the essentials? Phone, pen, and paper, printer, storage areas for files etc… If you need to re-arrange the workspace, don’t be afraid to try something new or “unconventional” – it just might work for you!
HOW TO FIND CREATIVE INSPIRATION
Now it’s time to get creative!
Time for my favorite part of the design process! Do you have any inspiration photos of work/studio spaces? … ‘cause now it’s time to get creative! Pull out those fav pics and have a look at what really speaks to you? Why are you drawn to the image?
Think about your wall colors, do you need to change your current wall color? What ‘feel’ do you want in your workspace? Normally I would suggest a good clean white or light neutral grey - a fabulous easy living/working color. Or would you like to add some drama to your workspace? Go rich and moody? Or are you interested in the fashion colors for the year… green is always a statement color and can be as soft and subtle as a pale leaf, or perhaps a new rich warm color, a beautiful modern terracotta color.
Once you have the wall color sorted, are you happy with your current furniture? And how are your floor coverings fairing? As with the paint choices, furniture, and floor coverings please remember to ask that all-important question “is this low VOC?”
WHY IS TIMBER THE BEST
Timber is tops
How is your desk looking? Are you happy with it? … Why do I ask??
Well…. it may come as a surprise but if you were to invest in a real wood top desk chances are you are going to perform better and feel better when seated at your desk! Studies from the University of Canberra have come to surprising conclusions on the effect of real wood on our psychology. So, if you want to feel happier at the desk and perform better, then go ahead and find your new real wood desk. Upcycling is a fabulous option – finding treasures at the local second-hand store is a great sustainable practice! Not only does it help your budget, it helps the environment by reducing landfill and it also gives you a sense of accomplishment as you put on your creative britches and create something unique!
HOW DO YOU STYLE WITH HYGGE
Now for styling and adding the Hygge!
I like to keep things looking clean with a sense of comfort along with a beautiful natural vibe.
Think macramé hanging pot plants, here we have texture, natural fibers, and an air loving plant! Not only will the pot plant bring a little of the outside in, it will help clean and purify the air! How is that for smart!! Not keen on a hanging plant, then pop one on your desk.
Wood is an integral part of the Hygge vibe – do you have favorite photos or certificates you want to display- try wood frames in a natural finish or keep to the same color (like white or black). A comfy chair or footstool if room allows is an excellent place to create your Hygge corner with layers of texture and items of comfort. Try natural fiber cushions and throws in warm colors – for a pop of warmth, mustard is a modern favorite here! An ideal spot would be next to a window with gorgeous natural light pouring in with your mug of coffee or hot chocolate ready to take 5 minutes with your favorite magazine or book – remember little time outbreaks make for a clearer mind and help keep you focused while on task. Don’t forget just before you begin for the day put on your natural soy candle, add your favorite essential oil to the oil burner and one last step… put on your relaxing or … invigorating music!
Perfect! Now that you have your office or studio looking, feeling and performing well, you are going to smash those tasks and reach your goals that much quicker and Hyggier!
Share in the comments: What your biggest takeaway was from learning about creating a hygge inspired workspace?
Sherri Smith is an Interior Designer specializing in Sustainable, Healthy and Beautiful living spaces, with a mission to assist people by carefully selecting what it brought into the home to positively enhance the living environment and respect the planet. Sherri is keenly aware that we are blessed to have the opportunity to live in this magnificent world and believes we must become good stewards of the earth.
“God has given us this amazing planet and out of gratitude, we must do what we can to nurture the planet back from man’s destruction. Looking at what we purchase and bring into the home not only helps to create a healthier home for allergy suffers and health-conscious people, but it also assists in our efforts to help the environment. A win/win situation!”