Hygge (hoo-ga) is Danish for cozy

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#HOWIHYGGE: Christiana's Holiday Hygge

Posted on December 22, 2015 by Melissa Andersen

There's nothing we love more than sharing the stories of the crazy talented designers, artists, and tastemakers in our Pattern Players series, especially the ways they find hygge at home. But this holiday season, we decided to turn the tables a bit and find out what it feels like to be in the hot seat with a special #howihygge holiday mini series where we interview... each other! 

First, Christiana talks about her favorite Christmas traditions, how to find hygge all year long, and holiday cocktails with Jimmy Fallon.

H&W: Hygge is at the heart of everything you do at H&W. What does that word mean to you?

CC: Hygge means creating coziness and comfort and being mindful and appreciative of all the positive and joyful things in life. Nothing is better than a night surrounded by friends or family, enjoying delicious food and drinks and making each other laugh. It’s hard sometimes not to compare your life to others that seem to have more of one thing or another, but whenever I start to do that, I always focus on the hygge concept and quickly realize how lucky I am and how rich and good my life is.

H&W: What are some of your favorite ways to add a little extra hygge to your holiday?

CC: Definitely candles! With the days getting shorter, I’ve started lighting candles around 3 in the afternoon and enjoying their glow well into the evening. Candles are such a quick and easy way to create coziness. I’ve also just began to make fires in my fireplace since it got a little cold out and that immediately doubles the cozy vibe!

Opening presents with my nephews

H&W: The holidays are all about tradition, which is exactly what makes them so special. What's your favorite holiday tradition that hasn't changed over the years? Do you have any traditions that you've updated or put a special twist on?

CC: The holidays are all about food for me. I’ve been fortunate to spend every Christmas with my parents which means enjoying lots of my mom’s traditional English cooking. I can’t think of a Christmas that we haven’t enjoyed her candy cane rolls, trifle, sausage rolls, and we always have a huge and delicious meal on Christmas day. We also passed along a lot of the traditions we had as kids to my nephews – the most exciting being my dad's family tradition of opening one special present on Christmas Eve.

H&W: We all have a special holiday memory or two that makes us feel warm and cozy inside every December. What's yours?

Shopping in Santa Fe Plaza

Traditional luminarias

CC: Most of my favorite memories stem from spending a lot of Christmases in New Mexico, I think. Walking around the Santa Fe plaza with my mom doing last minute Christmas shopping and popping in to a bar for some bubbles, driving around the neighborhood on Christmas Eve looking at the traditional luminarias and listening to Christmas carols before heading home for dessert, eating massive amounts of green chile…

Getting festive with Foret (Midnight)

H&W: Hygge isn't just for the cold winter months! How do you add hygge to your home all year round?

CC: I really try to surround myself with only the things I love to see (or things I really need), so when I look around my apartment it really does make me happy. For example, almost all of my art work is by friends or gifts so it all feels very meaningful. And, I keep out nice blankets to snuggle up on the sofa since it gets pretty cool at night in SF. I also have this thing with different types of cups and glasses that I’ve collected over the year. I always choose a nice coffee cup or wine glass, etc. depending on my mood and they make me happy. It’s pretty simple stuff. Oh, and installing my favorite wallpaper patterns on almost every flat surface also heightens the hygge!

Wreath shopping at San Francisco Flower Mart

H&W: Where do you go around where you live when you need a little extra holiday hygge or spirit?

CC: I actually just did a little Christmas shopping in my neighborhood on Divisadero Street on brisk afternoon and it felt so very holiday happy! I met a friend at The Mill for a quick coffee and then stopped in at The Perish Trust and Rare Device to pick up some gifts. I became friendly with the owners of both places over the years and so chatted with them, randomly bumped into another friend as well, and then picked up some yummy groceries for a dinner party at Bi-Rite. It just felt really hygge and I’m sure that’s because the most hygge places to go are those with familiar faces and, of course, places that have amazing food and drinks or pretty things to see.

Christmas Eve with mom, 1977

Christmas Eve with mom and my nephews, 2014

H&W: Lastly, if you could have holiday cocktails with any three people - real or fictional, dead or alive - who would it be?

CC: At this very moment, I’m obsessed with the podcast You Talkin’ U2 to Me, so I’d have to say Adam Scott, Scott Aukerman, and of course Aimee (who’s obsessed with U2). Aimee and I like to think we’re hilarious so we’re pretty sure we could keep things extremely entertaining.

If you caught me not in the middle of that podcast, beside some older relatives I’ve heard a lot about but never got to meet, I’d have to say Madeleine Castaing (to chat about Paris, interior design, and life in the 1920s; three of my favorite things!), David Attenborough (to hear about what he really thinks about our environment and where it is heading and just listen to his soothing voice), and Jimmy Fallon (he’d keep things light and lively and hopefully come up with some games for us all to play).

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