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Hygge Home Decor: How to Create a Hygge Colour Palette | 8 Cosy Hues

a hygge inspired living room with a muted green and muted orange colour palette

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Colour is a crucial element that can make or break any interior design, including hygge spaces. To help you create a comforting and welcoming atmosphere, we've put together a collection of eight hues that will enhance your hygge home decor. But before we get into that, let's take a moment to understand what hygge is and why the colours you choose are so significant in this cosy style.

What is Hygge Interior Design?

A staple element of Scandinavian interior design, hygge (pronounced "hooga") is a Danish concept centred around cosiness, comfort and warmth.

Key hygge interior design elements:

These elements intertwine to achieve an atmosphere of relaxation and well-being within the home. With hygge, it's all about creating a space where you can unwind and feel at ease.

The Role of Colour in Hygge and Scandinavian Interior Design

In the past, Scandi and hygge spaces have predominantly used white and other pale shades to create a light and airy atmosphere and help offset the effects of low sunlight levels in Scandinavian countries. Recently, a more diverse range of colours has slowly become popular within this interior design style. This is great news for those who want to enjoy the functionality, elegance and calming qualities of Scandi and hygge spaces, but aren't too keen on whitewashed interiors.

3 Rules to Follow for a Cosy and Simplistic Hygge Space

a hygge inspired guest bedroom with wooden furniture and plants in terracotta pots

With all we've mentioned so far, there are three things to keep in mind when choosing colours for a hygge aesthetic:

  • First, opt for muted colours - this doesn't mean you have to choose boring or monotone hues. Instead, select a palette of colours that feels organic and subtle but still suits your individual style. Muted colours are typically less visually overwhelming, have a timeless nature, and support the simplistic principles of hygge interiors. While you don't need to avoid heavily saturated colours entirely, maintain a sense of minimalism by opting for neutral or muted tones for predominant decor elements such as wall colours, furniture, and large soft furnishings such as curtains and rugs. 

  • Second, consider implementing colours reminiscent of nature, such as brown and green. It's no secret that nature has remarkable calming abilities, and bringing colours that feel natural, fresh and earthy into your home can help you feel a little closer to the wonderful outdoors and elevate your hygge aesthetic.

  • Third, use colours with warm undertones. Seeing as hygge is all about warmth and cosiness, it's beneficial to choose hues with undertones of red or yellow. This will make even large rooms feel more intimate and cocooned. 

It's important to note that colour trends change all the time. Therefore, it's always a good rule of thumb to go by your own preferences and not make irreversible changes until you're sure you will enjoy them for the foreseeable future.

8 Colours for Hygge Colour Palettes

1: Warm Neutrals

a hygge inspired living room with a warm neutrals colour palette

A staple in Scandinavian interior design, pale, neutral hues with a warm undertone make great base colours for hygge homes. 

Consider simplistic shades like warm white, cream, sand, or champagne, avoiding cool whites to maintain warmth. Additionally, you could include shades like mushroom, taupe, and beige to create a warm and varied palette. 

a hygge colour palette graphic of warm neutral shades

2: Red Undertones

a home study with a blush pink colour theme and a hygge aesthetic

Colours with red undertones can further heighten the warmth in your hygge space. To keep the colour scheme muted and natural, opt for earthier reds, avoiding highly saturated tones when it comes to large decor items or dominant wall colours.  

Shades such as blush pink, rusty red, chestnut, and dogwood will satisfy the space's need for colour and warmth without overwhelming the space.

a hygge colour palette graphic of colour with red undertones

3: Soft Blues

a bedroom with a bed and end tables, a blue blanket on the bed, white table lamps, blue wall colour and a wall-mounted planter above the bed

As we are trying to achieve a warm and cosy environment, the colour blue might not come straight to mind. When using blue in hygge spaces, it's about choosing the right tones of blue. Muted blues can have a more warming effect as their iciness is toned down. Additionally, blues with undertones of warm green or purple tend to appear more cosy and inviting than those with undertones of violet or cold blue.

To bring a fresh and open feel to your hygge space, consider muted teal, turquoise or periwinkle, as well as blues reminiscent of nature such as sky blue or cornflower blue. 

a hygge colour palette graphic of soft blue hues

4: Earthy Browns

a living room with a hygge aesthetic, warm brown colour theme and big windows

In the psychology world, the colour brown is associated with feelings of comfort, peace and security, and it's perfect for infusing a natural and grounding vibe into your hygge space.

If you're going for a predominantly brown colour scheme, you can create a beautifully balanced design using varying shades and tones of warm brown, from raw umber to almond, and tan to coffee.

a hygge colour palette graphic of warm brown shades

5: Muted Oranges

a dressing area in a bedroom with a hygge aesthetic, a muted orange colour theme, wooden chest of drawers and warm ambient lighting

When it comes to using orange within simplistic hygge aesthetics, the key is to stick to autumnal tones. You want shades of orange to be as natural as possible - think sunset hues, rusty oranges, and hints of caramel and gold. 

The right shades of orange will supercharge your hygge space with warmth and cosiness. 

a hygge colour palette graphic of muted orange shades

6: Warm Greys

a bedroom with a hygge aesthetic and a warm grey colour palette, botanical artwork and houseplants

Another neutral for the books, grey is a popular choice among many different design styles. When it comes to hygge spaces, it's advisable to use shades of grey with warm undertones of brown, red, yellow or pink, such as cinereous, dim grey or taupe to infuse warmth and prevent the room from feeling dreary.

a hygge colour palette graphic of warm grey shades

7: Earthy Greens 

a living room with a hygge aesthetic, green couch, cream cushions artwork hanging on the walls and a green rug

There is a wonderful spectrum of greens out there, and the right shades can bathe your hygge space in a natural and balanced atmosphere. 

Opt for muted shades like sage green, moss green, and forest green, along with greens with undertones of yellow for warmth such as olive or pistachio.

As green is such a natural hue, you can afford to include slightly darker or more saturated shades such as hunter green or Dartmouth green without disrupting the serenity of the room. 

a hygge colour palette graphic of earthy green shades

8: Gentle Purples

a bed and beside tables in a bedroom with a hygge aesthetic and a muted purple colour scheme

Like blue, purple might be a surprising choice for hygge spaces. In colour psychology, purple is thought to be uplifting and calming to the mind, so, in the right tones, purple can make a beautiful addition to your hygge colour palette.

As we want to infuse warmth, opt for purples with warm undertones of pink or red, steering clear of those with undertones of blue, as these tend to be cooler. To stay in harmony with hygge's simplistic ethos, go for muted purples such as tend to be more in harmony with hygge's simplistic ethos, over highly saturated ones. Consider shades such as Mountbatten pink, thistle purple, gentle lavender, or Chinese violet. 

a hygge colour palette graphic of warm purple shades

Fine Tuning Your Colour Palette

Having explored the colours above, you might be wondering how to create a balanced colour palette. 

Consider implementing the 60-30-10 rule, a popular method used by interior designers to create the perfect colour scheme: first, select three colours. The hues you choose will depend on how colourful you want your hygge space to be. To maintain ultimate simplicity, opt for 2-3 neutral base colours such as white, brown and beige. Supplement with richer, but still muted, shades to infuse more colour and vibrancy into your hygge design. With your three colours chosen, allocate 60% to a dominant colour (typically your base shade), 30% to a secondary colour, and 10% to an accent colour.

Both colour and design are hugely personal. If the idea of neutral or muted colours doesn't suit your style, break free from the rules. Hygge is about creating a space that makes you feel content, and if a bright, diverse colour scheme makes you feel content, then you should go for it. Your home is your sanctuary, and you should feel free to design it in a way that brings you joy. 


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