Trine Hahnemann, Hygge & the Scandinavian Way

Hygge & the Scandinavian Way

“For me, hygge is about being present, content, slowing down and spending time with people you enjoy. It is also about taking time for oneself and taking a pause from doing, to just be, content and calm.”

by Paige Farrell

Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi painted simple, minimalistic interiors bathed in calm earthen tones that invite contemplation. Hammershøi’s De fire stuer, a dreamlike, minimalistic sweep of a room opening into a room, and into another, introduces the foreword to Danish chef and prolific food writer Trine Hahnemann’s decadent cookbook, Scandinavian Food. 

“I always feel drawn to Hammershøi’s paintings,” Hahnemann says. “I like to just sit on a chair and observe quietly with my hands folded in my lap. Even though this was painted more than 100 years ago, there is something profound going on for me—a sense of belonging. I can imagine myself as a child sitting on the chair listening to the silence while I swing my legs in my own rhythm, waiting for something to happen.” 

Scandinavians “a part of our everyday life, so ingrained in our culture, that it’s just a part of who we are,” says Hahnemann.  “For me, hygge is about being present, content, slowing down and spending time with people you enjoy. It is also about taking time for oneself and taking a pause from doing, to just be, content and calm.”  Call it the “Scandinavian Way.”

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