As part of our 2019 review – and to mark the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere – design reporter Jennifer Hahn looks back at the top 10 cosiest, most hygge interiors.
“We didn’t want antlers or plaid and reclaimed wood,” explained Robert McKinley of eschewing upstate New York stereotypes for this boutique hotel, which consists of four buildings including a 17th-century cottage and a former bank.
Instead, the interiors practice created a homely, lived-in feel through woven wall-panels, red and orange accents as well as vintage art and second-hand books scattered throughout.
The old barns on this Swedish estate have metre-thick walls, so when it came to converting them into a guesthouse, architect Kristina Wachtmeister tried to offset their forbidding presence with the decor. “I wanted to make it cosy and nice as these walls can be very cold sometimes,” she explained.
This is accomplished through subtle details such as family pictures on the walls, comfortable velvet armchairs by an open fire and pre-loved items of furniture that Wachtmeister found in the attic of the neighbouring castle where she lives.
The natural warmth and tactility of wood turns a duo of disused radar station sheds into a welcoming holiday home. It is featured everywhere from the white timber roof to the pale oak wall-panels and throughout the entire bathroom, which doubles as a sauna.
On a calm day, the light interior reflects the landscape of the shingle beach outside, while during a storm Johnson Naylor’s Fiona Naylor imagines that you can feel “the building wrapping itself around you like a soft, snug blanket”.
A rich interplay of different materials is at the heart of this interior by Menu, as earthy velvets meet plush rugs and tactile, rattan cabinets.
The design brand’s first hotel, which opened in Copenhagen this year, also functions as a showroom, with all furniture and accessories available in the shop so visitors can take their favourite pieces home with them.
The communal living area of LA’s El Centro apartment complex features a California take on comfort that’s all warm, muted colours and soft, rounded forms as seen in the bean-shaped table, assortment of poufs and oversized washi paper light.
Plants including figs and succulents sit in terracotta pots, which according to the team behind design studio Commune who were tasked with the interior, creates the “feeling of an urban oasis [that] winds through the courtyard and amenities and up into the residences”.
Walls in moody shades of blue and green envelop guests in this nunnery-turned-hotel, to create an atmosphere that Samuele Savio, art director of multidisciplinary studio Six, describes as being both “welcoming and refined”.
To strike this balance, sophisticated details like brass lights and timber screen-dividers play off comfy textures in the form of heavy, floor-length curtains and snug soft-furnishings.
The library of Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum was given new life this year as a space for “rest and reflection”, courtesy of local designer Emma Olbers.
Armchairs with woven hemp seats and a rug made from tree-pulp fibre invite visitors to linger with a clean conscience, as all the materials in the space were carefully selected for their low carbon footprint.
A fireplace is a surefire way to make an interior cosy, and the lounge of this Toronto hotel takes it to the next level. Here, a millwork arch frames the ceramic mantlepiece, which sits on a marbled platform to create reading nooks on either side.
The wooden archways also feature throughout the rest of the space, making it feel more intimate and helping to “visually guide guests throughout the space, while paying homage to Toronto’s diverse architectural style and eras”.
To give guests a refuge from the weather in the surrounding Scottish highlands, this guesthouse features hybrid “Scandi-Scot” interiors complete with bed nooks, sheepskin rugs and a standalone bathtub in one of the bedrooms, offering views of the neighbouring loch.
The building itself is a newly converted manse, a house typically provided to ministers of the Scottish Presbyterian Church, whose flagstone floors and ceiling mouldings have been carefully preserved.
Whilst some designers opted for neutral tones and tactile details to create a hygge environment, ASH NYC instead opted for old-time opulence for The Siren – crowned Hotel of the Year in June’s AHEAD Americas hospitality awards.
Harking back to the grand hotels that populated Detroit during its industrial boom at the turn of the 20th-century, the building’s lobby brims with luxurious details, from seats in jewel-toned velvet and satin, to fringed lampshades spilling warm light into the space.