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German “Gemütlichkeit” Written By Yanna King

As the days get shorter and the rain starts rolling in, my longing for German “Gemütlichkeit” (pronounced gə-ˈmᵫt-liḵ-ˌkīt) skyrockets; and I start to think about ways in which I can make my home more “gemütlich”.

 

What does “Gemütlichkeit” mean? Sadly, there is no direct translation for the word into English. That’s because “Gemütlichkeit” is quite complex, you see. “Gemütlichkeit” refers to a feeling of cosiness and warmth; a feeling of comfort, relaxation and contentedness; but there is also a sense of belonging and well-being tied to “Gemütlichkeit”. If you have read Meik Wiking’s “Little book of Hygge”, then you might be familiar with this kind of feeling, but “Gemütlichkeit” is even more than that. While you can certainly experience “Gemütlichkeit” on your own, it often has social connotations. For example: A soft chair with a blanket might feel cosy, but it might not feel “gemütlich” until you move it over to your friends who have gathered around the fireplace, sharing a drink and chatting happily while soft music is playing in the back ground. If “Gemütlichkeit” is what you are looking for than here are some ideas on how to create it in your home:

 

  • Swap your pillows and add a blanket. Replace your bright colours with warm tones like oranges or reds or use winter whites and browns to mirror the change in season. Include highly textured materials like knits, wool, sheepskin, felt, velvet or faux fur pillows to add cosiness to the room.
  • Create lush softness by adding a rug to the room. It adds warmth to your toes and your home.
  • Mix in some copper and gold metallics to create a warm luxurious feel. Small items like a side lamp or vase can make a big difference.
  • Create some country charm with natural wood accents. You can do this by adding a wooden side table or chair.
  • Create an autumn display for your coffee or dining room table. Use some evergreen foliage, autumn leaves, fall berries, acorns or chestnuts to celebrate the change of season. Arrange them in colourful vases to add to their natural beauty.
  • Bring out the tea light holders and candle sticks and create a flickering display on a low shelf or table.
  • Set up an air diffuser that releases essential oils safely into the air to eliminate odours and create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Create a playlist of your favourite tunes or visit your local library and borrow CDs of a music genre that is different from your usual style. Try some classical music or music for meditation.
  • Now that your house feels and smells cosy, invite some friends to join you for an evening of board games and mulled wine.
October 31st, 2017
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