How To Make Your Kitchen Cozier This Summer

Dim lighting and comfort food with friends never hurt

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By now, you've probably heard of the Scandinavian lifestyle known as hygge, the concept centered around simplicity that's changing the way people live their lives and view the world around them. Even though hygge is a feeling rather than something tangible, there are a few easy changes you can make in your own home to embrace the lifestyle.

No matter the size of your home or kitchen, here are four ways to channel your inner hygge and turn your kitchen into a cozy and welcoming space this summer.

① Set the mood with soft lighting and candles.

Instead of turning on bright overhead lights in the kitchen, create soft lighting. This allows you to see what you're doing if you're preparing food (hey, safety first) but also set the mood. Danish chef and author of the cookbook Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge Trine Hahnemann starts her morning by lighting candles. "First thing, I go down into my kitchen and light the candles, make a pot of morning tea, and sit for a bit embracing the beginnings of the day and going through the paper." 

② Bring nature indoors.

There's no better way to get in the zone than by bringing nature indoors. A few easy ways to do this is by adding wooden accent pieces to your decor or bringing greenery indoors with a window box or bouquet of flowers. To really get in touch with nature, try making these items yourself.

③ Clean out the clutter and keep it simple.

Hygge is all about simplicity and relishing in the things that mean the most to you. This is a great opportunity to declutter your pantry, cabinets and fridge, keeping only the items that have major significance in your life. And it's OK if the thing that means the most to you is your espresso machine or KitchenAid stand mixer. This lifestyle is all about embracing the good life, not giving up what you love. 

④ Enjoy good food with friends and family.

Now that you have a hygge-approved kitchen, it's time to invite your friends and family over for a good meal. To get your summer Hygge on try making crowd-pleasing dishes like potato salad, slow cooker barbecue brisket, and jerk baby back ribs.