A trip to an Ikea store will introduce you to all sorts of home products with odd-looking and odd-sounding Danish names seemingly taken from a Netflix fantasy epic — Kallax, Vihals, Brimnes, Tjillevips, Pansartax, to name a few. However, the most important Danish term that is so critical to Ikea’s success is not found on a specific shelf but rather a feeling that is evoked by many of their showrooms — hygge. Hygge is one of those wonderful loanwords that means, as a noun, a cozy quality that makes a person feel comfortable and happy. As an adjective, it means invoking a sense of contentment, coziness, and well-being. The word has several pronunciations: “HUE ga” or “HU ga” or “Ho ga.” Hygge was particularly important during the pandemic — millions of people around the globe desperately sought hygge when they were forced to shelter in place for weeks or months at a time. Although the shelter in place orders are largely a thing of the past, working remotely has stayed with us. Hygge is just as important today, then, as people must separate their work space from their relaxing space at home. So, how is the hygge in your home?
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