How to Hygge Your Outdoor Space: Creating a Hygge Backyard

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    You want a cozy backyard where your family and friends will feel welcome. You want to walk outside and be able to instantly enjoy your space. You want your Kansas City landscape to fit your personal style and make you feel at home.

    That’s not too much to ask for, right?

    What you need is the hygge treatment. What’s the hygge treatment? We’re glad you asked. What started as an indoor trend, hygge is reaching exterior spaces, too. And it creates a feeling, an atmosphere, or an essence, if you will, in your backyard environment that evokes coziness and comfort. And who doesn’t need more of those two things today?

    Let’s explore what hygge is and how to hygge your outdoor space so you can benefit from these same feelings in your environment.

    Kansas City Landscape

    What’s Hygge?

    • A Danish concept for creating a comforting, relaxing environment.
    • Hygge includes the environment, experience, and people.
    • For a hygge experience, spaces and activities are planned for maximizing the coziness. This includes indulgent food and your favorite people to share the hygge experience with.


    How to Hygge Your Outdoor Space  

    The Danish term, “hygge,” has actually gone quite viral the past couple of years, and there’s no better time for it.

    After the mental and emotional toll of the pandemic, people crave human connection. In fact, they are intentionally creating environments and experiences that bring loved ones together. It’s about connecting as human beings in a welcoming environment as an antidote to the chaotic, stress-ridden world.

    If you’re looking for a safe, comforting environment in which to relax and reconnect, look no further. The hygge backyard is for you.

    What Is Hygge?   

    Hygge, which is actually pronounced “HOO-guh,” is a concept that embraces the feeling of coziness and contentment in your outdoor space. And this element is evoked by using simple comforts so you feel embraced by uplifting elements that tickle all of your senses.  

    Eating a meal outside in a comfortable space together on cozy patio furniture while listening to soft music. Toasting marshmallows around a fireplace, wrapped in comfy blankets and having an intimate conversation with friends. Enjoying game night at your outdoor dining table with tasty snacks.   

    These are all examples of enjoying hygge outdoors.

    How is a Hygge Backyard Created?  

    When a landscape designer is looking at your backyard through a hygge lens, he or she is designing your space with the end experience or intention in mind.

    So you can expect a more thorough interview in the beginning with your landscape designer as you narrow down your ideal environments, so those concepts can be intentionally used to create ideal nooks for you to enjoy.

    What Are Some Common Elements of a Hygge Backyard?   

    A hygge backyard will typically involve creating comfortable spaces built for connection in the fresh air.

    This means there will be areas for gathering, as well as specified areas for different types of interactions. It might include fire to gather around for light and warmth. And you might find water to promote relaxation. You’ll see soft, warm colors and comfortable furnishings. You’ll also enjoy fragrant flowers and outdoor audio for relaxing music.

    What Are Some Examples of Hygge Outdoors?  

    In the front yard, a hygge outdoor space could be one where a welcoming, intimate courtyard greets guests with lush plants and a soft fragrance from nearby flowers. A well-placed bench serves as a resting spot, and the tranquil sounds of a water feature soften the street noises.

    In the backyard, a hygge concept might involve zoned gathering spaces for various interaction purposes. Maybe there’s a nook for book reading near a small fountain, a gathering area centered around a fire feature to roast s’mores and tell stories, and an outdoor kitchen and craft cocktail bar stocked for enjoying good food and drink near an herb garden where the homeowner can get fresh herbs for cocktails and gourmet dishes. Additionally, a flower garden could provide fresh cut bouquets for adding additional color and scent, and a lounge may be in one corner for playing games and watching sporting events.

    How Does a Hygge Outdoor Space Differ From a Regular Outdoor Space?  

    While a traditional landscape design might embrace aesthetics and function in its design, a hygge backyard has additional intentions.

    In addition to aesthetics and function, the hygge space will create opportunities for relaxation, intimacy, and connection. This added layer of intention creates better overall designs.


    How to Create the Ultimate Hygge Outdoor Space  

    High Prairie Outdoors has become passionate about creating and caring for hygge outdoor spaces. This is because yards designed using the hygge concept help people find peace, comfort, and connection at home. To create the ideal hygge environment, High Prairie’s landscape design experts go through a series of steps.

    Think About Your Ideal Relaxation Preferences  

    The first step in obtaining a hygge outdoor space is understanding your preferred places to relax.

    What types of comforting spaces are ideal for your family? Do you enjoy a reading nook, a dining spot, an entertainment zone with a bar, an area for watching a sporting event, a spa or hot tub relaxation space, an intimate conversation nook, a yoga platform, a fire feature-centered place, an area for your favorite pet or pets? None of these types of spaces are off the table.

    If there are ways you enjoy relaxing outdoors, this is the time to bring them up as potentials for including them as key parts of your landscape.

    Incorporate Relaxation Features Into Your Ideal Stress-Relieving Spaces  

    Once you identify your ideal anxiety-easing nooks, we then will incorporate additional and appropriate relaxation features into these hygge outdoor spaces. Some examples include:

    • Small or large water features bring soothing sounds, engaging your senses and easing your worries.
    • Fire features like fire pits or fireplaces bring an elegant ambiance and a warmth and flickering light, amplifying engaging spaces meant for connection.
    • Fragrant plants or enhancements bring your nose to the scene, encouraging relaxation through soft scents or intoxicating blends meant to entice you to take deep breaths and stay awhile.
    • Natural elements like wood or stone evoke earthy elements from nature that are soothing at their core, wrapping the entire space in Mother Nature’s embrace.
    • Warm, natural colors and soft plant and stone textures are used in the landscape since they are proven to reduce anxiety.


    Accessorize With Comfort in Mind  

    The next step in designing your space is adding special touches that continue creating this hygge backyard that oozes comfort and coziness.

    These elements include:

    • Comfortable furniture; nothing stiff or stale
    • Cushions, pillows, and blankets for amplifying comfort, as well as a place to store them when they aren’t being used
    • Outdoor candles and luminaries
    • Tiny fountains for additional sensory immersion
    • Vases or pots for holding fresh flowers
    • Landscape lighting using layering effects and soft hues
    • Outdoor speakers that blend into nature but provide soft music that can aid in relaxation


    Plan Your Hygge Backyard Experience  

    Finally, the last step is to enjoy your hygge environment by bringing together good people and good food.

    Plan to prepare and serve comfort foods that you and your family and friends can embrace, in addition to refreshing and comforting drinks.

    Also, make sure to prioritize connection. Plan to have moments that can encourage this, such as s’mores making after dinner around the fire, watching the game together at the outdoor bar, wine tasting in an intimate nook, or games at the patio table.  

    Ready to Begin Your Hygge Journey?  

    The world can be a stressful place. From workplace deadlines and pressures to home responsibilities to anxiety that comes from watching the news or turning on electronics, we’re surrounded. And it can be a struggle to constantly pick ourselves up each day and remain mentally positive.

    Creating a place where you can instantly conquer stress, reconnect with people you love, and remember there are simple things in life worth taking the time to enjoy can do quite a bit to battle anxiety and reduce worries and headaches.

    A hygge outdoor space can aid in amplifying your well-being and positive energy. It can be your daily escape – your backyard antidote to life’s daily stressors.

    If you’re intrigued by the hygge concept and wonder how you can make your Kansas City landscape more cozy and inviting, let High Prairie Outdoors help. We can share our experience with hygge so you gain a better understanding of its benefits and talk about ways it can come to life in your space.

    We’d love to give you a more peaceful, relaxing oasis that can bring you years of joy and contentment in nature.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with the hygge landscape design concept? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a design that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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