Fresh home furnishing ideas and affordable furniture - IKEA

Tromsø hygge – a remedy for the dark season

In Tromsø, Norway, the residents don’t see the sun for two months during the winter. Yet they seem to know the secret to happiness. Find out how you too can fight the winter blues.

1. Accept the dark as a part of life

Well above the Arctic Circle, daylight in the town of Tromsø shifts dramatically with the seasons. Midnight sun in summer to complete darkness four months later. Still, winter depression is almost non-existent (there are even scientific studies supporting this). First step: acceptance.

2. Do daylight activities (only without the daylight)

Darkness apparently doesn’t distract the residents’ outdoorsy lifestyle. Whether in wait for the elusive Northern Lights or the next hike, picnic gear and outdoor clothing is best kept within reach. Also, an extra torch or flashlight is always useful. Step two: ignore the dark.

3. Make your life more “hygge”

When darkness falls, resort to hygge. It’s a Nordic word for the concept of enjoying comfort and life’s simple pleasures. Gather with friends and share warm beverages. Use candles and lamps to bring ambiance and intimacy to those early evenings. Step three: let hygge do its magic.

4. Surround yourself with winter textiles

Thick curtains in plush materials, such as velvet, create a warm and cosy feeling in the room. Keep them open during the day to soak up the sun (if there is any), and keep them shut at night to add another layer of insulation. Decorate with lots of soft pillows, and drape blankets over chairs and sofas. Step four: cosy up with textiles.

5. Enjoy the cosiness created

To really maximise the hygge, layer rugs to add a warm, inviting feel to your winter haven. Use different ones to create your own unique “pattern” on the floor (and minimise draft in the process). As you can see, making the Arctic night – or winter nights anywhere – more pleasant wasn’t so hard after all. Step five: The secret to defying darkness? Embrace it.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior designer: Ellen Vidstige
Photographer: Fredrik Bjelkerud
Writers: Vi Cooper/Henrik Annemark

Need help? IKEA is here for you

IKEA Service