By Grace Wade
Hygge (noun): A quality of cosiness and comfortable welcome that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
That’s the one word Northwestern seniors Elodie Oliver and Macon Bianucci use to describe the living room of their Evanston Place apartment. Oliver, a double major in Communication Studies and Psychology from Toronto, Canada, reclines on the couch while Bianucci, a journalism major from Charleston, South Carolina, sits cross-legged on the rug. Their relaxed postures coincide with the room’s soothing energy. With a palette of creams, browns and golds, the room seemingly emits the comfort and aura of a warm hug. Personal touches complement the cozy couch and plush white rug, making the room equally stylish and homey.
Inspired by their experiences abroad and at home, Oliver and Bianucci’s living room came together throughout the school year—not instantaneously.
“Elodie was in Copenhagen fall quarter so I just kind of bought the basics like the couch and chairs,” says Bianucci, pointing to a pair of antique wooden chairs that are surprisingly modern in design. “My mom has an antique store at home so I enjoy interior designing.”
“After being in Denmark I wanted the living room to be cozy and somewhere we could spend our time,” adds Oliver, who brought back dainty candles and purchased rose gold firefly lights. “In Copenhagen it was all about hygge stuff which is really trendy right now.”
In addition to the tin candles and mood lighting, Oliver returned to the states with decorative books that say hygge across the cover in gold lettering. She even created DIY candle stick holders out of old wine bottles in an attempt to replicate the ones from a Copenhagen café she frequented.
However, it is not only the finishing details such as the twinkling lights or strings of polaroids that bring the elements of the room together, but also the sprawling furry rug in an inviting shade of off-white.
“We spent the entirety of last quarter rolling around on the rug when it was winter and cold,” says Oliver with a laugh. “Our friendship happened on this rug.”
“It brought us together,” agrees Bianucci. “I like it because when you have friends over everyone has somewhere to sit.”
Other than the fuzzy carpet, Oliver points out the bar cart in the kitchen as her second favorite aspect of the room. Sleek gold trimming complement the glass shelving. Champagne and shot glasses sit upon its surface along with bottles of red wine.
“I think it’s just adorable and different and makes us look a little bit classy,” says Oliver. “Well, or maybe just trashy.” Both girls erupt in carefree laughter which seems to be as prominent a feature in the room as any piece of furniture.
“Since it’s all light and cozy in here we come out and talk which is really nice,” says Oliver. “I could spend all day here and it makes me feel happier.”
The roommates stress the importance of creating a space that feels welcoming and inviting—especially for incoming freshmen. How one decorates their room translates to how often their friends and themselves spend time together in the space.
“My roommate and I freshman year got a carpet that we put between our beds,” says Oliver. “We would sit on the rug and eat and talk. I think that’s what makes all of the difference—having a carpet that makes it feel like your room, and you can sit on the floor without thinking, ‘Ugh, this is a dorm floor.’”
“Yeah, that and cute pillows,” adds Bianucci.
“I agree,” says Oliver. “Having something that makes you feel like you’re coming home is so important.”