If you’ve made it through 2020, you have surely heard the word “hygge,” pronounced “HEW-gah.” If you somehow escaped hearing this darling “it” word, here it is: Hygge is a Danish word for which there is no translation in the English language. It’s a feeling, more than anything, a feeling of coziness, happiness, warmth, contentment. Imagine, for a moment, the feeling you get while lingering over a delicious, candlelit meal with someone you love. For cat-lovers, imagine being curled up in a comfy chair with a cat purring in your lap. Or picture savoring a steaming cup of coffee while watching morning mist swirl on the lake’s surface as the sun seeps over the mountains.
“A home is more than a dwelling. It’s also a feeling. It’s a place where you can be comfortable and feel free to be yourself.“
For Scandinavian language nerds like me (Leslie), I enjoy the fact that there are several other words that aren’t as well-traveled these days that have a similar meaning. The Swedish word for this sensation is mysig, pronounced “ME-see,” which describes a warm, pleasant atmosphere of togetherness, and the Norwegian word for this feeling is koselig, pronounced “KOHS-a-lee,” which certainly has a cozy feel to it.
WHAT IS A HOME?
So what does all this have to do with Blue Heron Lakehouse? The answer has to do with the difference between a house and a home. Of course, a house has four walls and a roof. But a home is more than a dwelling. It’s also a feeling. It’s a place where you can be comfortable and feel free to be yourself. Blue Heron Lakehouse is our home. Brian’s grandfather bought the original property in the 1930s, and Brian’s family, and now Brian and Leslie, have lived here ever since.
It’s fully outfitted with everything that you would expect to find in a true home, plus lots of thoughtful extras that help create a warm, pleasant aesthetic. Art for inspiration, beautiful furnishings that are also comfortable to sink into, pretty dishes, soft linens. These are all things we enjoy ourselves and enjoy sharing with our guests.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
But there’s an entirely different level above and beyond this, and it’s what we spend time thinking about quite a lot. It’s the concept of creating spaces with intention. Words like “balance,” “peace” and “joy” are among the words we use to describe desirable settings that allow people to leave behind the hustle of our modern lives and find spaces in which to fully, authentically be themselves and to do whatever it is that they most need at the moment.
“Beyond all the fun spaces and multitude of ways to enjoy our home, we like to think we’re able to help create a sense of joy through a sprinkling of hygge.“
This means creating multiple gathering spaces for people to reconnect with friends and family. It means offering quiet corners where individuals can unplug and just be, out of the mainstream. It means having areas for adventure and the fun of exploration. Spaces (and the music setup) for group activities like dancing. Areas for wandering and relaxing. And yet other spaces for twosomes to share heartfelt chats.
As we have shaped our home and gardens, these concepts have been at the tops of our minds at every moment, whether designing an addition or arranging lounge chairs.
We love it when our guests spread out throughout the property with young kids playing in the stream, friends parking themselves on the cozy couches ringing the fire table, teens running back and forth between the hot tub and lake, girlfriends chatting in the kitchen, sweethearts toasting each other at the end of our dock and sports lovers cheering on their favorite team in the media lounge.
Beyond all the fun spaces and multitude of ways to enjoy our home, we like to think we’re able to help create a sense of joy through a sprinkling of hygge, with lush gardens filled with the scent of jasmine; birdfeeders that draw in cheery flocks of black-capped chickadees; cozy throws for curling up on the couches; fine teas in silky sachets from Steven Smith Teamaker (Portland, OR); natural shampoo from Public Goods made with essential oils of orange, geranium, rosewood and grapefruit; interiors filled with works of art; and rooms that swell with music that speaks to your heart.
While you can’t see or smell or touch or taste hygge, you know it when you experience it. And judging by the reviews of our guests, they experience it regularly at Blue Heron Lakehouse. And that makes us happy!