At home with… Hygge for Home
Our homes are our own personal sanctuaries. A place to relax, be ourselves and showcase our personalities, be creative, raise families and in some cases, the place we work. We spend so much of our time in the same rooms in our homes, so, it’s important to create a space that we love to be in. Our latest ‘at home with’ guest, Reena, discovered a flair for creating a comforting, relaxed home and was drawn to the Danish way of living known as ‘hygge’ when she decided to stay home after the the arrival of her third little girl. Reena’s interest in interiors led to the launch of her successful Instagram account and has since welcomed over 120,000 followers into her home. If you’re not already following Reena on Instagram… we guarantee you’ll want to after this!
We caught up with Reena to discuss her interior style, renovating while bringing up three little ladies, being a part of the online interiors community and her beautiful new velvet Stella sofa.
How did ‘Hygge For Home’ start?
I started Hygge for Home back in October 2016. I had given up my day job at the start of the year when I had my third little one. For the rest of the year I found myself living pretty much 24/7 in these four walls bound by school runs, meal times and nap times. We had building work done the year before in 2015 but hadn’t done any decorating or added the finishing touches. It became more important than ever to make my surroundings comfortable and relaxed despite the chaos of family life around me. We wanted to make our house a home. My sister had just returned from Denmark to me telling her I need to make the house feel cosy and warm and she told me that what I was describing to her was the way the Danes lived and the importance they place on their surroundings and family time and it was all encompassed by the word “hygge” which roughly translates to “cosy.” I went onto launch “Hygge for Home” on Instagram, the concept of Hygge appeared in the mainstream media shortly after and many more people were seeking to create the same feeling of warmth and contentment in their homes. I have been sharing tips and inspiration ever since on how to create “hygge” interiors.
Reena’s family-size Stella modular corner sofa…. continue reading to discover how easy it was to create a modular perfect for this space
You’ve been beautifully documenting your home renovation on Instagram, attracting over 120,000 followers. How has being a part of the interiors community online influenced your love of this industry?
It’s really hard work trying to renovate, decorate and add finishing touches to your house when you have a young family. Finding your style, inspiration, products and also how to execute what you want is hugely time consuming but what the interiors community online provides is a huge group of people who are in exactly the same boat and all trying to achieve the same goal which is to make their house a home. Instagram is a really inspirational channel and I use it even more than Pinterest to gather ideas because the homes are real, relatable and unlike Pinterest you can actually talk and build relationships with the people behind the squares. You can get a second opinion at the drop of a hat, you can share ideas and get advice and pretty much find exactly what you are looking for with not much time or effort needed. I also shop for my home more than ever via the channel with the swipe up stories which link directly to products and shop my Instagram posts which makes it really easy to find and buy things which I love. Although I am not sure my husband or my purse would agree! 😉
How would you describe your interior style? Has it changed throughout your renovations?
My interior style overall is modern rustic, but with a nod to industrial and bohemian interiors. I know that sounds a little confusing but I love all of those styles and I have tried to bring them all together by sticking to a neutral colour palette but then accessorising with texture, pattern and raw materials like concrete and steel. I love the extremes of warm and cold materials being fused together, for example my dining table has steel legs but with an oak table top. When I first started documenting my journey on Instagram, my home was pretty bare, I probably owned 1 cushion and 1 candle! I would say my home is unrecognisable now as I have added so many elements. I have gone bold in the kitchen with monochrome tiles, after playing it safe two years previous to that when we renovated our bathroom and I was talked out of laying patterned tiles and went for engineered wood. It’s still lovely but not a true reflection of what I love. I have since added several important things which are integral to a “hygge” interior such as cushions, candles and blankets! I have lost count of how many of those things I now own. And I have grown in confidence so much so that I now run face to face workshops giving advice to people on how to create a hygge interior.
If you could go back to the start of your home project and tell yourself one thing you know now but didn’t then, what would you tell yourself?
I would have more confidence in my decisions and not be as easily influenced by other people around me saying to play it safe because one day you may want to sell the house and move on! I think your home should be a true reflection of who you are and be filled with things you love (and in my opinion that would always sell a home more so than one of a beige and magnolia kind). My home definitely tells my story which is of busy family life with not a huge amount of space but one that is functional, cosy and homely and has everything I love on display.
Which is your favourite room in the house and why?
The living room is definitely my favourite room in the house because it is the cosiest space. I love the different moods that come with it from first thing in the morning when it has the morning sun beaming through and the little ladies are snuggled on the sofa watching their cartoons before the madness of the school routine. To the middle of the day where its chaotic and toys are strewn about the place and you can’t move as a result of it to the rare moments I have 5 minutes peace and can curl up on my sofa and have a cup of tea or reply to emails on my laptop. And then total bliss in the evening when I can switch off, the little ladies are asleep and I have the greatest gift of the day, the TV remote all to myself!
Do you have any advice for someone starting a renovation with a young family?
My advice would be not to set your expectations too high or have too many goals. Renovating with a young family does take longer and three years on we still have rooms half finished and some haven’t even been tackled yet. We often find ourselves having bought pictures to go up on the wall and they are still in their tubes and haven’t even been opened six months on. It’s good to focus on getting the spaces to function so concentrate on all of the big and important pieces of furniture and on the finer details later on.
You have recently added our Stella modular corner sofa to your home – how did you decide on this style?
I wanted a sofa for the family and one that you could stretch out on. I basically wanted a sofa that screamed out “come and lie down on me” or “snuggle under a blanket with the fire on,” so for me it was always going to be a corner sofa that would tick all of those boxes. Corner sofas can get a bad rep at times for being cumbersome and taking up too much room but I think my home clearly shows that this isn’t the case. In fact the corner sofa is a perfect fit. It has filled the dead space that existed in the corner where we previously had two separate sofas and I love being able to relax and lie on the corner part in the evenings once the little ladies are in bed. It has also transformed day to day life as we can all finally sit together, in fact I think corner sofas should be the first choice for all big families. Our little ladies are only going to get bigger and the Stella sofa will grow with them, not physically of course, I meant that more in the metaphorical sense, although saying that it probably could as it is modular so I could add to it one day!
How did you find the process of creating a modular sofa for your home?
I found the team at sofa.com incredibly helpful. I was able to send photographs and measurements of my space and what I thought would work and they confirmed what options they had which would match closest to the specifications I had suggested. I didn’t want the sofa to come into the room too much as it needed to be in line with the end of the fireplace and TV. And on the other side, I didn’t want it to impose or cover too much of the window. To avoid that, we had the option of adding a pouffe to the end so that the back of the sofa ended and not too much of the window was obscured. What I especially love about the sofa is that because we could create our own size it is the perfect fit for our space, we haven’t had to try and squeeze it in.
Reena’s Stella corner sofa is made up of the following units: Left hand facing regular arm, a triple unit, corner unit, regular single unit and a right hand facing footstool.
Your Stella sofa is in our popular Elephant pure cotton matt velvet fabric – how are you finding the addition of velvet in your home?
I absolutely love the velvet, it feels like we have added a little bit of luxury to our home which is hard to come by in a house full of mainly plastic and garish toys. Not only does it look great, it just feels so soft. I think velvet is key to a cosy interior and it’s timeless. A lot of people may think I am mad owning a velvet sofa with three little ones under the age of 6. However, we don’t let them eat or drink on it but jumping is allowed so I think that’s a fair compromise. We also cover the seats with blankets during the day just to protect it and once they are in bed we take the blankets off so we can enjoy sitting on it. As for the colour, it was only ever going to be grey. We had two grey sofas before and whilst I went with my heart with the velvet, I thought going for a pale oaty colour which I would have loved would have been a step too far! The grey also really suits the setting and all of the other furnishings we had around it and complements the pale grey walls.
What’s next for ‘Hygge For Home’?
I am hoping I can continue to inspire the community I have built up on how to create hygge spaces in their homes and also to reach new people. I would like to finish more rooms in the house and to spend more time on my blog which I recently launched, it’s www.hyggeforhome.com My absolute dream would be to travel to Denmark and other Nordic countries and visit family homes there and share their stories and inspiration with my followers and perhaps even write a book, so watch this space!