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Our homes are becoming more and more important as a refuge from the craziness of modern life. Just think of all the booming companies that capitalize on our desire not to leave our house. Amazon and Waitr deliveries happen frequently at our house and our family has recently discovered that Wal-Mart will deliver our groceries right to our front door. Netflix and Amazon Prime provide endless entertainment from the comfort of our sofa. Our kids socialize with friends while playing video games online and snapchatting the latest memes from their rooms. We definitely see the value in getting out in the real world, but between traffic, weather, and all the crazies potentially lurking, along with just being plain tired, sometimes it just isn’t worth it.

Enter the recent home design trend, hygge. Hygge is a danish word that the Oxford dictionary defines as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). Think fireside hot chocolate with a stylish, warm blanket and lots of fluffy pillows, surrounded by your favorite people. The Danish use this concept to survive the cold, dark winters by appreciating the comforts of home.

Hygge, like its related trend minimalism, seeks to transform home into an oasis of calm. So how can you bring some hygge into your space?

1. Dim the lights - put another log on the fire and hang some strategically placed twinkle lights

2. Bring nature indoors - live plants and natural materials like stone, rustic wood,and leather add to the hygge vibe.

3. Hot drinks - Your favorite warm drink is a must-have. Whether that is the aforementioned hot chocolate, warm cider, hot tea, or something with a little more kick, pour and enjoy,

4. Blankets and pillows - think soft textures that make you happy.

5. Get soup recipes from Pinterest - or in south Louisiana, first make a roux.

6. Set the table - nothing brings people together like food and a beautifully set table adds a touch of special to meals with those you love.

7. Run a hot bath - While some say the bathtub is on the way out in home design, I disagree. Candles, a bathbomb, and 15 minutes of peace and solitude in a hot bath is still one of the best ways to relax and recharge.

8. Don’t hygge alone - One of the most important parts of hygge is enjoying the company of family and friends in the cozy environment you have created. Put the phone down, turn off the PS4, and genuinely connect with the people you are lucky enough to share this journey with. The warmth of love and togetherness will last long after the hot chocolate runs out.

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Melanie Coker is a real estate broker and owner of Property Sprocket. She can be found on Twitter, @melanie_larae; or via e-mail, melanie@propertysprocket.com

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