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The Hygge Life: Interview with Josefine Appadoo

Happy December friends! It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I’ve been dreaming of this month all year long for multiple reasons… maybe it’s because it will be my youngest’s first Christmas and it is just that much more magical with little ones (especially 2!)... and second, maybe it’s because I get to bring out all my favorite Scandinavian Christmas decor and get to add a little more hygge in my life… to cozy up, slow down, and enjoy all the pleasures of staying at home. As someone who loves homemaking, I have loved exploring other cultures and their lifestyles (specifically European cultures considering my Czech and English background). In this blog, we are going to take a trip up North, like way up North all the way to Scandinavia where the concept of hygge is a daily practice, whether intentionally or subconsciously. Scandinavia, or the Nordic countries, is made up of the Northern European countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden and sometimes Finland. It is a place where the people tend to master the art of enjoying life in the small daily things that make up life as a whole. As I’ve been diving into what hygge means in my own life lately, I couldn't think of anyone else better to introduce this international and sacred topic except my dear friend Josefine Appadoo; a born and raised Swede who maintains her Nordic roots in her heart and her home wherever she goes. She became one of my first friends that I met on Instagram a couple years after continuous back and forth encouragement and engagement over our design accounts, and then found out she was going through a ministry school at a church in Redding, CA that I felt very connected to and visited occasionally. We then decided to connect in person, had exchanged some good laughter and design-talk over lunch, and our friendship has evolved ever since! She is the perfect person to gleam from in her unique and international perspective on life, her passion for functional design, and whole-hearted approach to purposeful living. Let’s dive in and see what hygge means to her and how you can enjoy all that it has to offer too!

Introduce yourself! Who are you, what is your background and what do you do?

My name is Josefine. I was born and raised in the countryside of Sweden, but have spent the majority of my adult life living abroad in multiple countries (so at this point I should probably say I’m a global citizen with Scandinavian roots). I’m 35, and married to the most incredible man, Kewyn. He is Mauritian and Australian, so together, we have a lot of places in the world that we get to call home.

Professionally, I’ve always had two different tracks in my life; helping hurting people in various capacities, or working creatively as a freelance photographer and social media manager among other things. I’ve gone back and forth between these two tracks in different seasons of life. One of the things I currently do is run an instagram and blog specifically about Scandinavian Interior Design for the last 4 years, and I am studying to become an interior stylist and home staging consultant to take my love for interior design to the next level.

How did your interest in design start?

I’ve always enjoyed finding the beauty around me, and being in places that create a sense of peace and tranquility. In Sweden you kind of grow up being surrounded by great design but it’s something I took for granted. Until I started moving abroad. One of the things I noticed when I moved back to California about 5 years ago was how much I actually missed Scandinavian Design. So I started an Instagram account collecting and posting photos of the styles and designs I liked, as an online vision board for our future home one day. That was a lot of fun so I ended up adding a blog to it as well! That was the start of my brand Scandinavian Style House.

What does hygge mean to you and how do you create a hygge lifestyle? How is it important to you?

Hygge is a Danish word that is a concept of living that refers to finding comfort, pleasure, and warmth in simple soothing things such as a cozy atmosphere or the feeling of friendship. Although I didn't grow up using this specific word myself, the concept for which it stands is a very typical Scandinavian way of living that is a deep core value in me. Our culture puts a high value on the balance between work and play and recognizes the importance of having time off to recharge. Most Scandinavian families have a summer house that is oftentimes quite simple and located out in the countryside somewhere. It’s quite common that we spend our summers and school holidays going there, spending our days mostly outside, connecting with nature and the joys of a simpler life together with family and friends. I would say this is a cultural value that is deeply rooted in Scandinavians, and even when we’re not at our summer house, or if we don’t have one, we often try to recreate the same atmosphere. At the core I believe it’s really about making intentional time with the people you love. Style-wise, Scandinavians are all about minimalism, materials and textures closely connected to nature ( think raw wood, wool