Cozy Còsagach and Hygge Happiness

Some of us are just better off barefoot.

A coworker of mine didn’t buy this. For Christmas, she gave me not one, but two pairs of warm, fuzzy slipper socks. I love the heck out of slipper socks! So comfy, and that fits well with my philosophy of hygge. (More on that later).

Sadly, it took less than three days before I was down to a single, mate-less slipper sock, its partner and buddies nowhere to be found. I’m sure they wound up in the secret place to which all sockmates vanish, and are drinking and dancing the night away. At a sock-hop, no doubt. My feet, as usual, remain bare.

But no worries. Socks are not required to live the hygge life.

Oh silly Jupiter Girl, says my inner snob. Hygge is soooo 2016. We’re all about còsagach now.

Ok fine. Whatever. Danish hygge, Gaelic còsagach, the idea is the same. Get cozy.

Hygge Defined

I am all about coziness in our family’s home. There is nothing better than to come in after a day in a cold, loud, and hectic world, and be surrounded by warmth, family, and good food. Thick, hearty soups and chowders. Soft sweaters. A crackling blaze in the fireplace (for those of you with fireplaces).

My family loves nothing better on a chill winter’s day than to curl up with soft blankets and throws on the couch and read books, or watch a TV show, or just converse with each other while scented candles glow across the room. Throw in some steaming mugs of earl grey, or perhaps some rich, sweet cocoa, and you have just defined our version of hygge. Or còsagach. No matter what you name it, it means the same thing. Home.

No socks required.

Size Isn’t Everything (aka: The Tiny Home Movement)

True to my cave-dwelling, probably-from-Jupiter nature, I used to day dream about living in some tiny home in the middle of nowhere. Okay scratch that – sometimes I still daydream about living in a tiny home in the middle of nowhere. Someplace in the mountains, or some fog-drenched beach, or in a meadow dappled with tiny wildflowers, in a cottage no bigger than those adorable IKEA showcase rooms (See how you could actually live in 350 sq. feet).

Let’s see…a charming little galley kitchen, a cozy chair or two, and a teensy staircase leading to the sleeping loft, where I could snuggle in blankets and listen to the rain tap against the roof above me. Who needs more?

Oh wait…then I remember. I have kids, of course. And as much as I adore being around my kids, it is pretty much impossible to imagine the four of us crammed together into 350 square feet. wood tiny house

However, there are many other Americans, with or without children, who share the same dream of life in a tiny home, and a number who have made it a reality. During the past several decades, the average size of the American home has grown to well over 2,000 square feet, but recently, the Tiny Home Movement has been begun to grow, too. People from all walks of life have decided to down-down-downsize and live in houses no bigger than many living rooms.

Quixote Village - originally designed to be a homeless community

Quixote Village – originally designed to be a homeless community

Tiny homes have sprung up for various reasons. Some communities have designed small home villages as a solution to homelessness. Some people choose to live in tiny homes to save money, or to live simpler or more sustainable lifestyles. Some do it for the sense of community, like those who live in tiny co-housing clusters, like Tiny House Village in Sonoma County, California, which includes shared amenities such as a community garden and common house. Others choose a tiny house as a way to escape the crowds and live off-the-grid.

Sonoma Tiny Home Village

Sonoma Tiny Home Village

I don’t suppose that the tiny home lifestyle is right for everyone. Some people highly value the ability to collect and display a lot of stuff. And, well, there just isn’t much room for stuff when you’re living in less than 400 square feet. I imagine that it forces you to realize what you actually do treasure most. The bookshelf or a closet full of clothes? The computer or the television? The life of a social butterfly or life in the bat cave? Well, luckily, for those of us who just aren’t quite ready to make such a dramatic lifestyle change, there are places like Caravan – A Tiny House Hotel in Portland Oregon, where guests can live out their tiny house dreams one night at a time. And for those who prefer to just live the dream vicariously, you can try watching the new reality show, Tiny House Nation, or the documentary, TINY, and immerse yourself in a culture that may look small, but is making a huge impact on the way Americans think about our living spaces.

This one even comes with an indoor gym!

This one even comes with an indoor gym!