My hygge home

It’s official! I now live in an adorable, old house surrounded by beams in a quite little town just outside of Oxford overlooking spires, pretty old houses and at night the cutest of sunsets.

Moving from a London Kensington flat was not an easy decision for us, moving from a city that had everything. Parks, coffee shops on every corner, jobs and friends to somewhere alien and new.

The decision came after Jon’s contract ended at the Natural History Museum in London. Even though I had been offered a wonderful job at Kew Gardens, we decided that the only real reason we were staying in London was to be in London!

But, truth be told, since both of us had more or less done everything we wanted in London and Jon’s contract had come to an end we decided it was time to move elsewhere (with good train links back of course)!

Where to go?

The big question we had to ask ourselves, was where do we go? We seriously discussed Norway as an option and also Australia, but because my Norwegian isn’t good enough and Jon has already used his work holiday visa in Aus we decided (for now at least) to save up and live in the idyllic county of Oxfordshire!

Firstly, can I just say how shocked I was at what you can get for your money outside of London! I feel like a princess in a castle (I suspect I literally could be if we moved to Scotland or Wales). It’s been incredible and I haven’t missed London much at all, and it isn’t like it’s difficult to go back.

My home

Having a home is so important and I feel you can be at home anywhere as long as you’re made to feel welcome, relaxed and at ease. Well, that is exactly what we felt moving into our new home. It’s big, bright airy and full of character. So I’m going to share a few of my hygge home comforts with you!

Candles

If you go back through my blogs, you’ll see I’ve dedicated an entire blog to candles!

Woodwick candles and Green & Black Easter eggs!Candles are incredible and no home should be without them! Here I’ve got our Green & Blacks Easter eggs (gifted by Jon’s lovely Mum) with my Wood-wick candle that crackles like an open fire and smells like fresh ocean air! It’s blissful!

Fairy lights & Fluffy Blankets

img_7621As I type this, I’m sat snuggled under my pink Zara Mohair blanket watching Jon play on his PS4 with the fairy lights glittering away in the background.  I find fairy lights so soothing and relaxing. They bring a small amount of happiness to a home that wouldn’t be there otherwise, so why would you want to be without? I even have cute little fairy lights round the top of the bookshelves in our hallway, LED of course as I wouldn’t want to burn the books!

img_7617
Wooden beams with fairy lights and a Lego dinosaur!

Pictures

 

So many homes don’t have pictures hanging on the walls and I don’t understand why! Blank walls are for conference rooms and swimming pools, not homes! There is nothing more sterile than a vastly empty wall. Even though we’ve only been in a matter of days, I’ve already insisted we hang our pictures up and here is a small selection for you to see the difference a picture can make!

img_7611At the top we have Jon’s map on the left and a picture of Milly on the right. To the left of the map we have a feature opening which is entirely glass and almost a picture of the hallway in its own right. You can also see the next picture (Wrendale Hamster) which we have next to the stairs in our hallway!

 

It’s really not expensive to get pictures for your home. You can get personal ones like we have on our side table, or of our dog Milly, or more fun and general ones like the map or hamster. The Wrendale hamster is actually a birthday card from my parents that I had framed and the map Jon got in a charity shop for £6. I really think they look great and work well with the characterful home we’ve found ourselves in.

Kitchen

It’s true, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Without a decent kitchen you really don’t have a home and therefore it’s essential, I think, to have a warm welcoming kitchen for you after a day at work.

I always make sure there is some nice bread in the bread bin and some homemade goodies for Jon in the cake tin!

On my cook-book rack I like to keep fun books such as this Pride and Prejudice themed cook book, once belonged to Jon’s Grandma. I do however use it when cooking as it’s a great way to stop your book getting dirty and covered in oils and sauce!

Since I share my home with someone who loves to cook, Jon has a lot of say about where things go in the kitchen. If it were up to me I wouldn’t have all the oils out, but he likes them there so it’s where they stay! I do still get to squish my Wrendale tea coffee and sugar pots, and a spice rack into the scene!

The little things

This is something I’ve written a blog on before. The little things are what really make a house a home. These could be gifts from loved ones, funny photos or memories in handmade cushions or even just those little touches you like!

I personally love glitter, magical things and anything that takes me away from reality somewhere I can relax and dream! Here are two little touches I’ve picked from our new home to share with you.

img_7618The first picture is of a cluster of mushrooms made by Jon’s dad, these are really sweet and special to us different ways. To me they remind me of my Grandad as he used to turn wood in a similar way. But for Jon they are a solid connection to his Dad which is really special and sweet. I just love how they sit on the old beams. It’s as if this little bit of wood was made to hold them!

Whilst this is, theoretically, a Christmas decoration. I like to keep it up throughout the year. It’s a beautiful reminder of history and the past. These balls made from paper used to be all over people’s houses at Christmas time in the 1920’s and I think should come back into fashion! My Mum bought me this in 2017 for our London flat and I just love all the detail and golden edges. It’s so sweet!

If you have a new home and want some inspiration, feel free to get in touch above it visit me on Instagram @lucyblackall. X


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new hygge home! Please follow me to keep up-to-date with my blog and future posts! X

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Can a place be Hygge?

Hygge is a feeling you can’t fake or make happen. It is those little moments in life you feel entirely at ease and relaxed somewhere. That place could be snuggled under a duvet with friends sipping hot chocolate and gossiping about old times. It could be watching a silly movie with your sister or best friend or spending much treasured time with your parents over dinner. Whatever it is, it is a personal feeling, one that can not be falsified!

Hygge is a wonderful thing, I experience it with my Norwegian friends more than anyone, as they known how to hygge like no other – but more recently us Brits have taken on this Scandinavian word and embraced it into our lives!

So the point of my post is, can a place / city or location be hygge?

I’ve always been nostalgic about Oxford, not just because I went to University there and met my best friends there, but because the city itself offers so much charm, character and comfort. Oxford is a city I smile about, laugh about and feel happy about for thousands of reasons.

One way to think of Oxford is to take all the amazing bits of London and squish them into one little city, there you have it – Oxford!

With more relaxation, bikes and people holding books more so than anywhere else in the country, Oxford is is a little bubble of joy that I think, you just can’t escape! It makes me feel bubbly and warm just like the feeling of hygge!

Things that make me hygge in Oxford:

Coffee shops – The missing bean is the coffee shop centre if Oxford! It’s the cosiest and cutest of the coffee shops overlooking one of Oxford’s famous colleagues. With chai lattes on offer, who could resist?

Museums – There are dozens of museums in Oxford, but for me the Pitt Rivers and NHM have to be my all-time favourite! They’re both in the same building and offer so much in he way of fun and education whilst being polar opposites!

Parks – Oxford is so unbelievably green, every turning leads you to somewhere new! My favourite park is Christ Church Meadow as it offers a river, a glimpse into the botanical gardens and a little tour of all things Oxford. If you have time to kill and fancy learning about the history of the city you can explore the parks, architecture and all things Oxford on a freewalking tour!

Punting and peddle boats – nothing says oxford like a good old punt! You can rent these from a few different places, but the most popular is to the side of Magdalen College where you can get up to all sorts of watery fun!

Cinemas – I used to write reviews for the Phoenix picture house when I studied as a student in Oxford, it is a really cute cinema in the city centre offering a wide range of films from blockbusters to Art house! There is also the classic UPP on Cowley road that offers a classic take on what cinemas used to and still should be!

Cocktail bars and pubs – My goodness where do I start and end with this one? I’ve gotten so used to London prices I couldn’t believe my luck when I went back to Oxford to find you can get a cocktail for £5 in happy hour or £6.95 normally at The House tucked away down an alley in Oxford! With hundreds of bars and pubs on offer I’d also recommend the Turf Tavern, the most hobbit friendly pub I’ve ever been too!

Shopping – This has changed so much since I lived Oxford, there is a new HUGE shopping centre now that reminds me of Westfield in London. So you have no real reason to leave the city anymore! Alongside this, the city is filled with the cutest of shops from independent ones such as Arcadia opposite the Oxford Union to Blackwell’s bookshops dotted all over the place so for me, there is a shop for every occasion, not to mention the Christmas Market every year!

So what do you think? Can a place feel hygge to you? Oxford certainly does to me!