Do you remember that feeling when you got to pick out new furniture or pictures for your room growing up? It probably made you feel like you had a space of your own...a place to relax and have things just your way. I have always believed that hygge is just as important for kids as adults. Kids need a spot in the home that they can create into their own little haven. That is why I allow my kids to completely to decorate their own rooms. Yeah, it may not be how I would choose to decorate, but it's not permanent, and someday, I'm sure I will miss seeing crayon marks and uncoordinated paintings on the walls. The freedom to create their own space also teaches decision-making skills and allows them to appreciate the fruits of their labor.
When my daughter first drew her crayon masterpieces all over her wall, I scolded her and re-painted the room so that it once again looked pristine. When it happened again, I spent an hour with a Magic Eraser, getting the walls back to the way that I wanted. The third time it happened, I began to notice something pretty neat. My two-year-old had been practicing the alphabet on her wall. When had she even learned the alphabet? And lowercase? I was amazed. So I allowed her to keep drawing, waiting to see what showed up next, giving her the boundary of her own room. One day, when she grows tired of her art, I will paint over it. But for now, this is her form of coziness and I will leave good enough alone.
When we moved into our new house, I was so excited to decorate my son's room. I moved all of his old nursery items into the room that would become our baby's and spent an afternoon at HomeGoods, picking out a collection of pictures that would fit the theme I wanted his room to have. And I bought new bedding that coordinated with the wall art. It was perfect...for me. But not for him. At first, he was excited, or so I thought, but I could tell after a few days that he did not like his room. And I felt bad. He was three at the time, in a new home that he was getting used to, and needed to have a room that he felt comfortable in.
I do all of my arts and crafts in the attic, where we also store away a lot of old artwork. I have such a hard time parting with art...I'm pretty sure I have some type of hoarding condition! One day, my son picked out a couple of old paintings that he liked. We took down most of the pictures of trains and trucks that I had just bought and hung the old pictures that he picked out himself. He adopted my old, broken candle lantern that I was ready to throw out. Together, we made a blue flower mirror to hang on the wall. My daughter gifted him one of her extra jewelry boxes. And one of my extra crafting flowers ended up in a lego "vase". We continue to decorate, hanging art from school on the walls and from the ceiling as it comes home. And you know what? He loves his room because it is truly his own space!
The art of hygge happiness is not complicated. It just means creating spaces that bring you joy and a sense of safety from the world. Whether it means creating your dream garden or allowing your children to decorate their own rooms, seek those simple ways to make your home more personalized, a place that shouts out who you are and makes you feel happy every single day.