Studio Violet is such an inspiring little nook on the web, isn’t it? Camilla and Elisabeth are both so attentive to details and those tiny things that so often many overlook, a quality about them that I cherish the most I think. They are also masters, in my opinion, at capturing natural light and emotion in their photographs. Very cozy. Their prints, shown below in situ, look so gorgeous amongst cherished possessions in the home, don’t they? A nice touch to modernize this setting I think. You have a vintage bunny, old portraits and then a modern element to merge old with new effortlessly as so many of us adore. The marriage of what we loved 20 years ago alongside with what we love today is so meaningful, I think, to have around in our living space. Especially in this somewhat disposable, fast-paced world we live in.
Sometimes I gaze upon rooms with only objects purchased recently – furniture, art, rugs, all of it – pretty much all brand new – and this “showroom” decoration doesn’t nothing for me on an emotional level. It feels cold and makes me not want to enter. It does not feel cozy at all. I’m studying German and so I’ve found a bunch of favorite words and one of them I’d like to share is Gemütlichkeit (Ge moot leesh kite) and after you read this definition below from Wikipedia you’ll quickly understand why.
Gemütlichkeit is a German abstract noun that has been adopted into English. Its closest equivalent is the word “coziness”; however, rather than merely describing a place that is compact, well-heated and nicely furnished (a cozy room, a cozy flat), Gemütlichkeit connotes the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the opportunity to spend quality time.
By my definition the word means this: A room or setting that feels like you’ve just had someone walk up to you as you’ve entered, plant a kiss on both cheeks, wrap you in a warm plaid blanket, and grab you by the hand inviting you to sit at their table with cake, coffee and candles. And it’s not put on, in fact there is no vanity in it whatsoever. It’s completely natural.
I think that is what I love so much about Europe, at least to the northern countries where I’ve traveled. There is this Gemütlichkeit that I feel in restaurants, cafes, lounges, and in the homes of my friends and family. For example, when we go for lunch, dinner or to simply order a coffee the staff does not “harass” us with frequent visits to the table. Even while shopping, most offer a simple “May I help you?” and then shuffle off to go about their business. There is no “riding” customers, “up-selling” of products, loud music that one cannot hear themselves think over, etc. In fact, things here in most situations while out dining or shopping can feel quite cozy and charming. At least in my city I feel this way. And this is so, so valuable to me and one of the main reasons why I decided to relocate here — I like to linger… I love not feeling rushed to pay my check and leave so as to free up the table for the next guest. I love sitting outside at a cafe in the Autumn with a blanket on my lap and candles on the table, which is common here.
Same when I visit friends, their homes are very casual and cozy, you feel like more than a guest, and it’s special – a special that is very hard to define. I think the Danish use the word Hygge, right? It’s that feeling. I wonder what the Swedish equivalent is? Anyone know?
(images: studio violet)