The Artistry of Happiness

Seeing and experiencing a beautifully crafted structure, whatever form it comes in, can awaken a spirit in us all; a certain wonder and curiosity. It can also usher into our minds a comforting memory, a sense of serenity and calmness, or indeed a whole plethora of different feelings and emotions. Naturally, we all have different views for what invokes which, but one thing we can all agree on with some level of conviction, is our desire to feel safe, comfortable and happy… right?

Inspired by the news that Denmark was ranked the world’s top country in this year’s World Happiness Report, we thought we would take a look at how the country’s cultural and social attributes shape their living environment.

Although the link between happiness and our surroundings may well seem obvious, a single word coined by the people of Denmark demonstrates just how important it is to have our homes and loved ones around us, when leading happy, healthy lives.

hygge

(pronounced hoo-guh)

The hygge phenomenon has been instilled as a crucial part of the collective Danish psyche and has been integral to the country’s building methods, since the 18th century. Journalist and Denmark specialist Helen Russell, offers perhaps an appropriately simple definition:

Hygge is the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things”.

But how do we effectively define what is pleasurable, soothing and emotionally overwhelming to each individual and reflect this in architectural design and lifestyle? Denmark has a long and fruitful relationship with creating specialised living spaces which can offer that hygge feeling all-year round, and from what we can see, they happen to be very good at it.

In 2011, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels won the World Architecture Festival´s Housing Award for the second time in three years, with 8 House’ in the Copenhagen district of Ørestad.

  

At 60,000 square metres, this fascinating building consists of 476 apartments, penthouses and small townhouses with gardens, intelligently designed to include lifestyle enhancing facilities, green spaces, communal areas to inspire community living, as well as providing the stunning and uniquely bizarre visual identity to the project. This is an example of hygge on a truly colossal scale.

So, while the Danes have cleverly incorporated social and emotional desires and a sense of well-being into state of the art design and construction on a grand scale, we have detected, over the thousands of Mozolowski & Murray projects, three commons themes that could be described as the Scottish equivalent of Hygge.

The three most consistent lifestyle enhancing features clients request when designing their new Mozolowski & Murray extensions are:

Light  |   Open-plan design for enhanced social living   |   A natural connectivity to the outdoors

With traditional properties in Scotland typically consisting of separate rooms, each with a single purpose such as the kitchen, the dining room, the lounge or the study, often with only one window and one solid entrance door, we are experiencing a clear trend for rooms to be merged together to create a sense of space, light and a seamless connection to their natural environment.  Whether that’s peering up at the stars through a stunning glass roof on a clear night or cooking for the family while interacting with the kids as they play in the garden beyond the open bi-fold doors, people want spaces that can be enjoyed by friends and family, irrespective of the weather or the season.  An important consideration when living in Scotland given our often unpredictable climate!

Combining modern technology with traditional craftsmanship has enabled Mozolowski & Murray to offer truly stunning, bespoke and exceptionally high-quality windows, doors, conservatories, sun-lounges, orangeries, garden rooms, porches and extensions, and together with our highly skilled and professional workforce, is what has earned us our industry leading reputation.

Our commitment to delivering progressive design, while adhering to the traditional values upon which the company was built upon, enables us to deliver a wide range of bespoke briefs and design concepts, from the most traditional glass and timber structures to very modern and contemporary creations.

With over 30 years’ experience in transforming homes and lifestyles across Scotland, we understand that each project is a personal journey for our clients, so we listen carefully, invest in and value our relationships and deliver the highest standards to ensure a lifetime of pleasure and happiness at home.

Families here in Scotland and across the UK, want to experience integrated living that is designed to improve their sense of connection, relationship with their own environment and emotional well-being. So, like the Danes, who are renowned for their promotion of family friendly living, we are seeing a societal shift away from segregated and internal living, towards a more inclusive approach that connects us to our natural environment and to each other.

So, whether your hygge feeling is after a sun-drenched afternoon, enjoying a refreshing evening breeze through your bi-fold doors into your brand-new conservatory as the evening sun fades.  Or, you’re well and truly sunken into the upholstery overlooking the garden through your custom-made casement windows, after hosting a family BBQ.  Or maybe the family pet, enjoying its own hygge moment, is curled snugly at your feet while you indulge in a glass of something special, it has to be your purest satisfaction and comfort in its simplest and most rewarding form.  It has to be Mozolowski & Murray at home.

To find out how we can turn your hygge dream into a reality, visit, call or email us at the Mozolowski & Murray Design Centre, 57 Comiston Road, Edinburgh, EH10 6AG. T. 0345 050 5440 E. design@mozmurray.co.uk or visit our website www.mozmurray.co.uk and be inspired!