A lot has been written about creating a home that inspires a sense of sanctuary, but these days, the idea has never felt more relevant.

As the Autumn season starts cooling down Ottawa, its a great opportunity to make small adjustments as we enter yet another cold season as we”shelter-in-place.”

Introducing “Hygge” (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah); a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special. It literally only requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognize and enjoy the present. We’ve compiled 10 home improvements that will make your apartment cozier for the fall season.


  1. Signature Candle

Hygge is about being mindful of small moments and really appreciating them. The Danish have candles lit even during the day. It’s about doing small things to make a very mundane experience feel slightly more meaningful and special.


2. Wireless Speakers

Setting the mood and creating a sense of contentment can also be done by curating music and sound. New to working at home? Consider selecting a playlist to work by, then moving to a different playlist when work is done to establish boundaries and define blocks of time.


3. Adopt A Plant

Now is definitely the time to nurture a house plant! You can find interesting, beautiful plants and support local shops in Ottawa at the same time. A few local shops to consider are Plant & Curio is located at 173 Preston, Scrim’s Florist at 262 Elgin & Les Serres Robert Plante Greenhouses for all your succulent dreams come true!


4. Upgrade Your Linens

Even though you’re not having guests over, and no one knows you may be living a certain way, it’s important to keep things clean and tidy for yourself. Treat your house with respect by keeping things clean and organized — because you’re going to be there all day! Little luxuries like fresh sheets, a well-made bed, a clean tub for soaking and a kitchen with wiped-down surfaces create bright spots of calm and control.


5. Keep Surfaces Clear

Dining tables and side tables can become a vessel for cute accents or pile-ups of letters, keys, and other random grab-and-go items. It is, however, important to rid of any clutter that you do not need as it keeps your mind clutter-free simultaneously. Reducing the visual clutter from everyday surfaces like the coffee table and the dining table can definitely bring a sense of calm.


6. Instead, Introduce A Clutter Caddy!

Utility carts are a perfect way to store anything not immediately in use – from art supplies to text books and notepads. This cart is $29.99 at Ikea and aids in keeping your wider-spread clutter surfaces clear like the dining table, for example.


7. Elevate Your Dining Experience


Indulge in the everyday comforts that you have. If you’re getting UberEats delivery or your favourite local takeout, put it on your nicer plates. Elevate the everyday things that you’re doing. That’s hygge!


8. Explore Slow-Cooking Recipes, Cook With A Dutch Oven

When it comes to a cozy kitchen, cook with a Dutch oven. Roast chickens and make broth – the smell of the broth simmering throughout the house all day is the coziest, warmest smell ever and perfect for the fall season. It also saves some money to make your own broth.


9. Try Some DIY Home Projects

Not everyone sees the quarantine as an opportunity for home improvement, but avid DIYers may find a silver lining in their sequestration. There’s just so many things that you’re always too busy to do, and now we’ve got a lot of time for projects. It’s nice to take advantage of that and really get stuff banged out.


10. Make A Place To Sit In The Sun

In Southern California indoor-outdoor living is a way of life, and whether you have a balcony, a front porch or a big backyard, creating an exterior place to rest and relax is a big part of sanctuary style. Ottawa is gearing up for the Winter months where sunlight times get shorter, but a great way to make sure you catch some rays indoors is creating a space by the window with wicker furniture – to give you those sunny California sunshine vibes in the comfort of your apartment!