How Hygge Can Help Us Out

If you’ve ever asked a member of the CultureHouse team about our inspirations, I guarantee Copenhagen was brought up. Our love of the Danish capital is no secret — and we think Boston can learn a lot from Copenhagen’s best practices.

That’s especially true in the winter. The Danes may have their faults, but they’ve certainly gotten wintertime public life figured out. We’re not the only ones who’ve caught on to the Danish discovery that winter doesn’t have to be a sad slog towards sunnier days — their idea of hygge was very popular a few years ago.

We think CultureHouse is pretty hyggeligt, and we’re excited to help you all have a happier winter. As CityLab’s Melody Warnick writes, the “four ideals of hygge provide a starting point for changing winter in the city from a Spartan endurance race to an extended season of joy.” We’ve brought those four ideals to Cambridge this year.

Warmth

“Unlike some American cities, where snow seems like a shocker year after year, Scandinavian cities acknowledge and build for their cold climate.”

Having to pay for a coffee or a beer every time you want to leave your house is no way to live. At CultureHouse, you can warm up without worrying about your budget.

We provide a warm oasis in the center of Harvard Square and in a cozy corner of Kendall Square. Everyone is invited inside to take a break from the harsh city winter!

Next time you’re at CultureHouse Kendall, make sure to take advantage of our free coffee and tea. Even though it’s free, its not skimpy — we get all our beans and leaves from Beantrust and Mem Tea.

Light and color

“With far fewer hours of sunlight, wintertime contentment relies on literal or metaphorical brightness — hence the typical Danish scenes of candle-bedecked dinner tables and windows laced with twinkle lights…”

We’re keeping the lights on all week, all winter. We’re open Tuesday — Sunday at Harvard and Wednesday — Sunday at Kendall. You can come down any time to read a book, play a game of ping pong, or get some work done.

We use colorful decorations and warm lighting to create spaces that are bright and welcoming. In addition to our plants, rugs, and pillows, our rotating art exhibits add color to any gray day.

Access to nature

“In cold-weather cities, easy access to the outdoors staves off lethargy and activates spaces.”

The Canal District Kendall has this one covered for us! Their ice skating rink is up and running again until mid-March.

Just feet from the door of CultureHouse Kendall, you’re able to jump and spin to your heart’s content. After you’ve gotten your share of fresh air, you can come into our community living room to warm back up.

Gathering places

“Perhaps the most important antidote to winter’s isolation is hygge’s emphasis on communal gathering and social connection.”

When your house starts to feel lonely and empty, CultureHouse will be here for you! At CultureHouse Harvard, you can connect with the many interesting people who come through the Square every day. And at CultureHouse Kendall, you can attend one of our many events — gathering with others to watch a movie, play a board game, or learn a new skill.

Winter is a hard time for a lot of people, and it often feels easier to succumb to the sadness and stay at home. While we can’t stop the darkness from coming, hopefully we can all work together to make the next few months a little more joyful. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to hear about what we have planned for the winter. We hope to see you around CultureHouse soon!

CultureHouse is a nonprofit organization that improves livability in local communities by facilitating the creation of public social infrastructure through the transformation of unused spaces into vibrant places to work, play, and foster connections. We currently run two spaces in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To ask questions, start a partnership, or just learn more, email info@culturehouse.cc.

CultureHouse improves livability in local communities by transforming unused spaces into vibrant social infrastructure.