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Does your home have hygge? Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish term that’s used to describe something with a cozy quality. In Denmark, hygge is weaved into the culture – and has been for centuries. People practice this sense of contentment year-round, if not daily.
Unfortunately, the concept was completely lost on America until around 2017. That’s when it hit major news outlets and the real buzz began. Even Pinterest reported a 285 percent spike in activity around “hygge” and predicted it would become a major home design trend.
But what Pinterest didn’t know is that the masterminds behind Visual Comfort lighting have been infusing this soothing sensibility into their designs for decades. Though not a Danish company, Visual Comfort & Co. has an affinity to what the Danes have known all along: The simplest things in life usually bring you the most joy.
Whether it’s baking a birthday cake for someone you love or curling up next to your favorite reading lamps and a shelf-full of books, Visual Comfort can help you create hygge in your home. To prove it, we’re highlighting some of their coziest light fixtures and how they make you feel right at home.
But first, let’s take a closer look at the company.
About Visual Comfort & Co.
You know Visual Comfort is laser-focused on producing designs that evoke comfort. After all, comfort is their middle name. But their overall philosophy runs much deeper. Visual Comfort believes lighting can turn a room into a living work of art. The key word is ‘living.’ While Visual Comfort gives priority to exceptional quality and forward-thinking design, they never want high-style to overpower a home’s hygge. In other words, art should be beautiful but not untouchable.
Based in Houston, Texas, Visual Comfort & Co. has been in business since 1987. Each year, they participate in tradeshows and home markets around the world, giving customers a first look at their designer collections. Over the decades, Visual Comfort has partnered with many of the industry’s most influential designers, including Barbara Barry, Thomas O’Brien, Ralph Lauren, E.F. Chapman, and many more. Through these key collaborations, Visual Comfort & Co. has amassed a noteworthy selection of products for residential and commercial projects, alike.
Their Design Partnerships:
When choosing designers, Visual Comfort looks for those who embrace their philosophy and share their passion for lighting. On that note, here’s what some of the Visual Comfort designers have to say:
“Lighting brings a room to life. It creates mood and ambiance, and feelings of warmth and home. A well-lit room can be magical.” – Barbara Barry
“I’m fascinated by light’s ability to color our perception of the world and the spaces we inhabit. Depending on how it’s used, lighting can impart feelings of wellbeing or mystery, encourage sociability, or enhance introspection.” – Ian K. Fowler
“I have an interest in the sculptural aspects of lighting – and how important the mood of a space becomes with the presence of good lighting.” – J. Randall Powers
The Visual Comfort Lighting Style
To achieve that lived-in feel, Visual Comfort primarily leans on traditional lighting fixtures with contemporary accents. You’ll see a lot of classic materials, including bronze, brass, chrome, nickel, and glass. Visual Comfort also designs their pieces to be well-proportioned, so as not to disrupt the natural feng shui of a room. Below is a list of features that best define the Visual Comfort lighting style.
Shapes: simple geometric shapes
- Drum Lamps
- Square Cages
- Open Domes
- Triangular Shades
- Light Neutrals
- Antique B
- Antique Nickel
- Polished Nickel
- Aged Nickel
Light shade materials:
- Natural paper
- Etched Glass
Our Coziest Picks From Visual Comfort
If you’re ready to adopt a little hygge in your life, these Visual Comfort lamps, pendants and wall sconces are a good place to start. Each in their own way adds modern comfort that will suit your home and serve your wellbeing.
Forget those crystal trappings. A chandelier can make a big statement with simple elegance. The Thomas O’Brien Bryant Chandelier is a shining example of less is more. Choose the polished or antique nickel finishes, and those thin straight lines will practically disappear into your design. This Visual Comfort chandelier will never interrupt your sight lines so you can enjoy the entire space as one unified setting.
The Sloane Street Shop Light is a classic Visual Comfort pendant. There are touches of ornate, curvy details, but they’re far from overdone or overwhelming. In fact, they’re perfectly composed next to the two, simple drum-shaped light shades that literally hang like a balance. Keep the weight of the room in check with the linen shades and antique nickel finish. But if warmth is what you crave, you’ll appreciate that soft yellow glow from the brass finish.
Candles are an essential hygge accessory, and you’ll find three of them in the Morris Cage Pendant. Their warm, electric glow is reflected by the glass enclosure, which you can get frosted if you prefer less light and more ambiance. Either way, this Visual Comfort pendant is ready to greet guests in your chic farmhouse foyer or to light your way down a long hallway.
The Country Bell Jar is another candlelit fixture that adds ample light for your main living space. Between the six-bulb candelabra design and burnished brass finish, this pendant practically invites you to curl up on the couch. When it comes to gold pendants, the Country Bell Jar is a subtle show-stopper in any transitional home.
The Katie 10-Inch Wall Sconce is a beautiful blend of traditional and industrial design. The voluptuous curves are timeless, but the matte metallic arm and chain help modernize the piece. If you want to up the ante, choose the clear glass and expose the filament light bulb inside. Even two or three of these sconces in a row won’t clutter your wall so you can keep a nice, even energy flow.
Looking for a light by your bedside? The Graves Wall Swing Lamp lets you adjust the light exactly how you need it. While you get a touch of industrial chic with the wall bracket, it’s softened by the rounded hinges and natural paper lamp shade. If you’re looking for a wall fixture that grabs attention, the brass finish is your best bet. Otherwise, choose a lighter metal finish and put the focus on a piece of art.
When it comes to lighting your home, don’t forget the power of a floor lamp. Tall, slender fixtures like the Dover Floor Lamp light up a dark corner, so you can maintain balanced lighting throughout the entire room. But the best part about the Dover Floor Lamp is the fact that it’s a classic example of Visual Comfort style. Its sculptural leg is clearly influenced by modern art, while the drum-shaped linen shade keeps it rooted in traditional design.
The Deauville Table Lamp is what you get when art meets function. Its tea-stained ceramic base looks like a sculpture sitting on your side table. Plus, the gold finial at the top and bottom are the high-end accent you want in a décor accessory. This lamp also comes with a dimmer, so you can lower the lighting level when you need time to unwind.
Cozy up to Visual Comfort
Sure, you can add a few plush throw blankets and glimmering candles to feel hygge. But if you want to create a completely mesmerizing space, you have to look at your home’s lighting. The level of light and the fixtures themselves can transform the tone from bright and sterile to warm and cozy. If there’s any company that has mastered this, it’s Visual Comfort. With their artful simplicity, their homey fixtures make you feel perfectly at ease.