Walking through the maze of cobblestone streets of any Scandinavian old town, you will undoubtedly encounter countless herringbone floors that have been there for ages – and have aged with grace. It was a perfect choice for the couple behind the home goods store Hygge Life to use Stuga’s new Sisu herringbone in their EagleVail, Colorado showroom.
Sisu provides a grounding base for the impressive collection of hygge-inspired decor and plays so well against the Fika floors in the store and coffee shop next door. Stuga was able to sit down with Hygge Life creator and founder Alexandra Gove to discuss her shop and the inspiration behind the showroom.
With a deep respect for the forest and a climate that calls for spending winters indoors, Scandinavian designers embrace the natural warmth of wood inside. They know a thoughtfully designed space is essential for our well being. Alexandra has always found inspiration from cozy Scandinavian spaces, and when it came to designing the new Hygge Life showroom, she tapped into this deliberate design process.
“When you’re designing your home, it’s fun to think about not just the practical side of things or pursuing a particular style, but about the way the space feels and how you’re really going to use it,” Alexandra says. “If you love reading… create that little space or nook with a random shelf inset in the wall for your book and candle.”
Alexandra wanted the showroom to feel like a calm, comfortable, and intimate living room. She brought in Sisu floors as a new dimension, setting the living space apart from the shop. Lights on dimmers, clay on the walls, and a special little candle nook finish the space. Throughout the design process she was looking for timeless, beautiful details and the natural element of hardwood floors was an easy choice.
Alexandra and her partner Koen laid the Fika floors in their original shop themselves and chose to hire help to work alongside Koen while laying the herringbone floors. Quality matters when it comes to DIY and though the pattern was more intricate than their previous floor, they were able to tackle the job with a little help.
“Herringbone is a very classic, timeless Scandinavian look,” says Alexandra. “With everything we carry in the store and then when designing the space, we try to make it as timeless as possible. The way you can do that is using quality, natural materials.”
She speaks of the inspiration she took from her time living with Koen in Scandinavia as a very influential part of her life. “Northern Europeans are able to, and find value in, slowing down and making moments. They design their spaces and homes intentionally.”
The new Hygge Life showroom has a soulful vibe. Alexandra has a talent for finding objects for her shop that have a story to tell. She creates a connection with the makers and designers of the products she carries in her shop and loves to tell their stories.
“We really value the makers and the stories behind each project. We feel strongly that everything has a soul and everything has a story to tell,” she says.
When a customer leaves with a piece from Hygge Life, they typically know about the maker of that object and the story behind it. As for their Swedish customers, they often leave feeling a sense of home.
“We have quite a few Swedish customers that come in and say ‘Oh my gosh! It looks just like home–I grew up in a home with floors just like that!’”
Alexandra and her partner Koen take pride in creating an intimate shop full of delightful design, plenty of hygge warmth and coziness, and meaningful objects for their customers to connect with.
“We’ve had Stuga flooring in our main shop and love that natural element of beautiful wood,” says Alexandra. “Using the herringbone in the new space really adds a new dimension and sets that space apart from the rest of the shop.”