If you’re all about comfort and cosiness, then congratulations, for your beautiful compulsion has a name – Gezellig.
Pronounced heh-SELL-ick, gezellig is a Dutch word that, though nearly impossible to translate literally into English, best expresses the very quintessence of Dutch culture. Nobody does warm and welcoming, cosy and inviting quite like the Dutch. The Dutch equivalent of hygge, this hugely encompassing word truly says it all.
A person can be gezellig (you’re fun and funny, you’re warm, witty and wonderful to hang out with); a party can be gezellig (your shindig was sensational, everyone had a blast); spending time with grandparents can be gezellig (or ongezellig if your grandparents are…you know…those kind of grandparents); sipping an ale in a brown café is totes gezellig (brown cafés are legendary and uniquely Dutch – think dark wood, hearty fires flaming in the hearth, candles in bottles and ochre stained walls from decades of cigarette smoke); and then there’s your most favourite place in the world – your home.
The home is where gezellig really comes into its own, where it is seen, and felt, in its most purest form; it’s the very heart of the word. So, keeping in mind the Charles Caleb Colton quote that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, why not head into 2019 with an emboldened dash of Dutch? It’s time to get serious and have some fun. It’s time for your house to get gezellicked!
Forget the strenuous gym workouts; your deadly-dull dining room’s in dire need of dazzlement, your lacklustre lounge longs for livening up and, as for your bedroom… well, even the cat can’t be tempted there! So, pull up your sleeves and get to grips with that dining room table. That’s right, turn it lengthways, push it to the other side of the room. Look at that – now the family gets to see the rose garden, such a change from the ah… kitchen view.
Righty-ho, moving on, there’s the dresser (Dutch, of course!), how about switching places with the sideboard? Oh, go on, just do it! Excellent – doesn’t that look fantastic? Now, bring out those brass candlesticks you’ve stuck away in that draw for far too long, place them either side of the dresser… what do you think? Candles? Definitely!
Next, into the lounge and heave that sofa over there; yes, the armchairs look grand flanking the fireplace… you’ve got the hang of this now, haven’t you? You’re positively glowing with energy and self-satisfaction! As you hang your Van Gogh Starry Night over the bedside table and give it the softest illumination from the Tiffany lamp you retrieved from the attic, you stop a moment… a distinct sound of purring. You turn and there’s your cat, curled up and already dreaming.
You smile and tip-toe from the room.