Getting to the bottom of gezelligheid… !
You have undoubtedly heard this word many, many times since you moved to this city. That lovely guttural ‘g’ sound that doesn’t come at all naturally to non-Dutch speakers. It’s likely you have also been told that this word is hard to translate from Dutch to English but these words help us get close to the idea behind this special Dutch way of life: sociability; cosiness; conviviality; companionableness; chumminess.
Often this word is associated with your home, with this in mind we’ve explored a little further how the Dutch incorporate a touch of gezelligheid into their homes to achieve that cosy, convivial, nice atmosphere, a sense of general togetherness…….. feeling.
Punch up the colour and decorate with your personality.
The Dutch are bold and adventurous with colour. Whether it is a brightly coloured couch and chairs or an accent wall, colour makes your home fun and personable. Show off your personality with a painting that let’s your creativity shine. It can and should be “eye- catching” and loud, thus being a conversation starter that says something about who you are.
Dutch-centric dining tables
Make your dinner table multi-functional. Create a centre place in your home with a large dining table that is not only a place to eat but to study, drink a warm cup of tea, chat, and read. The table is the heartbeat of a Dutch home, the epicentre of calm and chaos alike in their day-to-day lives.
Keep it simple, functional, and inviting.
Throw away or donate unused items, the Dutch create gezelligheid environments by being masters of living in small functional spaces. If it isn’t being used and thus doesn’t serve a purpose, it goes. Unless of course it is sentimental and brings you joy, then by all means, it stays!
Bring life from the outdoors inside
Plants, real or plastic, bring cheer into your home. The Dutch are fresh flower enthusiasts. If buying new flowers on a weekly basis doesn’t suit your busy lifestyle, then check out great low-maintenance plants such as aloe vera.
Smell and Light up your life!
Fresh baked goods always make a home smell and feel warm. A great alternative is also to have aromatic candles. Find a smell that you love and enjoy the mood lighting. You may have also noticed that Dutch homes often have unique hanging ceiling lamps and lighting in general. Don’t be afraid to get funky lighting that brightens your home and sparks friends’ interests.
Invite your friends over
Nothing says gezelligheid like time together. Equally, a house only becomes a home once you’ve had a house warming. Fill up your home with the people you love and you will be sure to love your home.
You do not need to be able to pronounce gezelligheid properly to create it and feel it. We hope you are able to experience it in your new home and thus feel at home here in the Netherlands. Send us your input, ideas, thoughts. We think hearing from you is… gezellig!