Spend much time in Denmark or Norway and you’ll get real familiar real fast with the term “hygge.” Shoot, spend much time in the States these days and you’ll bone up on it, too. The word means something like “cozy” in English and has been having a little bit of a moment in hipster circles. But in a place like Denmark, where winters are long, dark, and cold, cozying up with candles, the warmth of a stove, the company of a friend or two, heavy woolen blankets, perhaps a bottle of wine, hygge is a practiced art form.
What could be cozier than sheltering from a storm in a small seaside hut dug into the side of a cliff?
Meet Uværshula, in north (cold) Norway, a tiny refuge from the ferocious storms that often sweep through the seaside village of Teigan. A local teacher constructed the cozy little hut back in the 1990s.
Its only purpose is to provide shelter for visitors to the area with nowhere else to go. The heavy wooden doors are always unlocked, the stove for heating and cooking stocked with wood and awaiting use. A logbook is filled with pleasantries from guests who’ve huddled, contentedly one hopes, within the stone walls, peering out through the windows as the sea roars in a tempest, snow piling against the glass.
There is a small, blanket-covered bench and a ramshackle library. Nothing else.
Guests are welcome to spend the night, free of charge, of course, provided they leave no trace, and take nothing from the little hut. It’s a uniquely charming bit of hygge in the place that invented the idea.
Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.