Don't Move, Improve!
Home South Africa|October 2020
Don't Move, Improve!
After contending with an ugly, impractical kitchen for 11 years, the Krieks took inspiration from the Danish concept of hygge and transformed it into a warm, cosy space in which simplicity has special meaning.
Marie Opperman

We knew we were going to redo the kitchen one day,” says Cobus Kriek, a chemistry professor at North-West University. “But there were other more urgent matters that needed to be addressed first – such as creating an entertainment area on the veranda and enlarging the main bedroom.

“But soon, the kitchen started to bother us more and more. We use it a lot as we try to live as healthily as possible – we make a lot of green juices and fruit smoothies and also grind GMO-free maize for porridge.”

In the meantime, the Krieks’ lives took a detour in Denmark. “From August 2012 to March 2013, I did research at the Danish Technical University. While there, we learned about the hygge lifestyle which, among other things, is about making the ordinary more special (see box opposite).”

Years later, the family adopted this ethos in their kitchen and today their long, narrow space is not only beautiful and comfortable, but also warm and cosy – the epitome of hygge.


The Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is described as a feeling of cosiness, warmth, happiness, contentment, security, comfort and simplicity.


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October 2020