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It’s safe to say that Scandinavians are no stranger to darkness. If you’re in Oslo, Norway in December, you can expect the days to be only five hours long between sunrise and sunset, with the sun slipping below the horizon at around 3 pm. In the parts of Scandinavia that lie above the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t rise at all, and it remains dark for months at a time. Needless to say, if you want tips and tricks on how to keep your space light and bright during the dark winter months, nobody knows better than the Nordics.

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1. Light Candles

Did you know that Danes burn more candles per capita than the rest of Europe? The inventors of hygge -- the concept of cozy conviviality -- know what they’re doing. Candlelight creates the illusion of warmth when it’s anything but warm outside. But even when it’s the height of summer, candles give off a festive glow. Americans tend to select candles for their fragrance and appearance. Scandinavians, on the other hand, use them to create pools of light in their homes. For that reason, they prefer simple unscented pillars or tea lights in shades of white. A cluster of candles gives off the same ambiance as a cozy fireplace, even if you don’t have one. You can also float tea lights in a large glass bowl for a unique effect.

Light Candles Maya23K / Getty Images
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