You may have to take a second look at that headline.
Pronounced “kutch," rhyming with “butch," Cwtch and Hygge (“hoo-ga") are real words. Now that you know how to pronounce them, we're sure you're curious about what they mean.
The interesting thing is, whether you already know what these two methods of design are, you're probably already practicing what they preach.
Originating in Denmark, the design philosophy of Hygge asks you to look at objects in your home and really focus in on those that provide you with a sense of comfort. Considered an essential feature of Danish culture, Hygge has been around since the early 1800s.
It helps you appreciate all things cozy, guiding how you design your living spaces to create a feeling of contentment and well-being in every nook and cranny. The idea of decorating your home in a way that makes you feel all warm and cozy helps you appreciate the simpler things in life, and reminds you that it doesn't take much to feel super-comfortable in your own home. Key design pieces associated with Hygge include:
Comfort food and warm, soothing drinks are also part of the Hygge lifestyle. Think about what makes you toasty after a really cold day — that's the level of comfort you're creating with Hygge.
While you may associate all of these design elements with settling in for a quiet night alone, wrapped up in your favorite blanket and drinking a cup of hot chocolate in front of a fire, the philosophy of Hygge also stresses socialization. In fact, spending time with friends in your comfortable space is a crucial component.
Overall, Hygge helps to provide a simplified lifestyle by focusing on those things and people that make you content, but it also allows for the opportunity to indulge from time to time.
Encompassing many similar elements as Hygge, Cwtch is another design trend that has grown in popularity over the last 20 years. A lifestyle trend from Wales, the concept actually goes back 1,400 years.
The word itself comes from the English and Scottish word for cuddle or couch. Not the one you sit on, but the word that means lying down or crouching. Like Hygge, the term is associated with comfort.
Cwtch inspires you to transform an entire room or a small space in your home into a soothing environment through the selection of textures, soft colors and specific objects. Items often used in Cwtch design include:
The key to Cwtch is to personalize and show off who you are within a cozy and comfortable space. Incorporating items that reflect your interests or hold sentimental value with plush blankets and soft paint colors bring the space together in a way that's solely you. This design trend helps you create intimate spaces, unique to you, that combine your personality with everyday functionality in a way that's meant to soothe.
Think of Cwtch as a design philosophy that guides you toward making your house feel like a home. Showing off who you are through your home decor can help increase your feelings of happiness, comfort and security.
While they differ a little on implementation, Hygge and Cwtch follow similar principles. Both design philosophies invoke feelings of comfort, warmth and coziness, but with a slightly different focus.
Cwtch primarily uses objects within the home to create a feeling of comfort, much like what you'd get from a hug or from cuddling up. Hygge expands the approach to include what's around you every day — special moments, the right decor, food, drink and friends.
Where Cwtch looks mostly at how to make your home cozy, Hygge takes the feelings your home decor provides and asks you to expand them.
Rather than thinking of these two design trends as one edging out the other, you may want to borrow elements from both to transform your home into a comfortable place, full of objects that relax you and bring you happiness.
Both Hygge and Cwtch inspire you to put who you are on display, making your house a real home. The design ideas also ensure you'll have ample space and plenty of comfy accessories to cozy up with after a long day.
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