Though this Welsh word has no literal English translation, it describes a feeling we're all familiar with—a cozy hug or cuddle.
It also means a small cupboard or place to store things safely. So in other words, it's a safe space in your home that gives you that "ahh" feeling you can only get when you feel most at-home and comforted.
In a world where we're consistently filled with the fear of whatever total crazy thing will happen next, invoking the concept of cwtch in your home makes perfect sense. Similar to the Danes' hygge, cwtch is all about a warm state of mind and using a comfy approach to decorating and entertaining. Basically, it helps make a house feel like a home.
It's how I imagine a native Floridian feels seeing snow for the first time, which I've seen firsthand. Or the feeling of remembering something comforting from your childhood—that until this moment in time, for whatever reason—you'd forgotten existed; it's simply a warm glow.
You may also be questioning how to pronounce a word that has no vowels to speak of. Just imagine that you're inexplicably close friends with Ashton Kutcher and you've casually run into him on the street while walking your dog:
"Oh, hey Kutch!"
You get it.
Want to spread cwtch all over your place? Here are a few ways:
- Invite your close circle of friends and loved ones over. That's not to say you don't already do this, but host regular dinner parties, book club meetings or "just because" gatherings more often. Make some hot chocolate, get lost in a million pillows on the couch and throw on the latest true crime documentary with the ones you cherish.
- Choose soft textures. Whether it's a new fuzzy blanket you just scored on sale from Home Goods or a high-pile rug that makes walking around your living room barefoot your new favorite pastime, filling your space with these cozy elements is a must. Yes, petting your adorable dog counts, too.
- Embrace soft lighting. Remember that scene from "Friends" when Monica proposes to Chandler and there are candles EVERYWHERE? (And you cried—don't lie.) Maybe don't go that crazy, but scattering this type of warm light around creates a romantic atmosphere that's sure to put you in an ultimate state of calm. A Himalayan salt lamp on a timer is a no-brainer.
- Display the people and things that you love. Have a favorite photo or treasure from a special time in your life? Put it in a place that you're sure to see on a regular basis. Reliving the times that made you feel the most "you" is just one small way to interject moments of thoughtful pause and nostalgic happiness throughout your day.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.