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What Are “The Young People” Into? It’s Called “Aesthetic” and “Avant Basic” I Had No Idea, And Now I Do

Intro from Emily:

I had an interview request recently to identify what zoomers are into (Gen Z, mostly under 26). Uh. I had no idea and despite having one on my team (hey, Mal), none of us immediately knew what the style was called so I tasked her to infiltrate her age group (on social media) and find out what those, who are into home design, are loving right now. Mal came back from her mission with some shocking recon information – the movement that is happening is called “Aesthetic”. It took us a second. Well, more than a second. It’s literally a synonym for “style”, not really saying anything. But what they are trying to encompass or go after is what this Gen Xer will call “a good vibe” and THAT I can get behind. Like most teens and early 20 somethings of yore, their style (or aesthetic) culturally is nothing something that the generation above is supposed to “get”. It tends to be subversive by nature – my generation answered “rock and roll with emo” – it can be a rebellion even if it’s not going further into an extreme. I felt like I was an anthropologist, watching this generation try to find itself, just like we/I did twenty years ago. You see my generation was thrifted, cobbled together (backlash to overly decorated perfection), and a product of the evolution of the thrift store being all of a sudden cool (hey, grunge). The older we get the more “sophisticated” our homes get, and frankly, that’s not the adjective most 19-year-olds want. They want “Aesthetic”.

What is “Aesthetic”?

I feel highly unequipped to answer this with true expertise and yet I will. What I’ve witnessed from this movement (if you can call it that) is a desire to create a vibe that looks wild and weird, a no-rules boldness mixed with a sense of apathy, it’s sexual and non-binary, and then just when you think you’ve figured it out – don’t forget some plastic vines or flowers – not just almost childlike, like literal fairies. It’s definitely a “don’t put me in a box” or even “try to define me” feeling – thus the broad non-specific labeling. It’s unlabel-able, and yet of course I wanted to break down the elements and be told how wrong my analysis is (it’s part of the fun). It’s a cultural fascination and as a generational reminder to stay open (ironically the older I get the more open I am – it’s “YOU DO YOU” mixed with being almost completely un-offendable… which is a fun experiment to try if you find yourself offended by or judging others constantly – a symptom of being a millennial and gen X, for sure). So before you see the below and judge or say how it’s offensive, what if you reframed it more as a glimpse into a world that you aren’t rejected from, and an opportunity to bring you some smiles. In short – just because you don’t like something does not mean that it is offensive. It’s just not for you.

And as you can imagine this vibe has rarely been professionally photographed, so you’re about to see some Instagram photos – and yes, its unprofessionalism is indeed part of the “aesthetic”. Okay Mal, take it away…

ROGER THAT. Hey guys, Mallory here. If you’ve ever been on TikTok (even if it’s only been for 5 seconds), you might have encountered one of the major trends happening in the Gen Z world and have not even known it. As Emily explained above, there’s a trend called “Aesthetic” (which really is just its name by default, but we’ll get to that in a minute). Em was pretty much spot on in her explanation of what “Aesthetic” is, and social media has been at the forefront of propelling this trend into action. It’s totally about the “vibe” and it’s also about expressing yourself. I would say you can typically find it in the bedrooms of 13-18-year-olds. THIS HOWEVER is not the only trend Gen-Z is into (and I think it’s offensive to put all of them into the “Aesthetic” box). The other main trend dominating right now is called “Avant Basic”. The easiest way to separate them is to break it down like this: younger tween/teens generally are more into the “Aesthetic” vibe (I said 13-18-year-olds which I would still say is true) and the slightly older, 18-25-year-olds seem to be falling more into the “Avant Basic” vibe. Obviously, this is a generalization and there’s a lot of crossover for both, but that’s pretty much what I’m seeing on TikTok these days.

So, yes, the two main styles dominating the platform are called “Aesthetic” and “Avant Basic”. Let’s start with the former because I gotta explain the name in more detail. Let’s get something straight: Aesthetic is pretty much just the name of this trend because Gen Z TikTokers took to the platform to post their #bedroomchecks and by default also ended up using other hashtags like #aesthetic or #aestheticroom. So no one’s goal was to call it “Aesthetic” but some are referring to the trend as that because, well, that’s how you can find the trend: by hashtagging Aesthetic. Now, what is this Aesthetic trend??

Aesthetic

There are 3 main components to getting an “Aesthetic” Room (which are most bedrooms because this age group is on the younger side and still living at home): LED lights surrounding the entire perimeter of the room, fake vines, and an abundance of records/magazine cutouts/photos on your wall. Let me show you:

Faux Vines

These are pretty much in every single #aesthetic room. They add a sculptural and green element that makes it feel more cozy, but it’s super low maintenance, AND it creates a big impact for not a lot of $$$ (which is what a lot of teens are tryna do of course). Also, a lot of times you’ll see some fairy lights mixed in with the vines (for the vibes of course)…

via @m.a.d.s.ms

Records

Records are KEY to aesthetic. They add a different shape than the art prints/magazine photos on the wall). Plus vinyl is just all around so cool, especially right now. Everyone’s got a record player these days so why not display them on your wall??? Hopefully, the cheap ones from the $1 section and not the nice ones because I’m pretty sure command strips are not the technical way to store a record. Okay now for the Aesthetic finale, the main event, THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR:

LED Lights

Just like Emily said in the opening paragraph: it’s all about a FEELING, a VIBE. If you want a mood, turn on some purple lights, and boom you’re there. It’s undoubtedly a vibe. Tweens and teens are heavily into this style because you got only one spot in the entire house that’s YOUR space: your bedroom, so you gotta make the most of it. Also as a side note, I chatted with some of my friends about this trend and they said that this is “an e-girl room.” If you’re unfamiliar, an e-girl or e-boy is defined by wikipedia as “a youth subculture that emerged in the late 2010s and is almost exclusively seen on social media, notably popularized by the video-sharing app TikTok.” My friends said lots of e-girls have the “Aesthetic” type room, whereas the more girly-girl type teens and or hip young adults lean more toward the “Avant Basic” trend. Curious what the heck that is? Let’s go:

Avant Basic

We always say around here that fashion trends inform design trends, and for the Avant Basic home style that is CERTAINLY true. The Y2K fashion trend has been hitting big now for about 2 years and it’s finally made its way into the home. I think we can all thank fashion influencers for making this happen…they’re most definitely the people that have made this style happen pretty much overnight. One influencer that has been one of the front runners of Avant Basic (or I’ve also heard it referred to as Danish Pastels) is Matilda Djerfher room was one of the first I saw to go toward the Avant Basic vibe. Also, Wiggle Room NYC definitely contributed to the trend with their awesomely shaped tables and since we’re now talking about furniture makers, we’ll also have to give the wiggly mirror trend over to Gustaf Westman. There have been a lot of major players bringing this style from the fashion world to the home space, and Instagram and TikTok have collectively propelled this trend forward even more.

Now the term Avant Basic is definitely a contradictory term: “Avant” means original or innovative, and “Basic” in current societal means mainstream and common. But, while it’s contradictory, I genuinely believe that there is no better way to describe this trend. The whole style is about interesting, pastel colors, psychedelic patterns, and wavy unique shapes. BUT it’s become so popular that now it kinda is basic (and before you get your panties in a wad, basic has a negative connotation, but it’s not always “bad” in my opinion). The pastels are used in “pops” rather than on walls or tonally throughout a room. Start with a white base (the “basic” part), then build in pops of weird shapes, patterns, and uniquely molded candles you’ll never light but you love. I can keep trying to explain it but it’s better if I just show you:

Pops of Pastels

It’s all about the pastels popping off the white background (specifically pinks, purples, greens, blues, and yellows) and in some fun, funky ways. You can’t have too many pastels, and as long as you go for it off of a white background and spread them around in small amounts, your color palette can pretty much be whatever. It’s also acceptable to lean into mixing some small neon pops in (greens, pinks mostly) layered in with the pastels.

You can see the pastels in both prints and in decor pieces, and the most iconic decor pieces of the Avant Basic style are the uniquely shaped candles you’ll find everywhere (specifically busts, squiggly candles, and bubbly candles):

Psychedelic, Checkered, And Floral Patterns

You’ll notice from these photos above, the patterns are mostly checkered, or that floral pattern (made famous from clothing companies like Lisa Says Gah and House of Sunny). You can also mix in some more psychedelic patterns in rugs, pillows, and prints (see the “out of mind” graphic art above), but if you’re going for Avant Basic, again, don’t do wallpapers or anything too wild on the entire wall. It’s all about the pops. (PS that’s the bubble candle above on the right)

via @aaricanichole

Postmodern & Wavy Shapes

Another important element of Avant Basic we briefly touched on earlier is the squiggly shaped mirror and just all around oddly shaped furniture (lots of postmodern lines for sure) Here are some examples:

So that’s it. Those are the 2 major styles happening in the Gen-Z TikTok land today. Whaddaya think?? Have you seen these around? Do you like the looks? If you have teenagers or Gen Zers can you relate? Let’s chat in the comments…this is fun 🙂

Opening Image Credit: Design by Zoe Schlacter and Buzz Slutzky | Photo by Simbarashe Cha | via Clever

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Saeag
10 days ago

Love it! Can I have more links to buy things? So I can be the coolest aunt! 😊

Karen
10 days ago
Reply to  Saeag

I was scanning as an aunt too. Christmas ideas!!

K
10 days ago
Reply to  Saeag

I love these comments — makes me giggle to think that we internet dinos (ie women in our 30s/40s) come to the og internet resource (blogs) to find out what’s cool 🙂

Hats off to you ladies for being such caring aunts!

Michelle
10 days ago
Reply to  Saeag

100%! I read this like an old auntie taking notes! Off to buy some LED strips!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Saeag

Ha yes!! Definitely on it….this LED light is pretty awesome for a cool aunt gift: https://rstyle.me/+cJKGlwYQBYaP90Cp2gvIuA

We used a similar one for a teen bedroom we did last year!

arc
10 days ago

Popups make this article almost completely unreadable, sorry. Minions ones for me 🙁 – so not aesthetic.

Diane
10 days ago

Boomer here, and I gotta say that for me, this evolution of trends is what makes decor fun. While I’m not about to toss my current furnishings to the curb in order to exclusively embrace one of these new styles, I’m always on the lookout for interesting new pieces to weave into my home, and I’m somewhat amused/not all that surprised to find that some of these aesthetic/avant basic pieces – ginghams and checkerboards, pastel pops, bubble candles, and that same exact floral print – have already found their way to me, and definitely add to the collected vibe of my home.

Karen
10 days ago

Urban Outfitters sure is tapping hard into the design/aesthetic brains of zoomers…….

Cassie
10 days ago
Reply to  Karen

100% this entire post looks like an Urban Outfitters! They are killing it and are one of the places I often turn to when I want to see what’s fresh and new.

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Karen

They VEEERRRY much are!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Karen

DEFINITELY

Misty
10 days ago

My daughter is 22 and has her first apartment in Nashville – 6 hours from me. When I go visit, we vintage shop – marathon style – looking for “80s, interesting, different, cute”, etc. I was told by her this weekend when I said 80s – “no not 80s. My style does not have a name. I don’t want to be classified as any one thing.” So you guys have obviously nailed it…. It’s just what they like and don’t you dare try to name it. Lol Also, supporting your research; we bought a neon heart lamp for her bathroom as a “nightlight”. It glows purple. She’s looking for mint green lamps and pastel tiled tables. We bought a black lacquer end table that I swear I donated 15 years ago and she was smitten as soon as she saw it. I’m just following along for the ride and I have no idea what I’m doing. Lol

Linda
10 days ago

I had to smile reading this. These rooms look like my bedroom growing up as a teen in the 70’s. It’s the everything old is new again, just tweaked a bit.

Elizabeth
10 days ago
Reply to  Linda

I had the same thought – in high school, in 1973, I made a quilt out of different colors of gingham. It’s now the camping blanket, but I still love it.

Roberta Davis
10 days ago
Reply to  Linda

totally agree! I had brightly-colored daisies all over my bedroom in the 70’s!

Sheila
10 days ago
Reply to  Linda

Yep, kind of a blast from my deep dark past and very fun to see the new twists. The pastel/flower/plant style is more what I had as a young teen. Later, and into college, we didn’t have LED lighting but black lights gave a very similar effect to what’s shown in these photos. We had both vines and beads draped around with album covers (not the actual records), concert tickets and photos covering the rest of the walls.

Deb
10 days ago
Reply to  Sheila

Black lights…..many bedrooms that belonged to a teenager in the late sixties and early seventies had them with psychedelic posters by Peter Max.

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Linda

I can totally see that!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Linda

ah totally! Everything circles back 🙂

Karen
10 days ago

How fun! Makes me want to try my 20’s out again, but only for the apartment styling, the rest I should only live once 😏

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Karen

hahaha 100%

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Karen

HA!

Kristin
10 days ago

I have a teen and a tween and I can say you nailed it! Aesthetic is the vibe for sure. LED lights, vines and cut outs. My daughter just got a little tapestry for her wall and it’s all pastels and kind of 70s trippy, so I think we are headed toward avant- basic as well. 🙂

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Kristin

So fun! Mal really nailed it!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Kristin

Ah awesome to hear 🙂 love it!

Elle
10 days ago

As a teen, I can say that you totally nailed it! Also, a lot of the teens who are more into design tend to lean into the “cores”- cottagecore, witchcore, dark academia (my personal favorite). It would be super interesting to see a post about these different styles!

Sarah
10 days ago
Reply to  Elle

I’m a prof and dark academia aesthetic has been great entertainment this morning.

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Elle

O yay! and now I need to know what dark academia is!

Kc
10 days ago
Reply to  Jess Bunge

I feel like the “knives out” movie set embodies the Dark Academia vibe.

Lisa
10 days ago
Reply to  Jess Bunge

If you want to dive in deeper – I really love Rowan Ellis video essays on Cottagecore and Dark Academia 🙂

Lisa
10 days ago
Reply to  Lisa

“Why is Cottagecore so gay?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5odKiL7jRW0 and “The Problem with Dark Academia” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfkYXVdkUEE and I think both are really interesting discussions of the topics of ‘aethetics’ generally and these two specifically

Vee
10 days ago
Reply to  Elle

I hadn’t heard of these. But I can see how my 14 year old is definitely a mix of Aesthetic and Avant Basic and my 17 year old is dark academia. Very interesting article.

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Elle

oh this would make an awesome post…thanks Elle!

Leah
10 days ago
Reply to  Elle

Yes! My 13 year old is into dark academia and goblincore.

Lindsay
10 days ago
Reply to  Elle

Yes, yes–please a follow up post on the “cores”–I admit, I do love dark academia as well. Doesn’t go with our home in the slightest, but I fantasize about a second home in London–maybe a rescued Victorian flat previously owned by a genteel adventuress/professor, with a secret room filled with antiquities that nobody suspected before we discovered it! OK, I digress, but yes, a follow up post would be fantastic!

Tanja
9 days ago
Reply to  Elle

I came to see if anyone had mentioned these! I hadn’t heard about Aesthetic or Avant basic, but cottagecore, witchcore, dark academia and light academia I actually know. I think they are such interesting styles!

Melanie
10 days ago

Hi! i am an avid reader from europe!
“Avant” in french actually translates as “Before”
I am too old for these trends but could it mean before things got basic? 🙂

Melanie
10 days ago
Reply to  Melanie

I get there is a mix of “avant garde” and “basic” going on in this name but just wondering ^^

Lane
10 days ago
Reply to  Melanie

Looking at photos I believe basic just means things you can get everywhere (ikea,urban outfitters) and things that are not expensive to buy or requiring a long search, not too sophisticated, not too fussy, not too hard to get.

Emi
10 days ago
Reply to  Melanie

Ooh Melanie, I love this take on it!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Melanie

oooh so interesting! Yes!

Karla
10 days ago

Lol, reminds me of some of the things my 18yo and I have bought for her room. And I’ll confess that my husband and I have a star & cloud projector for our own bedroom ceiling. It’s a lot of fun to talk and snuggle under the stars from the comfort of our own bed.

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Karla

That’s so sweet!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Karla

okay that’s cute

Erika
10 days ago

Umm, minus the addition of LED lights these rooms just look like teenager/young adult rooms as they have always been. Am I missing something?

Amy
10 days ago
Reply to  Erika

I was about to say this! I decorated my first apartment in college with twinkle lights and faux flowers. I think the style was cheap and cheerful. But it looked exactly like these spaces! And that was 20 years ago!

Sarah
10 days ago
Reply to  Erika

Mostly agree; the fake vines may be new but pinning everything that speaks to you up on your wall may predate the French Revolution.

10 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Bwaaahahaha!!! Comment of the year right here Sarah! #nailedit

Meredith
10 days ago
Reply to  Erika

I thought so too – band posters, photos of your friends, post cards, collages, twinkle lights, maybe a literal fairy moment… it just feels like the way we all begin to assert ourselves with the things we love. These could easily be photos of my dorm room from 2001… or my sister’s from 1998… or my mom’s from 1975. Which is not a ding! It’s lovely to see how consistently we all expressed this desire to be cozy and inspired. I guess we old ladies just never had hashtag options, so it never got a name. But it looks comfortingly familiar.

Emi
10 days ago
Reply to  Meredith

Meredith -“It looks comfortingly familiar.” Exactly!

Vera
10 days ago
Reply to  Emi

Totally agree! This whole post reminded me of my and my friends’ bedrooms growing up in the 90s and 2000s. The only new parts to me are the vines, candles, and string lights which are all great additions.
This was really fun and nostalgic!

Jessie
10 days ago
Reply to  Erika

As someone who was a teen in the 2006-2011 time period, these look nothing like our teen bedrooms. We were big on bold jewel tones (think boho), teal, black accents and furniture, chandeliers (fake plastic ones hung from the ceiling or even vinyl cutouts on the wall in the shape of a chandelier) – you may remember this style from the early days of pinterest. White walls were not a thing by choice – if your parents would let you paint, you went for a bright color (I had blue walls the literal same color as painters tape – my mom made me help paint over them when I moved to college, which was awful haha). Not many of us were into records, since we were still heavily reliant on CDs. I do think things swing like a pendulum, so this style reminds me more of 70s and 90s teen bedrooms, but with a fresh twist. I wonder if a lot of the readership of this blog was teens in those time periods and thinks “duh, isn’t that what teens have always liked?” Because it was indeed what their generations liked as teens. So interesting!

AnnaLynne
7 days ago
Reply to  Erika

I thought this too! Circa 2007 for me and my first apartment. 💕

Kelly
10 days ago

My Gen Z’s apartment looks pretty much just like the ones above. She wanted to know which plants ‘make vines.’ 🙂
I’d also say that these rooms look like the ones I grew up in in the 70’s. Very Three’s Company. Very nice ‘vibe’!

Lori
10 days ago
Reply to  Kelly

If she’s looking for an easy indoor long vining plant, pothos is def the way to go!

DeniseGK
10 days ago
Reply to  Kelly

Tell her to check out the r/houseplants area of Reddit. Those folks love all plants, but vines are having a real moment right now. They are also very friendly and don’t tolerate blaming the end of civilization on young people. They will tell her everything she needs to know about care of plant babies, where to get the coolest cheap pots, and they loooove taking “family photos” and posting them – she could use it as a visual dictionary and shopping aid.

Cassie
10 days ago

More of this! I love the diversity and fresh perspectives of changing times.

Susan
10 days ago

The first thing my teen wanted in his room was color changing LED lights that spanned his whole room. He just finished designing and building his own computer keyboard that’s clear Lucie, with keys from the early 1990s (same click sound same plastic) that has LEDs built in to the keyboard so you can change what color it glows while using it. I think the biggest reason he has both right now is because he CAN. The technology is cheap and easily accessible. Maybe I might have wanted LEDs in my teen room if it existed back then? This was an interesting post. Thanks for digging this up for this crusty old Gen Xer

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan

Ha! I totally know people who have that keyboard. It’s definitely a thing! LEDs are just so big right now

Suzanne
10 days ago

Last Christmas, my 12 year old niece asked for all the #aesthetic stuff to decorate her room. I’m pretty sure I got her some lights. One of the other things she asked for was a set of printables from Etsy that looked liked scanned in magazine pages and definitely some with the fairy vibe. They looked super low quality, so instead I dug through my collection of postcards and inspiration cards that I’ve received with orders from various brands over the years. She loved them. Now I’m wondering if she also asked for the faux vines. In the 80s, I decorated my walls with actual pages cut from magazines. And posters. Vinyl was stored properly and only for the turntable to play on repeat during hours on the phone with friends. My 17-year old daughter is also Gen Z, but she’s not really into decor. She has an opinion about what she wants, but she doesn’t follow trends. Her colors are cyan (and she’s specific about this), then green and yellow, of the bright original variety. She likes geometric prints. Because of her specific taste, I ended up finding bedding on Spoonflower, because the choices are endless. This was super… Read more »

Suzanne
10 days ago
Reply to  Suzanne

I just checked my nieces wishlist on Amazon, and yes, there are vines, and wall collage collections, and one of those bubble candles!
Bubble Candle – Cube Soy Wax Candles, Home Decor Candle, Scented Candle Set 2 Pieces, Home Use and Gifting https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B08T729R75/

Vera
10 days ago
Reply to  Suzanne

That’s too funny! I guess this post was really spot on!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Oh that’s awesome!! Yay!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Suzanne

totally!

Josh
10 days ago

You hit the nail on the head. This is absolutely what I’ve seen for some. It’s like “Let’s put everything in a room that makes me happy.” Sadly, it ends up looking as if it were styled by a 12 year old, but this post is definitely it.

Jenni
10 days ago

My 12 year old has LED lights around the ceiling of her room, a huge tapestry of a beach scene in pastels, shell throw pillows, pink chair, macrame, etc. She’s just missing the vines but I’m sure that’s coming soon! Her friends all have similar rooms too.

Liz
10 days ago

Aesthetic could just be called “teen style” because it’s pretty much how my teen room looked in the 90s. We had to use Christmas lights instead of those LED lights, but we did have awesome neon phones!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Liz

oh fun!

Lindsay
10 days ago

Adorable! I now recognize what’s happening in my nieces rooms. What a breath of fresh air. Love it.

10 days ago

Let’s just take a moment of silence (we boomers) to acknowledge that in this way at least we grew up unaware. Did we have style at this age? I would say not per se. Social media has brought a level of visual self-identity to being a person, at least in families with resources, that was unimaginable when I was young. (Carry on. No judgment at all, just observation.)

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Lisa

yes it’s totally interesting!

Sherrie S
10 days ago

I know what this should be called, “Bought everything at Urban Outfitters”.

Rusty
10 days ago

My mentee is right in this mix, she turns 20 this month!
In fact, we were scrolling some styles and she connected with the Avant Basic-type pics quite a bit. She probably has a tad more boho in her personal style though, but the vines are a thing, too!
Great research, Mallory…who knew?!

EMILY, PLEASE EMAIL ME BACK ABOUT DOING THIS YOUNG WOMAN’S SAFE HOUSE ROOM MAKEOVER.
I shared your blog about Pen+Napkin with her and she read your comment about wanting to help makeover her room by providing a venmo budget…she keeps asking if you’ve responded to my emails yet.😳😳

Please, please don’t let her down. 🙏🙏🙏
She’s been through so much physical and emotional abuse and she was so boosted when she realised you were “famous” and you’d offered to help her. She immediately followed you on Instagram as a result.
Rusty 🤔

Rusty
9 days ago
Reply to  Emily

I will.👍👍👍

Roberta Davis
10 days ago

I can picture a lot worse looks. Seems all very upbeat, which is great for a bunch of kids who have been stuck at home, in their rooms, for close to 2 years. This boomer says, “I dig it!”

A.B.
10 days ago

fascinating – thanks for sharing! seeing how younger generations reuse and reinterpret older trends is what design growth is all about

Rhonda
10 days ago

I can confirm the Aesthetic room is currently a thing in my daughter’s room right now. She also painted her ceiling a beautiful navy blue, which I was extremely skeptical of when she asked, but looks amazing with her LED lights. She hasn’t done the records or album covers yet, mostly photos and our dog. But I love her room. It’s one of my favorite rooms to spend time in when the purple LED lights are going. Sadly, she’s a teen girl and doesn’t want her mom chilling in her room all that long. She gives me a little time though before I’m booted out of her faux fur hang-a-round chair. 🙂

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Rhonda

ha!

Ali
10 days ago

So according to my 13 year old daughter… Something is “aesthetic” if it contributes to the style or “good vibe” of the room or outfit or lifestyle. It isn’t a particular style. Not all aesthetics include LEDs, vinyl records, or plastic vines. Those things are aesthetic because they contribute to style/good vibe the decorator is going for. A shelf of old books could be “aesthetic” if you are going for an academia aesthetic. Flowery dresses with poofy sleeves are “aesthetic” if you are going for cottagecore. But, you can always combine elements to create hybrid aesthetics like cottagecore academia, which is a lighter and more floral academia. Aesthetics can also be part of a lifestyle. You might listen to music on a record player or read old copies of books or press flowers or drink tea/coffee in aesthetic cups or live in a certain place that matches your desired aesthetic and contributes to a good vibe in your daily routine.

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Ali

yes definitely! We’re just calling it ‘aesthetic’ because it’s how you can find this style by using the #aesthetic, so some people have lumped on to calling it that and we went with it. I completely agree cottegecore and dark academia are definitely different styles but can have some crossover too!

10 days ago

I genuinely genuinely love all of this. My teenage self would have DIED for a room like these and honestly, my 34-year-old-mom self would too.

Milo
10 days ago

Fascinating!!

Kaiulani
10 days ago

I have two soon-to-be-step sons (12& 16) and there are LED lights and small neon lights shaped like the moon, stars and planets in their rooms. Also my brother just added LEDS to my 7 year old nephews room this past weekend. It certain is a look for this generation.

Angelica
10 days ago

I love thinking about decor trends as a reflection of what’s going on in the world. This pandemic has taken a toll on everyone but the youth have had to shoulder a lot at such a young age. They’ve had to miss out on events and going out and I think it’s so interesting to see them trending towards kitchsy and whimsy in their rooms/homes during such a dark time.

I def agree with lots of postmodern and pop art style foods and fruit decor really shining right now.

Sandberg
10 days ago

Fantastic article. Thank you for making sense of why my daughter’s room looks this way.

JO
10 days ago

The avant basic is giving me Clueless vibes.

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  JO

yes totally!!

Stefanie
10 days ago

This style isn’t new. I’m Gen X and this is what my bedroom and most of my friends’ bedrooms looked like when I was a teenager. Christmas lights, magazine collages on the ceiling, excessive amounts of tchotchkes on shelves that made me happy. Most of my friends were creative types with parents who let them be themselves. I think that was less common back then so maybe the style wasn’t real a mainstream thing.

Jill
10 days ago

Thank you so much for this post! My tween daughter has been describing things as “asthetic” for the past several months and I have been telling her “honey, I think you’re using the word incorrectly” 😂 Now I get it. She also asked for plastic vines and led lights to go around her ceiling last year (I personally don’t care for the led light vibe at all though). Thank you so much for helping me understand what is going on!

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Jill

haha that’s so funny! of course!!

10 days ago

Thanks for keeping my Gen X self in the know about what the kids like these days! (Seriously, thanks).

Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Holly West

thank you for reading holly! xx

Elise
10 days ago

Boomer here – I had to smile at some of these rooms. They do look like typical teenage rooms throughout the decades. Records on the wall, favorite bands/singers, flowers, twinkle lights. Any of these rooms could be from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. Fun stuff! “Everything old is new again”

10 days ago

So fun! I’m a 46-year-old extreme minimalist, and these are not my personal style…but this was one of my favourite posts ever! I love getting a peek into another “world,” and as a college dean and professor, many of my students are in their early 20s. More please!

KD
10 days ago

This is 100 percent the vibe the teen in my world is going for. Thank you! Now I get it. (*feeling old)

Paula Carr
10 days ago

Looks very girly and a little juvenile to my eyes. Guess I am an “old” after all. Also, I first thought of the Aesthetic Movement (which I love, btw) that was a big thing briefly at the end of the 19th C. This is so not that. LOL.

Barbary
10 days ago

does anyone else think that “Aesthetic” is the VSCO Girl of the design world?

Lauren
10 days ago

I feel like this might be the oldest I’ve ever felt (as a 35-year-old elder Millennial)!

10 days ago
Reply to  Lauren

HAHA this made me laugh. because by the time I got to the “e-girl/e-boy” thing, I officially grabbed my cane to go pour myself a bowl of shredded wheat. So fun to see (and brought up fun memories of my childhood room, what with its plastic bead curtain behind the door that would get tangled in my hair every time, my lava lamp, inflatable chair, blue rope LED lights along the perimeter and half-finished glow-in-the-dark stars hanging from the ceiling. Ah, memories.)

vicky
10 days ago

the only positive about this is that there is color again. Other than that, yikes, especially fake plants

Heather DJ
10 days ago

I think these all look like my old dorm room. My mom always said there’s nothing new under the sun.

Bethany
9 days ago

@leefromamerica on Instagram has is another great example of avant-basic. Never knew what it was called! But it’s beautiful

Justine
9 days ago

Such a fun post! Aesthetic takes me back to uni dorms in 2001. Faux vines on the walls, CD murals to throw the light around, lava lamps after dark. And perhaps I’ve been avant basic this whole time? There are a lot of white walls with pastel prints and pops of neon happening around here. I’m 39 😂.

Kim
9 days ago

I have never felt so gratefully old 🙂

Amy
9 days ago

My daughter, 19, uses the word “aesthetic” a lot . . . “I like your aesthetic…” etc., and she’s in to vines and frogs and tiny objects and hand-crafted tea mugs. Seems like you’ve nailed it here.

Christa
9 days ago

Very fun post. Thrift store finds and irony, omg I am just old.

Devin
8 days ago

The wavy edges remind me of Nickelodeon vibes from the 90s!

Susan
8 days ago

GenXer here, and I just googled the “dark academia” style, and I am just loving this look so so so much! All these zoomer styles are so refreshing in comparison to the MCM minimalism we have been into for so long. Well done Gen Z!

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