ICYMI, Y2k design is a trend that’s taking over feeds of 13-18-year-olds. The look arrived on the heels of COVID-19, where kids have become less concerned with cohesion and making sense of the world, and more interested in radical forms of self-expression. As a result, we’ve seen an uptick in rebellious, turn-of-the-millennium decorating, from vinyl records, neon signs and inflatable chairs to hanging skateboards, disco ball planters and lip-shaped landlines.
"Avant Basic" is the Grownup Answer to TikTok’s Y2k Design Trend
Worried this sounds cool, but a little juvenile? May we suggest you consider Avant Basic, a minimalist approach to Y2k that’s geared towards people of the legal drinking age. The adult version of the look features a more elevated design that layers kitschy 60s and 70s accents with sleek contemporary furnishings. Think: psychedelic patterns, pastel hues and squiggly lines complemented by lacquered finishes, minimalist forms and natural accents. The final Avant Basic look falls somewhere between a funky vacation home your parents rented in 1968 and the Maisons du Monde showroom—sophisticated yet playful, without being prepubescent. And, while both Y2k and Avant Basic trends follow a subversive, “stick it to the man” design philosophy, Avant Basic is far more elegant and timeless.
We spoke to Modsy’s VP of Style, Alessandra Wood, to help break down the trend. See below for Wood’s expert advice on how to nail it like the grown woman you are.
1. Create A Kitschy Gallery Wall
Wood’s first tip is to “create a gallery wall of cool, kitschy imagery that embodies the 60s and 70s vibe.” One way you could do this is by thrifting vintage magazines, ads or albums and framing them as you would with regular wall-art. Wood says you can also “opt for a bright colored pattern to really make a statement” and “lean into color blocking, with large-scale wall murals” for a more refined look.
2. Add In Some Checkered And Swirly Patterns
“For accessories, choose pillows and art that showcase [swirls] and checkered patterns,” says Wood. Basically, if the decor looks homemade or like it was pulled from the set of Mad Men, you’re on the right track. “If making your own pillows is too DIY for you, you can buy a yard of checkered fabric or one with a wavy 60s-inspired pattern and frame it for a super-affordable piece of art.”
3. Thrift 60s Era Furniture And Decor
If there’s one design trend from 2021 that’s here to stay; it’s vintage furniture. However, curvy vintage furniture is an emerging microtrend, and Wood says: “The key to achieving this vibe is to have repetition of curved, bold lines” while maintaining a minimalist approach that’s “dramatic, but highly edited.” Look for curvaceous seating (like the Instagram-famous Cesca chair), tables with rounded edges and slim lighting with interesting angles. “I love to see this trend in pieces of furniture and decor that are made of solid materials such as stone, metal, or wood, mixed with soft, upholstered pieces,” she adds.
4. Use Pops Of Pastel And Bright Colors
Last but not least, bright and pastel colors. Be sure to select decor and textiles that have “patterns in primary colors or pastels,” Wood says. While this doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with easter-inspired-hues, it does mean that you should at least have a few pops of pastel pinks or sage greens to give the array of patterns in your space some cohesion. “Incorporating Marimekko bedding or a piece of furniture upholstered in the iconic mid-century design house’s fabric will make a statement,” she adds.