There’s no denying it: the ‘90s and early aughts are back, baby. Fluffy hair and Carrie Bradshaw-inspired baguettes are trending all over TikTok, and the return of Bennifer has taken the media by storm. And, just like a duckling follows its mother, home trends are never far behind. Indeed, the y2k decor aesthetic is trending all over social media, and the #y2k hashtag has over 2.7 billion views on TikTok alone. However, if you’re not sure how to get the look…or if you’d even want to, never fear—we’re here to tell you everything you need to know. See below for a breakdown of the aesthetic, where the trend comes from and, of course, the best products to shop now.
Brace Yourselves: Y2K Decor is Trending
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Wait, Remind Me What Y2k Means, Anyway?
One of the most ironic things about this Gen-Z-adopted trend is that it’s rooted in nostalgia, but anyone born after 1997 is too young to remember what y2k even was. So, here’s the micro-history lesson: y2k, AKA“the year 2000,” actually refers to a computer bug that caused mass hysteria in the late ‘90s. People feared that it would cause planes to fall from the sky and launch nuclear missiles and eventually, lead to the end of the world. You probably remember this. And you’re probably well aware that we’re all still here. But it was a period where people were afraid of the unknown and prepared for the worst.
Sound kind of familiar? After stockpiling toilet paper in 2020, it makes sense that we’re refurbishing some of the most popular trends from another American period of ‘survival mode.’
So What’s The Y2k Aesthetic?
Just as the natural wood tones we saw in ‘90s furniture were a response to the glitz and glam of the 1980s (which was itself a rejection of ‘70s organic minimalism), it’s clear that the current technology-driven y2k aesthetic is our way of coping with oh-so-many recent years of stark kitchens, rusticated shiplap and muted millennial pinks.
As for what this new style looks like…well, when we think 2000s style, our minds automatically envision Paris Hilton in a sequin mini skirt, saying “that’s hot” into her pink razor flip phone. And we’re not far off. “As seen in the furniture of Scream… fixtures included candy-colored interiors, wood paneled walls, plastics, curvy structures, and Verner Panton-esque sets that could’ve come straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey,” explains Alexandra Fiorentino-Swinton of MODA Blog. Think landlines that look like lips, bubble beaded curtains, butterfly wall art, and lava lamps. So yeah… the quintessential ‘2000s teenage bedroom’ is back—and better than ever.
Gen-Z’s iteration of this aesthetic is, well, very Gen-Z. The look includes various ‘90s staples, like maximalist gallery walls, lucite side tables, squiggly mirrors, and lots of happy, pastel hues. But it’s also about displaying mementos from the 2000s. We’re talking Bratz and Barbie collages, neon Pac Man signs and Hello Kitty tufted rugs (all of which are surprisingly chic?). For furniture, think inflatable chairs and iridescent acrylic tables. For décor, think old skateboards, CDs and disposable camera photos displayed in fuzzy photo frames. The final look falls somewhere between Men in Black and Lizzie McGuire.
Get The Look: