Over the past few years, many interior design movements have exploded on social media — from cottagecore to carnivalcore to Barbiecore and more. One of the most eclectic is "aesthetic," a decor trend that is highly personalizable, letting you take what you like from other styles and put it together to create your own unique look.
Yoselin Castro, senior interior designer, Mackenzie Collier Interiors, explains that an aesthetic room is a space that typically focuses more on design over functionality. Common elements of this DIY, eclectic look include fun pops of color, mood lighting, real and faux hanging plants, and informal, personalized decor in the form of photos and posters stuck to the wall.
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"[This aesthetic] became a really popular design to follow on Pinterest not too long ago, and it soon transitioned over to TikTok where people offer different tips and tricks on how to achieve this look in a 30-second video," explains Castro. The feeling it gives off ? "Very young, fresh, and even cozy," she says. "It's a mix of different things put together, achieving a very specific and unexpected style."
"It's very personalized," adds Amy Youngblood, founder and lead interior designer of Amy Youngblood Interiors. "You will hear a lot of younger millennials and Gen Z-ers say, 'This is my aesthetic,' almost like trying to create their own individual style or brand."
In an aesthetic room, Castro explains, "greenery is key." Also, look for pastel colors, lots of layered textures through pillows and rugs, organic-shaped light fixtures in fun colors, and funky prints and patterns on bedding and artwork. "A key characteristic is uniqueness and how your space should be a reflection of [your] personality," says Youngblood. "It's budget-friendly and eclectic!"
One great thing about the aesthetic look? It can go in many directions, incorporating room decor styles from indie to dark academia to preppy, bohemian, minimalist, and more. Scroll on for more inspiration.
24 Aesthetic Room Ideas
1. Incorporate color.
Most aesthetic spaces strategically incorporate color. Like Castro pointed out, Danish pastels, like blush, dusty pinks, sage greens, or pale blues, are common hues that work in these rooms. Graphic designer Ellie Sunakawa turned her living room into a dreamy space through an unexpected sherbet-hued palette and dramatic houseplants. A fringed mirror reflects the sunlight, making the room look twice as bright.
2. Bring in live greenery.
In almost every aesthetic space you will find a plant — or five! Greenery helps bring color and life into a room, says Youngblood. Plants also boast healthy benefits. "It's been shown that plants help decrease stress by bringing the outside into the inside," she explains. We feel more relaxed already just looking at this living room, which photographer Caroline Reichel captured in a perfect golden-hour glow.
3. Hang faux vines.
Hanging vines in aesthetic rooms gives off a lush and natural vibe, says Castro. "The vine feature will make it feel boho, which is often a key element in these kind of spaces," she explains. With faux vines, you can go big and create the feel of an indoor jungle, or you can add just a demure hint of greenery, as in this sweet desk space by Dell of @warmhomebd.
4. Celebrate natural light.
Most of the photos you will find of aesthetic spaces take advantage of natural light. "Natural lighting that feels open and bright while at the same time being cozy and warm" sets the scene for an aesthetic space, says Youngblood. We love the way the sunlight filters through the window in this bedroom nook arranged by @ena_inaday. Gingham fabrics and botanical prints also show a bit of cottagecore influence here.
5. Add ambiance with string lights.
String lights or fairy lights provide a cozy, informal ambiance to any aesthetic space. "They come in a variety of different shapes, such as moons, stars, flowers, and you can't go wrong with the the minimal round bulbs," says Castro. "This light feature is easy to install and gives an instant whimsical touch to the room." In this bedroom by Isilay of @homebyis, string lights hang in front of the window like a curtain, supplementing the warm glow of candlelight.
6. Highlight small objects.
Mindy O'Connor, Principal of Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture + Interiors, suggests interspersing small quirky objects, beautiful books, and framed photographs or artwork, all in muted colors and neutrals, in an otherwise quiet and functional space. This tiny display by @mypastels_ shows great care and attention to detail. The pale green alarm clock coordinates with the art print, whose beige frame looks perfectly at home beside the cream-colored lampshade, calendar, and doily.
7. Choose a fun mirror.
Brighten up your space with the help of mirrors! "One cost-effective way to help brighten and open up your space is by hanging a unique mirror," says Youngblood. Or choose a leaning version, like the wavy option in this room by Mackenzie Collier Interiors. It instantly makes the boho space look fresh and trendy. (If you're looking for a fun project, you can decorate your own arched mirror using this tutorial.)
8. Show off your favorite photos.
Aesthetic rooms are all about personalization, and there's nothing more personal than your favorite photos. If they're the instant kind, even better. "Polaroids fit the aesthetic design because there are infinite ways to display them in a space," says Castro. "They can either be neatly mounted on the wall in order or hung by a string with fun clips! This is where you can get creative." This wood and wire photo display on the wall at Bohemia Beauty Salon would look right at home in an aesthetic bedroom.
9. Mix in funky furniture.
Unconventional pieces like bedside tables and benches are a unique way to show your fun and creative side without having to completely make over your space, says Castro. "These pieces can vary in material, from natural elements like wood and rattan to ceramic tiles in bubble gum pink color. The aesthetic room has zero rules — it's mostly about all things beautiful, so if you love the piece and it's pretty then it is sure to fit right in!" This checkerboard table styled by Miki of Plot Twist Interiors looks extra bold because its mirrored squares reflect the colorful striped rug beneath it.
10. Layer various textures.
An easy way to invigorate your space with aesthetic style? Maximizing texture. "Texture will add so much dimension and will help achieve that cozy warm vibe," says Youngblood. She suggests choosing pillows, throws, and rugs that have different textures and are inviting. In this relaxing bedroom by @olivia__grace._, a faux sheepskin, a knit blanket, tassels, and sheer curtains, all in a soft color palette, come together to create a truly cozy vibe.
11. Personalize your decor.
Creating a collage of unique wall art and photographs makes an aesthetic space your own, says Youngblood. "This will make your space feel more personal and reflect who you are," she explains. You can do this with framed work, or you can take a cue from Elly of @coffee.scented.pages and stick photos, postcards, and even CDs directly on the wall, alongside hanging plants, faux vines, and your favorite books and clothes.
12. Don't forget candles.
Candles not only smell good, but they will also create a soft, ambient light that will make your space cozy, says Youngblood. "Plus, some cute candle holders are a great decor piece," she points out. In this bedroom by Caroline Reichel, candles, green plants, and soft colors work together to create a soothing oasis.
Lighting candles at night will help ease you into a more relaxing mood after a stressful day. (Just be sure to blow them out before you go to sleep.)
13. Add vintage pieces.
Adding a few vintage pieces to your space can go a long way in the aesthetic trend. "Thrifting vintage pieces can be budget friendly and will help your space feel eclectic and unique," Youngblood points out. "It's always a plus if the piece is collected from traveling or has a story behind it." The yellow-toned vintage dresser in this room by Cara of @goldalamode imbues the space with charm. Spots of light that look like they're reflected off a disco ball add a touch of magic.
14. Display a tapestry.
Tapestries have always been a big part of retro and indie style, which makes them an obvious choice for the aesthetic look. After all, not only do they dress up a wall, but they also add cozy texture. You can also use them to cover an old sofa or as a colorful bedspread to upgrade your duvet or bedding set. The bird-themed tapestry in this bedroom by Austin Jungalow sets the color palette for the room, and the round pillows echo the cute creatures' plump shape.
15. Create a canopy.
Need a finishing touch for your bedroom? A canopy definitely delves into the cottagecore aesthetic, but it's also a defining look of aesthetic design. Not only does it make your bedroom all the more cozy, but it creates a gorgeous, fairy-like ambiance to sleep under. Here, a canopy decorates a children's room by @mama.to.mia.and.ayla, but the sophisticated color palette would look just as much at home in an adult's room, too.
16. Reflect the light with a disco ball.
Another fun way to reflect light? Disco balls. "Disco balls are making a resurgence as a fun and unique way to reflect light and add some personality to your space," says Youngblood. We love the way this one shown on Havenstone Home throws light all over a bright pink bedroom.
17. Put up posters.
Posters aren't just for dorm rooms, and there is no better evidence than aesthetic spaces, like this desk area by Shekinah of @_glorystudies. Whether you frame them or hang them old school-style, choosing the right piece can set the tone for your room. Aesthetic posters can incorporate art prints, anime, vintage periodic tables, or even old throwback concert posters from the grunge era.
18. Add cute artwork and plush toys.
Because aesthetic spaces are meant to be personalized, you can decorate them with everything that makes you happy, including stuffed animals and adorable illustrations. In this bedroom styled by @jessica.qmb, a cheerful, kawaii rice ball plush adorns the bed, while a pastel poster hangs above. In a minimalist space, each comforting detail goes a long way toward making you feel at home.
19. Make your space extra-cozy with throw pillows.
Throw pillows are an easy way to add style, comfort, and texture to a sofa or bed. Avoid the matchy-matchy look and seek out contrast — the arrangement above by @laurenjuliabooks is a perfect example. The round orange cushion and yellow square throw pillow add a cozy, personal touch to white bedding, completing the aesthetic bedroom look.
20. Choose whimsical wallpaper.
Wallpaper has come a long way in recent years. Many aesthetic spaces utilize patterned walls to effortlessly transform a space from drab to fab. Not committed to the look? Use peel-and-stick wallpaper, which can be applied without the help of a professional and easily taken down. Large stickers or murals can also dress up plain walls.
21. Embrace macrame.
Nearly every aesthetic space has a little bit (or a lot!) or macramé, a textile created using a knotting technique. If you are feeling super creative, make your own macramé piece. Or, support an artisan by ordering a unique piece on Etsy.
22. Put down a textured rug.
Jute, sheepskin, shag ... pick a texture! Aesthetic decor isn't just about a look, it's also about a feel. A textured rug is a great way to add some major cozy vibes to any room in your home. Take a cue from @tatiana_home_decor and add even more texture through blankets, pillows, and plants galore.
23. Select a playful light fixture.
Swap out a stale light fixture for a more aesthetic alternative. Look for lighting that adds mood and texture. Think rattan, textile, beads, capiz, shells, or anything that adds a touch of the unexpected to your space. These cloud lights captured by Christopher Funk are truly magical, especially in this otherworldly light.
24. Light up your wall with a neon sign.
Looking for a piece of art to light up your aesthetic living room? A neon sign will get the job done. If you can't find one you love, have one made. There are several Etsy retailers who custom make neon signs for less money than you would expect. In this bright Barbiecore space by Kate Rose Morgan, a piece floral neon wall art perfectly fits the room's color scheme.