Freshly arrived from the United States, comfort decorating privileges feelings over aesthetics. The trend encourages homemakers to forget about design-magazine diktats and instead to create mix-and-match interiors from their own personal bric-a-brac. The results may be a little kitsch. But, at the end of the day, is that really a problem?

Like a familiar calorie-rich dish on a cold winter’s day, comfort decorating is an invitation to enjoy your own foibles with a personal space that speaks to your identity. Perfect for relaxation and cocooning, it offers a guilt-free opportunity to let go and unashamedly be yourself. Given the current state of affairs in the world, it has arrived right on time.

Less than perfect decoration that is well and truly yours

comfort decorating
Image: Courtesy Daniil Silantev/Unsplash

Say goodbye to the fruitless quest for a perfectly tidy, Insta-worthy interior. Bid farewell to fussy magazines and heartless influencers. Instead, get ready to embrace a joyful muddle of mix and match. Disparate objects and styles can be reconciled with juxtaposition and apposition. Minimalist lines and metal pieces can be constructively contrasted with natural, soft-touch materials like linen and cotton. Age-old trinkets can be set out in modern arrangements. Cosy corners, where you can read or enjoy a little sunshine, can be made to co-exist with more organized spaces, like kitchens and entrance halls.

Regressive and in poor taste

comfort decorating
Image: Courtesy Arno Smit/Unsplash

Vincent Grégoire works for the Parisian trend consulting agency NellyRodi. In answer to a question from Homelesty, he offers his two cents on this latest phenomenon: “You can also find this concept in fashion and beauty, and especially in cooking. The more fat and sugar you have, the easier it is to brush aside any scruples or questions. It has a regressive side that borders on poor taste, and is completely devoid of any environmental awareness.” He further adds that comfort decoration clearly responds to a need to feel safe and protected.

An opportunistic fad or a real trend?

comfort decorating
Image: Courtesy Orlova Maria/Unsplash

It might be said that comfort decoration is an opportunistic fad, which trades on our need to seek refuge in these uncertain times. But should home interiors really be the ultimate bastion for a retreat from the world? At the same time, the space for well-being trends in decoration is increasingly crowded: We have already had the snug and cosy Danish art of living, “hygge“, along with various other versions of the same thing from Finland (Sisu), Sweden (Lagom), and Japan (ikigaï).

Do we really need a new concept? Vincent Grégoire is convinced that we do. He sees comfort decoration as a transgressive power that can be deployed to counter storytelling, excellence, beauty and perfection. So where do we sign up?

This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.