Think of this trend as the fresher-faced sister of the so-called clean girl aesthetic, or the youngest grandchild of 2022’s coastal granny style. As the name suggests, Vanilla Girl decor features creamy, warm neutrals inspired by the qualities of classic vanilla — we’re talking clean lines, soft textures, and designs Simple. But there is another connotation intrinsically linked to this safe choice of flavor, which is a certain kind of “beige.”Loved by some, tolerated by others, vanilla is associated with being simple, unpretentious and a little worldly. Can the same be said about the knit throws, cool colors, and patterned furnishings that define this interior design trend? To find out, we asked some designers.
Lilith is an expert in following news and trends in the world of interior design. She regularly shares stories with readers to help them keep up with ever-changing trends that promise to add personality to the home. In this article, I spoke with interior designers to learn more about what they like (and don’t like) about the Vanilla Girl aesthetic
What is the vanilla girl trend in interior design?
In the past year, many social media trends originated in the fashion world before moving into the interior design space. (See: Barbiecore, the clean girl aesthetic, and the coastal granny trend.) While some have been more subtle and others have been downright bizarre, the Vanilla Girl trend is a more pared-down, minimalist approach to interior design.
“The Vanilla Girl trend is all about muted cream tones and elevated, cozy pieces,” explains home blogger Amanda Casas of Kinda Coastal Home. ‘Bouclé chairs, knit blankets and ceramic-like textures, refreshing elements like pampas grass and beige paint colours. The thing that stands out in the look is the use of ‘vanilla’ tones without fear of looking monochromatic, which was once a design law.’
As Gen Z begins to move in and rent or even buy their own homes (yes, you heard that right), Amanda thinks we should treat these TikTok trends as less frivolous than they seem at first glance. “I think we’ll see more interior trends that focus on this minimalism and minimalism and slowing down the pace of life in general,” she says.
What we love about the vanilla girl trend
One thing the Vanilla Girl trend has going for it is a simple yet luxurious style. Minimalism in interior design tends to look stark and unattractive, but this trend keeps it warm and cozy with an increased sense of luxury.
“The biggest piece of Vanilla Girl style that will take us through 2023 and beyond is the minimalist approach to inner luxury,” says Amanda. “If the Vanilla Girl style teaches us anything it’s that a few pieces of chic neutral decor can give a more cohesive look than the extreme interiors we’ve seen in the past.”
We’re already seeing this coordinated look evident in the design space, and the neutral influences of Scandi designs have proven to go absolutely nowhere this year. In that regard, Vanilla Girl’s direction is on to something, at least.
What we don’t like
The feathery foliage of pampas grass has been a staple in neutrally decorated homes for a while, but truthfully, it has served its time. In fact, one home decorator even says we should leave them behind in 2023.
While it still makes a beautiful addition to your backyard, the idea of decorating dried branches of beige grass in your home is definitely on the way out. There are other dried foliage options that are less of a tacky design at this point, or look for branches and twigs for a more modern finish.
To help add natural depth and dimension, introducing fresh flowers or houseplants can breathe life and new life into your space while also having some unexpected benefits too. Moreover, with so many colorful floral options out there, limiting yourself to neutral colors doesn’t make any sense.
Teddy bear bedding
Teddy bear fleece — plush, plush fabric with soft, teddy bear-like fibers — may sound tempting in theory, but the Vanilla Girl trend’s obsession with wool bedding falls short in practicality. Although it may be warm and cozy, this material is a nightmare to wash and dry, and like any soft fibre, it will collect dirt and dust very quickly. It is also usually made of polyester, which, as we all know, has a certain cheap price. When it comes to how to style a bed, the Vanilla Girl trend really hits the nail on the head.
Chunky knit throws
If covering your entire bed in super soft bear fleece isn’t enough, covering it with a chunky knit throw is where we draw the line. Yes, a cream or gray knit blanket certainly speaks of comfort, but in terms of design, it certainly doesn’t make for a sophisticated, well-rounded interior, no matter what your vanilla girl wants to believe).
We here at Livingetc know how to appreciate a neutral color scheme, and we’re not the type to avoid cozy interior design either. However, from a pure design perspective, the Vanilla Girl aesthetic needs a little work to feel worthy of a sophisticated interior scheme.
Our favorite pieces for a more sophisticated twist on the Vanilla Girl trend
Nuttin, Lulu and Georgia cotton cover