Since it re-entered the international lexicon in the 2010s, the precise definition of the term ‘hipster’ has been hotly contested. However, this social subculture has several outwardly recognisable traits, including embracing the alternative, celebrating creativity and quirkiness, and encompassing retro styles from several different eras. In interior design, a hipster aesthetic prioritises whimsy, individuality and an appreciation of historical and international influences.
Individuality is paramount
Although the popularity of the hipster movement has led to the designation of certain motifs, clothes and objects as inherently hipster, the trend is fundamentally about individuality and personal freedom. To introduce a hipster edge to your home, begin by considering what your true passions are and how you might express them through interior design. If you love travelling, you could cover one wall of your living room with old maps or create a collage of photographs, paintings, tickets and mementos that remind you of a certain trip. Often, you’ll find that incorporating items currently stored in a drawer or hidden away in an attic is the best way to redesign a room in a way that expresses your personality. Avoid the temptation to collect as many unusual objects as you can find; cherry-picking specific objects that have real character or a story behind them will make a more effective personal statement.
Breathe new life into objects
Economy and creativity are both important hipster traits, so re-purposing forgotten or neglected belongings serves a dual purpose. Converting an old wooden ladder into bookshelves, or using a section of picket fence to hang kitchenware are two examples of economical and attractive storage solutions that are entirely in keeping with hipster style principles.
Release your inner child
A sense of playfulness is essential in a hipster home. Childhood objects such as a vintage peddle-car, hobby-horse or a pinball machine convey a casual, carefree charm and serve as a visual reminder not to take life too seriously. Textiles with bold, colourful patterns or printed animal motifs can be used as cushion coverings, curtains or bedsheets, with beloved stuffed toys placed on sofas or beds.
Keep an industrial edge
A hipster home should reflect the personality of both its owner and the building. Former industrial spaces are ideal for hipster designs, with exposed brickwork or painted breeze-block walls contrasting effectively with colourful furnishings and whimsical personal touches. Wide, bare walls can be covered in carefully-chosen artworks, or you could take a more eclectic approach and hang a vintage bicycle above your fireplace. Warehouse lighting and heavy wooden furniture serve as the ideal counterpoint to regency mirrors, retro art and hand-woven rugs.
Embrace the past
A hipster interior often conveys a sense of irony, rejecting modern conveniences in favour of eco-friendly, old-fashioned options. The most widely publicised example of this has to be the prevalence of fixed-gear bikes, as an alternative to cars. Similarly, inherently retro object like typewriters can be incorporated into your home design as a celebration of a pre-digital way of life, along with rotary phones, framed vintage album covers and transistor radios.
For more guidance on interior design styles, visit Engel & Völkers. With offices and properties all around the world, we have years of experience in helping our clients find homes that perfectly match their personal aesthetic.