The Ultimate Guide To Avant Basic Home Design

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Adventurous. Mix-matched. Kitschy. These are just some of the adjectives you could use to describe avant basic home design. A design style celebrating pop cultural items as seen on Refinery 29. Kitten clocks, psychedelic patterns, and groovy designs. This new-age interior décor preference is heavily reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s, and is very popular among zoomers. This happy, loud, fun interior design preference is only growing in popularity, as floral prints, swirly designs, and bright colors allow individual personalities to flourish. The style is about being expressive in your space while using sustainable items to live your day-to-day life.

Avant basic home décor is for those dwellers who love bright colors, indistinct shapes, clashing patterns, and an overall fun sense of weird. There is a no-rules approach to this design that teeters on the edge of a maximalist design. Like all styles though, avant basic has boundaries and specific characteristics. Continue reading for the ultimate inspiration to enhance your avant basic interior.

Less functionality, more personality

Avant basic is a décor preference for those who like to see more of their interests and likes around their home, or in one room. Fans of avant basic prefer personality over functionality. "There was a backlash to Marie Kondo. People were like, 'Wait, I don't want to live like that,'" Fabiana Farina told Architectural Digest. "It's like I don't need to over analyze if it brings me joy. You know what, if it's 1,000 things that bring me joy, then it's 1,000 things," she said. Go ahead, collect those knick-knacks and display them on the shelf proudly. A few more won't hurt.

Avant basic embraces the individuality of the decorator. If you want to hang vines from your ceiling and string them with fairy lights, then go for it. Perhaps you would rather display a favorite souvenir collection or random Polaroids from vacations. Whatever you want to share is on the table. If it brings you joy, use it as décor for your interior. Its purpose does not have to be intentional in order to be displayed. Find your own style of functionality, as there is organization even amid chaos.

Neutral background is a must

There are many moments of color and pattern throughout this style, but not every surface is touched with a splash of texture. The walls are generally off limits when it comes to adding bright shades or busy patterns. Instead, they should be a neutral color, preferably white, as this is the "basic" portion of the design scheme (via Emily Henderson). If you start anywhere, start here. Having fresh, blank walls is perfect for beginning this look in your interior –- a blank canvas ready for you to add your personality.

Choosing a white paint color for the interior of a home is a decision many home dwellers uneasily tackle. "Selecting a white paint seems simple in theory, but I find it's actually the most complicated," interior designer Melissa Rufty told Martha Stewart. "What many don't realize is that white is actually a color." Say what? Yes, this color has undertones, just like any other. Before you finalize your wall paint color, take the selections home and view them under the lighting conditions in your interior. Not every shade of white will look the same as it does in a store. "Whites will give off a pink, yellow, blue, or even green cast," Rufty said. These hues can determine which shade of white paint to cover your walls with for your avant basic base.

Get creative with colors

This is the fun part. The one where you get to create your own blend of colors in your space –- almost every color and every surface goes. Avant basic embraces the bright and loud pastel color palette. "Earth tones and fun multi-color concepts are current trends now," Robert McKinley told Vogue. Just like the image above, your avant basic look can come together by mixing bright orange and pink shades with avocado green, mustard yellow, and deeper tones of brown and blue — a collection of color in one space on a variety of objects.

Channel inspiration from almost any episode of "That 70's Show" and you would be right on track. "The 1970s is definitely on trend in design," Giampiero Tagliaferri said (via Vogue). "The design of the time was fun and sexy but still sophisticated -– I think that heavily resonates with modern audiences." You jivin' yet? For the ultimate avant basic style in your home to be a reality, you must include colors that shout "happy" and brighten your space. Be sure to balance the bright colors with ones that are similar, and create complementary combinations such as aqua, blue, and teal with pinks and yellows. If you are set on adding depths of color, consider painting something other than a wall. "There are lots of ways to incorporate color without having to commit to a wall of color," Kyle Schuneman told Associated Press. "Paint an old media cabinet in a bold purple to make it a hot conversation piece."

Play with shape

A large part of having a successful avant basic interior aesthetic is in varying visual stimulation in your space. A combination of pattern, color, and shape is necessary to help add structure to the look. Try to introduce all sorts of shapes throughout the many interior design elements in the room. From the curtains to pillows and tables, shapes should be in play throughout these pieces, and more.

Incorporating items that have shapes in their patterns is fantastic, but can you be even more inventive — what would the zoomers do? Definitely scour the internet for furniture and accessories in the desired shapes. A pink acrylic Cabrini coffee table by Modloft is just the shape, material, and color fit for the ultimate avant basic home style. Continue to create a cohesive look by decorating with similarly round elements in the room. Round or bolster pillows add congruent movement to the sofa, while poufs are a fun floor accessory for almost any room and living space.

Incorporate fun patterns on plush accessories

All sorts of patterns are welcome in avant basic interior design. If you are just beginning to outfit your interior with bold new patterns, consider what space you plan to decorate, as not everywhere will be to your liking at first. "If you are pattern or risk-averse I would suggest starting with some pillows and a rug," designer Liz Caan told Veranda. "Pick a rug with some colors in it, then pick out the least dominant color in that rug and find a large scale print you love that feels like it belongs at the same party." Create a pattern party in your living space by introducing similar patterns in different designs and colors on a range of pieces throughout the interior. From the pillows to throws, rugs, accent chairs, curtains, and furniture, anything goes.

Stay true to your personality by decorating with patterns in colors you adore. "I really pay attention to how I weave a color through the house," Caan told Veranda. "One color will be more dominant in one room and another in a neighboring room, but all share a few of the same colors." When decorating any one space, the designs you choose often pour out into other parts of the interior. A cohesive design is about thoughtful decisions, even in avant basic. Think about how the colors of your patterns make you feel, and lean into that feeling when selecting ones for your home.

Dress your floor with a unique rug

While avant basic may be new to some homes, it's not a completely unconventional decorative design. This interior style, like many others, uses area rugs for anchoring the look. The goal when shopping for a rug is to choose one that not only fits the aesthetic, but the room, too. This floor décor is what will help determine the structure of your space, so you want to have one that your furniture can fit around. The rug's patterns, colors, and overall impression should all be considered while accessorizing the interior of your home for this look.

Decorating with bright colors is supposed to be fun, right? Go all out to decorate your floor with a bright and colorful area rug. Traffic will surely hasten the wear and tear of the rug, so factor in the material and colors suitable for your lifestyle. Use this opportunity to mix and match patterns, and tie together adjacent colors and shapes within the room. Colorful rugs with geometric patterns, like those available on Amazon, add spark and texture to a space, and are highly favorable for creating an ultimate avant basic look.

Light up your space with dazzling fixtures

Avant basic design is a rule-breaking interior scheme, and as such, needs glam to be complete. Yes. Shiny bling. The best way to add a bit of luxurious pizzazz to your spot is by adding a stunning chandelier. "It just adds that jewelry effect, like putting on a pair of earrings," interior designer Clary Bosbyshell told Veranda. "Even though you might not always turn it on because the room gets such good light, it finishes the outfit." Not all chandeliers need to be made with crystal. You can complete the ensemble and dress your ceiling with a luxurious chandelier in a brass, silver, black, or gold finish, like in the image above. 

If ceiling bling isn't your thing, instead refocus your design efforts on adding some interesting lightning to other surfaces around your home. Sofa tables and end tables are great for adding light fixtures that have patterned designs on the bases, or even their lampshades. Floor lamps are perfect for filling in corner voids and adding task lighting near a sofa or seating area in a bedroom. Aim to have multiple light sources in any given room, as it's common to have at least three (via Lamps Plus).

Graphic art gallery wall

No interior would be complete without something on the walls. Avant basic-inspired designs typically have neutral walls, and while the background may be basic, there is still a need for splashes of color along the vertical surfaces. A gallery wall is just the decorative display you need to help bring the existing colors from the bottom to the top. Choose to highlight your dominant color choice by framing art in complementary colors that already exist in the room. As you glance at the room pictured above, the bold pops of pink and blue take your eye from the sofa to the flowers and then finally to scale the vast collection of eccentric wall art. The white wall is the perfect backdrop for the art to take center stage in this design.

Color is one aspect of art, while imagery is another. You may be asking yourself, "What prints do I frame?" The answer is ordinary things, but in extraordinary ways. Display graphic art as seen on Etsy that depicts natural elements in unnatural hues. Avant basic is about embracing the unusual in everyday items — sort of like an Andy Warhol painting. Flowers, silhouettes, and abstract pieces with vivid pinks, purples, yellows, and greens are favorable. Ultimately, choose the prints and pictures that match your color palette, then add visual interest to the area.

Wiggly mirrors on the walls

When you glance around the room and scan the layers of color, thoughtful art, light fixtures, and patterned pieces, what could possibly be added to elevate these elements even further? A highly reflective, versatile, and purposeful component — a mirror. But not just any rectangular or circular mirror; rather, one retrofitted for an avant basic aesthetic. A wavy mirror, like the Giuseppe wall mirror from Urban Outfitters, is a vintage-inspired natural wood accent piece perfectly fit for the ultimate avant basic home interior. The mirror's edges introduce the movement necessary for bringing the element off the walls and into a three-dimensional landscape, creating movement that tricks the eye and adds something interesting to the room.

Freeform mirrors, ones without frames, that have more organic shapes are perfect for capturing that little bit of weirdness in the avant basic aesthetic. Wall mirrors featuring organic shapes, like the ones at West Elm, finished in brass would be beautiful together, or as part of a gallery wall. These unique shapes are a trendy twist perfect for adding depth and elegance to your avant basic home design.

Add flowers and greenery for natural color

More color, more color, more color. There is not enough color when it comes to decorating in avant basic. You certainly don't need every single color, but it's obviously not lacking. If you are searching for more ways to complement the existing colors, consider using a natural touch of color for your solution. A useful natural feature to breathe some fresh air into the overstimulating space are flower arrangements for the table tops in your room. "Don't match your floral arrangement to your interiors, but complement them instead," Phillip Thomas told Mansion Global. Glance around the room and choose the color you want to highlight. If the room is filled with shades of yellow, green, blue, or purple, find flowers that are different variations — lighter and darker of these existing colors.

Every interior design needs some natural beauty to balance the otherwise hard surfaces in the room. Colorful flowers are naturally beautiful and help soften the overall appearance, but so do plants. Opt to keep the plant variety simple. Stick to bountiful greenery instead with a few potted fig, ficus, or banyan leaf plants. Simple touches of greenery around the room balance the vibe and bring life to the design in a way only a plant can.

Wallpaper the ceiling

Embrace something new when decorating in an avant basic home. Break out of the norms of interior decorating and focus on adding typical home elements in extraordinary ways. Nail your avant basic home décor aesthetic by adding wallpaper to a unique spot in your home. Rather than keep the floral design pictured above on just one wall, continue the pattern onto the ceiling. In true avant basic style, you could wallpaper the ceiling for an absolutely unique visual display. A wallpapered ceiling is sure to capture the avant basic intentions.

Wallpaper is one of those home design decorations that is as versatile as they come. The patterns are plentiful, so choose patterns that fit your vibe. Pick a pattern that not only complements the space in color, but in design, as well. Start the project facing away from any windows and beginning your wallpaper sections in a lengthwise direction (via Wallpaper from the 70s). Be sure to match any sections that meet up at the exact matching points in the print so they align for a flush finish.

Decorate with bubbly candles

Look to accessorize your avant basic interior with common decorations in unique forms. Continuing the idea of ordinary objects in new ways, it's time to add something that will warm up your space, literally — candles. They are a decorative item that can lend the perfect touch of understated elegance. For an avant basic look, don't just decorate with the typical pillar or tapered candles, but rather, bubble candles. Bubble candles, like the cube shaped ones you can find on Etsy, are everything basic and weird that you need on your table tops. They can help tie together any other round or sphere-shaped designs you may have in the room.

Bubble shaped candles, as seen in the image above, can instantly become a conversation piece when noticed. The unique shape alone makes it ideal for the avant basic decorator, so if you're itching to get the look for less, make some of your own. If you're crafty, try making some bubble candles using your favorite molds, scented oils, and colors (via Stylist). Homemade or purchased bubble, U-shaped, or other distinctly shaped candles are twists on the basics fit for the ultimate avant basic interior.

Collect sustainable furniture and decor

Sustainable furniture is built in a way to have minimal impact on the natural environment. So, what you're looking for as part of this design is furniture crafted from natural or recyclable materials. Often, these items are created with recycled woods and plastics. The ultimate way to be green is to reuse. "The number one benefit to designing a home that uses sustainability-made furnishings is that you're supporting a local business while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of that item," designer Becky Shea told Apartment Therapy.

In today's zoomer generation, the idea of items that could last a while and be environmentally friendly are paramount. Sustainable décor doesn't always mean you have to buy the newest item built with compostable materials; it could also mean reusing what you have, or upcycling. Vintage furniture from an old bedroom or family member can be given a whole new look with a fresh coat of paint, or some new pulls and handles. These pieces add personality and the avant basic swag you're looking for in this style.

Use scale to have a symmetrical design

Similar to a maximalist style, avant basic is sensory overload. Even in the chaos, though, you must have balance. "Choose pieces with similar colors or pieces that use the same pattern on different scales," designer Andra DelMonico told Insider. "Try to spread these around the room to give a sense of symmetry." The concept of creating symmetry eases the focus and pleases the eye. Pair together a small print with a larger one, like in the room pictured above. This sensation is what will give all the patterns a sense of connection.

The abundance of geometric patterns, squiggly lines, pastel colors, and fun fixtures are what inspires avant basic design. Elevate your home with this bold and bright interior aesthetic for a contemporary, modern atmosphere. Avant basic challenges decorative norms, incorporates nostalgia from decades past, and is at time deliberately unattractive. Shop with conviction, and decorate your space with colorful yet sustainable pieces. Use these inspirations to create the ultimate avant basic interior at home today.