Childlike, chubby, cute. These are the words that might come to your mind on spotting home decor objects following neotenic design, the latest decor trend on the rise. This new wave of design aesthetic is softening the angularity and rigidity of contemporary objects, giving way to child-like forms and softer structures. Visual and emotional comfort draw adults towards these playful designs.
“We all have a soft spot for childish charms. The burst of young, juvenile energy takes us back in time, to when the seaters were cosier, upholstery softer, and elements rounder. This design celebrates that nostalgia and playfulness, over the sober, straight profiles of mainstream design,” says Punam Kalra, interior designer and creative director of I’m the Centre for Applied Arts, a design studio.
A round face, big eyes, and thick extremities — anthrophomising decor objects and furniture is a big part of the trend, which is a big hit in this era of self-care. “The quintessence of such structures is that their delicate and round appearance gets a positive reaction. You know how when you see a little child on Instagram, and you feel a wave of satisfaction,” says Raghunandan Saraf, founder and CEO, Saraf Furniture.
The world of neoteny leaves an impression of calmness and quirk with silhouettes that twist-and-turn, following no rules—more fluid profiles take the form of common furnishings with a more ergonomic character. ”The palettes get into the shoes of a child by breaking the thumb rules and color theories, while seeking quirky colour combinations that are rather experimental. The material palettes, on the other hand, stir the senses with tactile textures—soft, lumpy and sensational. More décor rudiments come into the play, with tube-like chairs, blobby sofas, roll-able poufs, twisted lampshades and simply unpredictable pieces of art,” adds Kalra.
Incorporating the same in your home is simple but requires planning. “Your existing interior must have some vibrant colours to make these designs pop out. As the shapes of the products are unique, these designs can instill new energy and creativity in your home,” suggests Lokendra Singh Ranawat, founder and CEO, Woodenstreet Furniture.
It is natural for us to seek comfort and escape the volatile era that the pandemic has brought about. And what better way to express it through the objects we choose to create and interact with. Comfort and coziness encourage us to take a break from rigidity and monotony of the environment we live in.