Kitsch Style: A Bold and Playful Interior Design Choice

Image Source: Are you tired of the same old, conventional interior designs? Do you want to add a touch of uniqueness and creativity to your living space? Look no further! The kitsch style might...

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Are you tired of the same old, conventional interior designs? Do you want to add a touch of uniqueness and creativity to your living space? Look no further! The kitsch style might just be what you're looking for. Derived from the German word "kitsch" meaning "vulgarity, hack-work, bad taste," this design trend emerged in the late 19th century as a rebellion against the lavishness of the upper class. It embraces bright and shocking elements, merging various styles to create an interior that is both captivating and ironic.

Basic Principles and Style Ideas

Kitsch can be interpreted in different ways, offering a wide range of possibilities for self-expression. Initially, it imitated the luxurious furnishings of palaces and aristocratic apartments. But over time, it was embraced by free-thinking individuals who used it as a means to challenge societal norms. Kitsch interiors are characterized by their use of vibrant acid colors, fusion of different styles like eclecticism, boho, pop art, loft, and a disregard for traditional design rules. In a kitsch-style apartment, freedom from conventions is celebrated.

The defining features of a kitsch-style interior include:

  • A plethora of bright and contrasting colors, including neon tones.
  • A combination of styles, colors, shapes, and textures that would typically be considered incompatible.
  • A lack of restrictions, both in terms of quantity and quality of decor.
  • The juxtaposition of expensive and cheap items, old and newfangled elements.

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Bringing Kitsch to Life in Your Apartment

Creating a kitsch-style apartment can be a fun and straightforward process. You can start by incorporating a few bold accessories, revamping your furniture with vibrant colors or rich textiles, and adding unique lighting fixtures. Transforming a classic living room, bedroom, or dining area into a kitsch haven is as simple as a visit to the flea market or a dive into the storage room to find hidden treasures.

For those who lack confidence in their design abilities, taking inspiration from the interiors of ordinary citizens during the times of the USSR can be a perfect starting point. Combining Yugoslav walls, wall carpets, and Czech crystal is a shining example of kitsch. By adding vivid colors like purple walls, yellow sofas, and neon curtains, you can effortlessly infuse the space with the essence of kitsch.

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There are different ways to approach the design of a kitsch-style apartment, depending on your level of expertise and available resources:

  1. Kitsch Lumpen: This is the simplest form of kitsch. It requires inexpensive materials and decorations. Paint the walls and furniture in vibrant and neon colors, and fill the space with diverse and flashy accessories from flea markets or hidden corners of your home.

  2. Psevdoroskosh: This style combines bright colors with elements that imitate wealth, such as plaster stucco, bronze paint for gilding, marble, and natural wood. You can also incorporate reproductions of famous paintings, lambrequins, and ruffles for windows, canopies over beds, and plastic fireplace portals.

  3. Designer Kitsch: This approach requires a higher level of expertise and investment. A professional designer will skillfully combine elements from different eras, styles, colors, and costs. They will use quality materials, unique furniture, and handmade accessories to create a truly exceptional kitsch interior.

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Colors and Materials

In a kitsch-style interior, the mantra is "the brighter, the better." Feel free to experiment with unimaginable and catchy combinations of tones, including neon shades. While vibrant colors are the hallmark of kitsch, it's wise to balance them with neutral hues to create a harmonious living space. Pastel and understated furniture can beautifully complement bright walls, and gray, graphite, or sand-colored accents can act as a backdrop for vivid accessories and fancy furniture pieces.

Kitsch often involves replacing natural and expensive materials with affordable imitations. However, this does not mean compromising on quality. Parquet flooring or stone slabs can mimic more expensive finishes like wood or stone. Plastic wall panels can impersonate leather, brocade, satin, and even paint can imitate gilding. By cleverly using such materials, you can achieve the desired kitsch effect without breaking the bank.

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Wall, Ceiling, and Floor Decoration

Kitsch-style interiors are characterized by vibrant colors on large surfaces, including walls, floors, and ceilings. Linoleum flooring that imitates expensive finishes like wood or stone is often used. You can also experiment with leveling techniques or install 3D floors to create depth and perspective in the space. Additionally, a bold and futuristic carpet can serve as a striking centerpiece. Animal prints, especially leopard skin patterns, and faux fur carpets are popular choices for adding a touch of luxury to your kitsch-style interior.

Walls can be adorned with various types of wallpaper, such as liquid, paper, textured, fabric, embossed, plain, or floral prints. Contrast finishes, including different colors and textures, painting, graffiti, decorative plaster, photo wallpaper with perspective, and imitation of stone, brick, wood, metal, or full-wall mirrors, are all acceptable in kitsch-style interiors.

Ceilings are often decorated with plastic stucco moldings, chandeliers, and intricate patterns. Multi-level ceilings with LED lighting, mirror coatings, painting in palace style, and drawings or ornaments, including those that glow in the dark, are also popular choices. The ceiling offers an opportunity to express your creativity and add a touch of extravagance to the space.

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Textiles and Furniture

When it comes to textiles, opulence is the key in a kitsch-style interior. Fabrics like brocade, satin, velvet, silk, plush, and tapestries can be used to upholster furniture, create luxurious blankets, bedspreads, and covers for cushions. Windows can be dressed with fluffy and heavy curtains adorned with grabs, pelmets, and embossed or embroidered patterns. A burgundy canopy above the bed, vibrant velvet pillows with gold tassels, and fringe accents on sofas can add a touch of kitsch elegance. Don't be afraid to mix and match different styles of furniture. Modern mirror tables, unique wardrobes, neon-lime-colored vintage cabinets, and solid wood sideboards can all coexist harmoniously in a kitsch-style interior.

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Decor, Accessories, and Fixtures

Decor and accessories play a crucial role in bringing out the kitsch style in your interiors. Embrace your inner collector and proudly display your souvenirs, postcards, porcelain elephants, and unique dishware. Don't hesitate to decorate your walls with patterned plates or mix them with family photos in various-sized frames. Shelves can be adorned with rows of beer mugs and handmade dolls. Instead of traditional wall art, consider hanging panels with patchwork or Mexican sombrero designs. Posters in cheap frames can also add a touch of kitsch when combined with contemporary landscapes, reproductions of famous paintings, and pop art-inspired prints. Fireplace portals, candlesticks, and painted figurines can complement the overall aesthetic, along with an abundance of mirrors. Remember, in kitsch, almost anything goes, as long as you master the art of combining incongruous elements in a visually appealing way.

When it comes to lighting fixtures, there are no strict rules in kitsch design. Mix and match central ceiling chandeliers with glass pendants, floor lamps found at flea markets, floral print shades, modern spots, and even high-tech suspensions. The key is to create an eclectic and eye-catching combination that perfectly complements the overall kitsch aesthetic.

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A Subtle Approach to Kitsch

If an overwhelming burst of colors and accessories isn't your style, you can still incorporate elements of kitsch into your apartment in a more subdued way. Balance saturated colors with neutral surfaces and embrace a minimalist approach to kitsch. Introduce a few self-ironic and vintage touches, along with bright textiles, to give your space a hint of rebellious and revolutionary kitsch spirit. Remember, kitsch style is all about embracing your unique personality and creating a space that truly reflects who you are.

In conclusion, the kitsch style offers a refreshing departure from traditional interior design norms. It allows you to create a space that is vibrant, creative, and filled with character. So, go ahead, unleash your creativity, and embark on a kitsch adventure in your own home!

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