Recently, the Daily News highlighted the latest trend in Brooklyn hipster home decor: the urban teepee. The News reports, "New Yorkers say their appropriations of the traditional Native American dwellings provide a welcome respite from urban life." Oh so, isn't that nice? Isn't is just awesome to appropriate another culture's traditions in order to keep your home on trend? No, it's not. It's really, really not. It's insufferable and annoying and makes me feel pretty confident that these people are also the sort of assholes who wear Native American headdresses and face paint at, like, Coachella or something because they think it looks cute.
But so, I hate this trend. Obviously. I hate the fact that a 23-year-old Bushwick resident (a "nanny and poet") called her teepee "a manifestation of my imagination." I hate that these teepees are inside people's apartments. Are these people with teepees even aware that a teepee is a form of shelter? So that it's therefore redundant and plain idiotic to have one inside a house? Unclear. The News spoke with Ines Hernandez-Avila, the Native American Studies department chair at the University of California, Davis, who concurred saying, “It’s a really strange thing to do. Tepees are not meant to be inside another edifice. They’re meant to be outdoors, secured to the ground, with a hole opening up to the sky.” Not a hole opening up to some hipster's carefully restored and faux-weathered pressed tin ceiling.
The teepee, of course, is just the latest in troubling hipster home design trends. But here are five more stupid ones that I hope, by pointing them out and making everyone feel embarrassed and ashamed, will go away. Shame is, after all, the greatest motivator. And anyone who decorates this way should feel very, very ashamed.
None of you are lame enough to still have a framed "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster hanging up in your apartment, are you? No, I didn't think so. You're not Shoshanna from Girls. There's something even more insidious, though, about the latest trend of just having any old inspirational text framed and displayed in your apartment. The problem with this hipster home trend isn't just that it's ubiquitous, it's that the quotes that are meant to be "inspirational" are usually just stupid. At least "Keep Calm and Carry On" has some historical relevance, being as its original intention was meant to inspire the British population to, you know, keep calm and carry on should England ever face a ground invasion by the Nazis. Luckily, the need for that poster was never realized, but at least those words are actually inspirational. I mean, I saw one that says, "Work Hard and Be Nice to People." Who needs to be inspired to do that? Hipsters, that's who.
Sometimes it feels like the antler-as-home-decor trend will never go away. If there's any one thing in your apartment that will make it look like you're permanently stuck in 2008, this is it. But even more annoying than hipsters having antlers on their walls, is when the antlers get repurposed into something else, something that's supposed to make you forget that these hipsters are decorating with a dead animal's bones. Antlers are not jewelry racks. They're also not handlebars for a bicycle, as seen below. Get a hold of yourselves, hipsters. Stop being stupid.
Brooklyn Neighborhood Ork Poster
Confession time. I had one of these posters. I got it when I thought I might be leaving Brooklyn, way back in 2007. I don't know. I liked it. It was a long time ago. I'm human and susceptible to trends too! Anyway, this poster. It's not that it isn't a clever idea. It is! But it's old. And it's everywhere. And so it feels incredibly, incredibly dated. You can do better, hipsters, you really can.
Books as Decoration
Admittedly, maybe I'm a little sensitive to this because I like books. I like to read them. I like to lend them to friends. I like to take them down from their shelves and rifle through them to see what parts I underlined when I first read them, and reference those pages and remember who I once was and how I once thought. So, it's annoying to me when I see people arranging their books pages out and spines toward the wall because it looks what? More uniform that way? I don't even know. Ugh. I also hate seeing books stacked in fireplaces, because, no. I don't care if it's a non-working fireplace, it still makes me supremely uncomfortable. Even the suggestion of fire and books don't mix. Invest in a bookshelf. Arrange your books by color. That should be a suitable compromise for any design-loving hipster.
Dreamcatchers, Tibetan Prayer Flags, and Other Religious Items from Religions that You Don't Observe
So, this can be filed under the same category as the teepee in the sense of cultural appropriation. Yeah, just like wearing a bindi when you don't know the first thing about the Hindu religion, having a dreamcatcher or hanging Tibetan prayer flags from your ceiling is not really the right thing to do if it isn't part of your own religious or cultural tradition. If you give it just the littlest bit of thought, you'll know why it's wrong. Which is really the running theme with all of these decorating gaffes—they're just totally, stupidly thoughtless. It's your home, you know? You can do better.
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