13 Kitsch-Inspired Apartment Decorating Ideas that Will Never Get Old

Hello Kitty

If you’re looking for apartment decorating ideas that will inject more personality into your space, why not give kitsch a try?

There are two types of people in the world: Those who are kitsch-obsessed, and those who… well, aren’t. Kitsch is thought to be cheap, tacky, and over-the-top, which can be true – if you use it wrong. Done wrong, your home will look like a carnival. But done right, it’s the perfect way to add character and whimsy at a super-reasonable price.

If you want to kitsch and tell, go for it! It’s very “Gilmore Girls” (Remember Lorelai’s fuzzy alarm clock? Those were the days.) Here are apartment decorating ideas to keep in mind before you take the plunge:

Keep collections together
This is true of all apartment decorating ideas, whether you use kitsch or not: Collections always look best in clusters, as opposed to being scattered throughout your home. And if they’re a collection of complementary colors, even better.

Display in unlikely places
Use kitsch as a hint of surprise in each room. For example, use kitschy items as bookends, or retro bowls instead of planters. A friend of mine used a roll of ticket stubs as a pedestal for one of her plants, and it looked ah-mazing.

Mix old with new
Also, use kitsch from different eras so it doesn’t look like you’ve stepped into a time machine.

Make sure it suits your personality
Don’t buy kitsch for the sake of it – only buy kitschy items that really suit your personality. For example, when brainstorming apartment decorating ideas for my own, I decided against vintage advertisements. As much as I love them, they don’t suit my personality. Vintage movie posters on the other hand – bam, perfection.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are 13 pieces of kitsch that will never get old (at least, I hope not):

1. Hello Kitty
You’re never too old for Hello Kitty.

2. Dogs Playing Poker
The first thing that goes into every man cave.

3. Kit-Cat Clocks
They’re so ugly they’re adorable. According to their official website, someone has bought a Kit-Cat clock every three minutes for the last 50 years!

4. Pink Flamingos
But just one.

5. Vintage Advertisements
The more ridiculous the advertisement, the better.

6. Typewriters
Nothing tugs at a writer’s heartstrings more, am I right?

7. Fuzzy Dice
They’re practically a rite of passage when you get your license.

8. Lava Lamps
I know, I know, but I just can’t help myself.

9. Polaroids
I don’t care how fancy schmancy cameras become – nothing beats a retro Polaroid pic.

10. Coffee Mugs
It’s crazy, but true: Your entire personality can be defined by your favorite coffee mug.

11. Telephones
Could you imagine the week it would take to call someone using a rotary dial? Sigh.

12. Perfume Bottles
Use the atomizer to feel like a 1950s starlet. And don’t forget the tassels! There must be tassels.

13. Tin Signs
These are basically the only way you’ll get your guy to board the kitsch train.

Do you love kitsch? What apartment decorating ideas would you recommend to newbies?

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Image: Ted Eytan

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).