Is the viral TikTok 'Vanilla girl' aesthetic the new Japandi?

It's a muted, minimalist decor trend that should help you to create a calm home environment

Living room trends 2023 Boucle armchair
(Image credit: Next)

TikTok is full of viral trends – whether it’s a new dance craze or a make-up look that’s getting millions of views. But one of the trends taking over the social video platform at the moment is the ‘Vanilla girl’ craze – and it’s one you’re likely going to want to incorporate into your interiors.

The ‘Vanilla girl aesthetic’ trend has swept across the app over the last few days, with some videos on the trend – specifically focused on how it can be applied to as a home decor trend – garnering over 1.2million views. 

Interestingly, there are some clear similarities between the 'Vanilla girl' trend and some other popular aesthetics that have dominated the interior design space in recent years – such as the Japandi trend (the mix of Japanese and Scandi design), and minimalism in general.

What is the Vanilla girl trend – and how is it similar to Japandi?

It might sound a bit odd to reduce an aesthetic down to a name like ‘Vanilla girl’, but according to TikTokers, the name perfectly encapsulates the feel of this calming, soothing, and minimalist trend – which we reckon could be one of the biggest living room trends of 2023.


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The 'Vanilla girl' trend, in reference to our living spaces, is all about soft, muted tones and warm, textured fabrics.

Like other cosy homeware trends, it’s all about being your most comfortable at home, and embracing your love of the little luxuries – such as faux fur throws, chic-looking scented candles, and fluffy slippers. 

Aman Garcha, interior designer and stylist at Styling Spaces, explained, 'The Vanilla girl trend is all about calm, cosy, yet glam, vanilla tones. It’s very feminine, pretty, and put-together without being in your face. Think pampas, contrasting textures, silk bed sheets, and boucle accent chairs in soft neutral tones.'

Much like Japandi, it is also all about neutral colors, minimalism and simplicity, as well as comfort and cosiness – meaning the parallels between the two are clear to see. 


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Similarly to the Japandi trend, the Vanilla girl aesthetic encapsulates all shades of white, cream and beige. In fact, many of the Vanilla girl videos going viral suggest that shades of off-white (summed up by the catch-all word ‘vanilla), are perfect for creating a calming space that you can retreat into.

In fact, experts reckon that this is why we're so enamoured by the trend – because of how it can provide a boost to our mental health in much the same way as Japandi is believed to.

'I believe its popularity is all down to well-being – neutral colours which are widely used in this trend can evoke feelings of calm and security, and after the unstable few years we’ve had with Covid 19, this is something we all crave,' Aman said. 'Similarly, the cleanliness and simplicity of the trend (like the Japandi trend) is particularly appealing, as a clean and calm space leads to a clear and calm mind.'

'It's also inviting for the cold season. It’s a very ‘soft’ trend and can pull you to stay indoors and in the warmth during the cold winter months.'

How to add the Vanilla girl trend to your home

Unlike with some trending decor ideas, It couldn’t be easier to embrace all the Vanilla girl vibes in your home – and on a budget, too. There’s no redecorating or renovating required – whether you're planning cream bedroom ideas or cream kitchen ideas – as a lot of the Vanilla girl aesthetic is in the smaller details, such as accessories and smaller pieces.

Like the Japandi trend, Aman explained, 'The Vanilla girl vibe is quite minimalist, so the first thing I’d say is to declutter.' Get rid of any unnecessary items in your home, and don't be afraid to be ruthless!

bedroom with white wall and mirror

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

Aman continued, 'You don’t need lots of things to achieve this look, however, layering is key. To do ‘Vanilla girl’ on a budget, try and use what you already have. Move things around, and change accessories like photo frames and cushion covers for more neutral tones.

'And to stop your neutral space from monotone you should always layer the space with contrasting textures. For example, you could have a beige leather sofa layered with taupe linen cushions and a chunky knitted throw. The contrasting shades and textures of all of these items will add interest to your space and stop it from feeling flat,' she said.


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine