Apr. 23, 2020

So, What Is Neotenic Furniture, Exactly?


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Last updated:
Sep. 7, 2022 @ 3:17 pm

Just the other day, I was perusing Elle Decor’s list of 2020 interior design trends. Many of them seem to be your classic “grey is in” or “marble’s impractical”. Nothing really surprised me until I saw one slide that read “IN: NEOTENIC FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES“. It caused me to pause. I graduated high school, went to a reputable college but…what the heck is Neotenic furniture? I took the next step and Googled the term. I was in shock to see that I had to do more digging than usual with a casual Google search. But, when my search concluded, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Let’s discover together: what is Neotenic furniture?

What Is Neotenic Furniture?

First, we begin with a little vocabulary lesson (bear with me!). Neotenic refers to Neoteny which is a zoological term meaning “the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal.”.

Um…what? Let’s try this another way. You know when a baby is born, their eyes are larger than life, their ears stick out a little too far and they’ve got all of that rippled baby fat? Yes, all of those infant features that make you get all goo-goo and pinching cheeks and stuff – it’s Neoteny at it’s finest. As they get older, babies grow out of those features but there is something that emotionally draws adults into those fun and playful features.

Are we still talking about home decor? Yes! So how does Neoteny relate to the design of my home? When you think Neotenic furniture, think pieces with over-exaggerated proportions, large feet, and rounded shapes. Isn’t that just children’s furniture? Not necessarily! Neotenic furniture and children’s furniture differ in that Neotenic furniture might be made with fine materials and advanced craftsmanship. A fine example of this high-end approach to fun furniture can be found at A/D/O. Check out some other fun and fresh examples from Pinterest below!

A Look At Neotecnic In Decor

Check Out The Entire Board On Pinterest!

Photo by Zane Lee

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