As someone who spends well-beyond a healthy amount of time on YouTube and Instagram, I come across countless style trends perpetuated by influencers. Normally, these fads are limited to fashion: awful off-the-shoulder tops revered in partnership with a brand and sold to thousands of viewers as if the influencer’s opinion is an expression of genuine appreciation and a hearty paycheck.
Once covid-19 hit, the influencers I would normally watch comb through the racks at thrift stores, eyeing Urban Outfitters dupes for a fraction of the cost, shifted their focus to the home decor section. What I did not anticipate, however, was a terrible trend that would result: a conflation of “Palm Springs style” with gaudy pastels and garish tiles. Anything ‘80s is in, challenging a long-held obsession with minimalism. I’ve also noticed an uptick in DIY projects. For whatever reason, everyone and their mother has invested in white or light-toned foam furniture—most commonly, a foam-framed mirror, but other atrocities exist, too.
For example, this heinous foot-stool/coffee table that absolutely does not look like a cloud:
According to Man Repeller, the infamous foam mirror is created by squeezing out a shit ton of polyurethane-based insulating foam sealant, the same product meant to fill cracks and gaps in drywall, atop an existing and probably very beautiful frame. (If it looks like it might be toxic that’s because it is, it can take hours after being sprayed for the foamy chemicals to “react,” or “cure,” and become safe.) Why anyone would think foam meant to fill a hole makes for an #aesthetic interior design element is beyond me. Where they see Dr. Seuss-style whimsy, an unusual and quirky trend, I see... popcorn ceilings, poodles, frosting, something that looks like an accident but is terribly, terribly wrong.
Also: Is foam furniture really that unique if every influencer has it in their damn house?
I know it is in poor form to yuck anyone’s yum in this day and age, and I celebrate all those brave and/or energized enough to attempt a home design project. Hell, I painted my first piece of furniture this quarantine, and it made me feel like a Property Brother. But the simple reality of it is... foam furniture is gross, potentially dangerous while applied, and... ugly. Real wood and metal frames are being destroyed, and if foam furniture continues to take off, I imagine it will be assessed much as the heinous carpet trends of the ‘70s and ‘80s when every suburban American covered their glorious hardwood floors with disgusting carpet: we’ll look back with total disdain.
Let’s sit this trend out. No more foam, please.