Your Urban Aunt called and she wants her style back

Oh my giddy Urban Aunt! This interiors trend is all over TikTok. Here's how to get the look and make it last long-term.
Light living room with white sofa and stone fireplacePhotography: Lisa Cohen / Styling: Amy Spargo

The ‘Urban Aunt aesthetic’ is the latest interior trend taking over TikTok. As is the way with so many trends that rise in popularity, it’s the antithesis to what has been everywhere just before it.

In recent years we’ve seen a lot of the beige, minimal style you might associate with Kim Kardashian’s house. Or the all-white look made mainstream by the likes of Three Birds Renovations.

So, it makes sense that now the home design pendulum is swinging the other way. We’re seeing a gravitation towards a lived-in appearance, called ‘Urban Aunt’ by TikTok creators.

The main bedroom with scalloped pillows and a vintage red and orange bed quilt.
This main bedroom combines scalloped pillows with a vintage red and orange bed quilt. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

It earned this name as the aesthetic would be right at home in a cool, cosmopolitan aunt’s home. It feels collected over time and embraces a mix of pattern and colour.

Of course, design afficionados know this isn’t a new look. It’s been done deftly for many years by the best in the business, including the likes of Amy Spargo, director at Maine House Interiors.

In many of the homes she’s designed you’ll see the hallmarks of the Urban Aunt aesthetic. “These collected interiors are timeless and overall interesting spaces to be in, for both the client and friends and family that visit,” says Amy.

Light living room with white sofa and stone fireplace
Refurbishing secondhand furniture is a sure way to inject uniqueness into your spaces. The ottoman in this 1970s Mornington Peninsula home’s living room is a Facebook Marketplace find, reupholstered in Lisa Fine fabric. (Photography: Lisa Cohen / Styling: Amy Spargo)

How to achieve the Urban Aunt aesthetic

Despite the fact the Urban Aunt look has been given a gimmicky moniker that will date just like other trends that are on their way out, the design style itself is surprisingly perennial. If you come upon a home that follows Urban Aunt characteristics in years to come, it likely won’t look dated if done well.

This is because it pulls from different eras and styles. Unlike a home that’s filled with pieces from one store or one style, it’s much more likely to date than a home that has a mix of vintage pieces with modern, high and low, and steers away from trend items of the moment.


Have you heard of the Urban Aunt design trend? Our Style Editor, Brigid, is here to introduce you to this major trend of 2024. Credit to: Nick Glimenakis, Brownstone Boys, Anthropologie, Ali Lahlou, Diachok Architects, Jake Curtis, Claudia Bryant, Michael Sinclair, Tala Fustok, Lucas Madani, Alyce Taylor, Matthew Williams, L.Ercolani, Davey Lighting, Getty Images #urbanaunt #designtrend #interiordesign #2024trend #homesoftiktok #fyp

♬ original sound – Livingetcofficial

How do you make a room full of mismatched items come together? “Start with a hero piece, whether that be a key fabric, rug, or artwork.” advises Amy. “Build the scheme around that central piece through colour, print and/or texture and it will bring the room together in a cohesive way.”

A white living area with blue and timber furniture and a gallery wall.
A view of the main bedroom from the living area in this Sunshine Coast cottage, bursting with colour. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Key pieces to include

Much like the home of a well-travelled aunt, your space should have items that could be from different corners of the globe, with beautiful signs of age and wear. It needs to look lived-in and full of life with unexpected pieces, like leopard-print cushions, that still work well in the mix.

“I always add in a vintage or antique piece – patina brings an ease to a space,” says Amy. “I love layering fabrics and rugs and working with fabrics of different scales. It helps the eye move around a space rather than being one dimensional and boring.”

Cosy cottage in Melbourne bayside dining room with window seat
This cosy, characterful cottage in Melbourne features unexpected prints and bold hues. (Photography: Caitlin Mills / Styling: Tess Newman Morris)

Styling tips

Writer and stylist Kylie Jackes has created many rich and layered spaces for the pages of Home Beautiful. Here, she shares her tips for achieving the Urban Aunt look.

  • Embrace your individuality: “Spaces that are considered and layered with life’s treasures are never bland or soulless. They’re alive with individuality and offer a genuine insight into the people who call them home. Rather than a space which has been styled to create a certain ‘look’ a layered lived-in look feels authentic and is often brimming with personality. They often feel comforting too.”
  • Weave in unique pieces: “The key to interior spaces which feel eclectic and ‘collected’ is to use a mix of unique pieces, which have a harmonious thread. Often a cohesive tonal colour palette, peppered with a few accents is a great way to visually tie together a curated collection so it’s easy on the eye.”
  • Display your treasures: “I love unusually-shaped vases, handmade pieces, original art, a mix of print and pattern and owner’s treasured travel mementos. An unexpected object or two layered within a vignette or gallery wall can add a touch of whimsy.”

Light living room with blue and white sofa and sisal rug
“Every room has its own personality but it all ties together,” says homeowner Clementine of this beachside renovation. (Photography: Lisa Cohen / Styling: Amy Spargo)

Shop the trend: Urban Aunt


Large ‘Bow’ Vase in Lagoon, Dinosaur Designs


The interesting shape and vibrant colour of this sculptural vase will inject individuality into your space.


Rexington Home rectangular leopard velvet cushion, Temple & Webster

$139 (usually $195)

Classic leopard print cushions are cool again thanks to this eclectic TikTok trend.


Inka Arthouse ‘Almond Blossom’ by Van Gogh art print, The Iconic

From $60 (A3 size)

To achieve an interior that will never date, include timeless pieces like this Van Gogh art print.


‘Manila’ machine washable rug, Living Styles

$199 (usually $215)

This oriental-style rug will never date and be a forever piece.


KitchenAid KSM195 artisan stand mixer in Empire Red, David Jones

$799 (usually $1049)

Feel free to also embrace colour in your appliances with a rich red mixer.

Related stories