The Preppy Room Decor Guide: Decoration Ideas & Inspo
Nov 13, 2023
When you hear the word “preppy,” what immediately comes to mind? The Y2K styles of Abercrombie & Fitch? The glamorous models from Ralph Lauren? The styles worn by Ivy League students. Maybe it’s those bright southern belle pastels that are typically seen in Vineyard Vines or on Lilly Pulitzer designs. In general, this very clean, upper-class, and polished aesthetic is all about timeless sophistication. It’s more than just a fashion statement or a home decor design; it’s a lifestyle.
With its roots steeped in tradition and inspired by classic New England charm, the preppy aesthetic effortlessly combines lavish elements a modern glow, with a touch of old-world glamour. Honestly, there’s plenty of inspiration in this vast aesthetic; you can think of the Ivy League campuses, elegant country clubs, seaside retreats, and homes that give off those strong old-money vibes. So, are you looking into transforming your living space into an oasis of utmost refinement? Well, here’s everything you need to know to help you unlock the key to mastering the art of preppy room decor like never before.
Incorporating Classic Patterns and Prints
So, just about every aesthetic out there is going to have some pattern and prints that help them stand out from every other aesthetic out there. It’s the same for the basic preppy aesthetic since there are so many different types of preppy aesthetics that go with it. So you can essentially combine multiple patterns and designs together (if you want to), and you’d still be on point when it comes to your room decor. For the most part, when it comes to the preppy aesthetic, the designs are timeless, and they give off an opulent feeling without having to feel too luxurious.
- Tartan Plaid: A staple of preppy style- especially in Old Money, Dark Academia, and Ivy League, Tartan Plaid brings a touch of traditional charm to any room. Whether used in upholstery, bedding, or wall art, this pattern adds a cozy yet refined feel.
- Houndstooth: Known for its distinct checkered design, houndstooth offers a sophisticated look that never really goes out of style. Plus, you often see this design in other aesthetics, too. Usually, in the preppy aesthetic, this is usually incorporated through throw pillows, rugs, or even wallpaper to lend a touch of classic flair.
- Toile de Jouy: Evoking images of pastoral scenes and romantic narratives and those adorable French vibes, toile de Jouy is perfect for creating an elegant atmosphere. This screams Old Money if that’s the preppy aesthetic you want to go for. Usually this one is often used on curtains or bed linens to bring that cute French-inspired charm into a space.
But in general, since the preppy aesthetic is incredibly vast, you don't be afraid to mix and match these patterns to create visual interest. You can still maintain that timeless aesthetic you desire.
The Art of Colors: Selecting the Right Palette for a Preppy Aesthetic
Like every aesthetic out there, it’s going to be the colors that help you create it. It’s going to be what ties your whole room together, making it cohesive and relaxing rather than chaotic. So, choosing the perfect color palette is essential when aiming to achieve a preppy aesthetic in your room decor. Since there are so many different sub-aesthetics under the Preppy Aesthetic, they’re all going to vary a tad. But in general, what you’re going to in all of these are:
- Crisp Whites: Start with a clean canvas by incorporating various shades of white throughout the space.
- Classic Neutrals: It’s usually to add some depth, but usually, you’ll find classic neutrals like navy blue, camel, or gray in a preppy color scheme. These are meant to complement the crisp whites and provide a foundation for other vibrant colors.
- Bold Accents: Inject energy into your preppy aesthetic by adding pops of bold colors in small doses. But if you’re going for the Southern Belle or the Basic Preppy Aesthetic, then you’re going to find basically nothing but bold accents. So you might want to Consider vibrant hues like coral pink, kelly green, or sunny yellow for accessories and statement pieces such as throw pillows, curtains, or artwork.
What are the Different Types of Preppy Aesthetics Out There?
So, as briefly mentioned above, there’s actually different types of sub-aesthetics within the Preppy Aesthetic. There’s the Ivy League Aesthetic, which is very similar to Light and Dark Academia- it’s more focused on a posh and polished look. So, the color palette for this is fairly similar to the Academia cores. Think of movies like Dead Poets Society, it’s a pretty nice indicator for the upper class preppy look.
There’s the Nautical/ Coastal preppy aesthetic too. This style draws inspiration from the sea and coastal living, and it’s not to be confused with the Coastal Grandma aesthetic, VSCO Girl, or the Coconut Girl aesthetic either. This preppy aesthetic has more emphasis on lavishness. Just think about yacht clubs and the vibes they give off; it’s stripes, navy colors (contrasting the bright blues that Coastal Grandma and similar aesthetics have), dark browns, and various shades of white and red. The Nautical/ Coastal Preppy aesthetic embodies the timeless charm of coastal living and maritime traditions. It's a style that channels the relaxed yet refined spirit of the sea.
The Southern Belle, also sometimes known as the “Southern Preppy” style, is, of course, influenced by the American South and the traditions they have there. This style definitely contrasts with the other preppy sub-aesthetics because of how bright it is. You’re going to expect a lot of bright pastel colors- something that’s preppy, similar to the basic preppy aesthetic. This style essentially combines the polish of the classic preppy elements with a touch of bright Southern charm.
Last but not least, you’re going to have your Old Money aesthetic, which on its own is technically a part of the preppy aesthetic since this is all about upper-class life and the styles of the rich. The Old Money preppy aesthetic exudes an air of timeless refinement and understated elegance. This aesthetic hands-down conveys a sense of heritage and privilege. It’s very clean, with old elements, and the colors are dark, such as camel, navy, beige, and ivory dominates. It doesn’t flaunt, it’s not loud like the Southern Belle preppy aesthetic, it’s quiet but yet confident.
It's important to note that preppy style is not limited to one specific aesthetic, and in all honestly, it’s best to mix and match elements from different categories to create your own unique, preppy look for your room. The key to preppy style is to maintain a polished and put-together appearance with an emphasis on quality, classic pieces, and a sense of timelessness.
The Preppy Bedroom
When it comes to creating a preppy bedroom, the key is to combine elegance with comfort. Opt for crisp white linens, textured bedding like the Pom Pom Bedding Set, and soft pastel accents to create a serene atmosphere. Remember, less is more - keep the clutter at bay by employing smart storage solutions. You just can’t have a preppy, put-together look in your room if it looks like a chaotic mess.
So, to elevate your space, you might want to incorporate classic preppy patterns like stripes or plaids in your décor. You don’t have to add these, but small touches here or there in any color you like could help. Even if you’re wanting to go for the wild side of preppy, you could opt for the Pink Leopard Print Bedding Set, but if you’re wanting something slightly more subtle with some southern sass, then going for the Tropical Flamingo Bedding Set can definitely do it. But don't forget to add pops of color through accessories such as throw blankets, unique throw pillows, or accent rugs. The whole key is going to be texture; texture is what makes a room feel comfortable, cozy, and, of course, have depth.
The Finishing Touches: Adding Wall Decor and Rugs for Achieving a Preppy Look
When it comes to achieving a preppy aesthetic in your room decor, accessories, the wall decor, and, of course, the flooring are all going to play a crucial role. They are the finishing touches that elevate your space and add elegance and sophistication. Plus, these are going to help you out with whatever type of preppy aesthetic you’re after.
If you’re hoping to create an Old Money look for your room, then having something like the Pink Leopard Furry Accent Rug isn’t going to cut it; it would be for the basic preppy look or even the Southern Belle aesthetic, but not for Old Money. So you’re going to want to ensure that everything complements each other. For example, if you want a preppy nautical theme, then hang framed prints of Preppy Cities and Islands as well having seashell ceramic trays around the room will help. If you want to go basic preppy or Southern Belle preppy, then patterned collage cards can help. Overall, it’s about the colors and designs that you chose for both your wall and your flooring that’s going to help.
Hopefully, this decor guide helps you out. At the end of the day, one of the best things about the preppy aesthetic would be the fact of how vast this truly is. There are so many different combinations out there, and you can essentially create your own preppy aesthetic. So go out there and create a dreamy sanctuary that any upper-class echelon would be proud of!