We’re calling it: The rom-com core look we’re seeing in fashion is going to be big in our homes, too. Here’s how you can get ahead of the trend.
Romantic comedies, or rom-coms, are some of the most beloved movies of all time, and it’s easy to see why. While real life can be complicated and messy, a rom-com will always give you a happy ending, with a few laughs along the way.
Considering the special place rom-coms occupy in our collective heart, it’s no surprise that the annual Pinterest Predicts report says rom-com core—dressing like the lighthearted characters from your favorite feel-good films of the 2000s—is going to be a major clothing trend for the year. Since rom-com core is all about bringing that main character energy to your life, why limit yourself to just dressing like you’re in a rom-com? To get the full experience, why not bring that leading lady lifestyle straight into your living room?
Over and over again, we see trends in fashion later appear as decor trends: Take the popularity of the old money aesthetic, whimsigoth, and modern Americana as just a few examples of the interior design world taking inspiration from the runway. We’re predicting the same progression of rom-com core. You may be seeing rom-com–inspired fashion looks now, but give it a little time, and that cheery, polished look of the spaces in your favorite rom-coms will be popping up in homes everywhere.
We have some great tips and expert advice for achieving a beautiful home that would make the protagonist of any romantic comedy proud. Read on for everything you need to know about rom-com core.
What Is Rom-Com Decor, and Why Is It Trending Now?
One of the key locations in any rom-com is the lead character’s home. From beautiful family homes to aspirational early-adulthood apartments to bubbly bedrooms, the settings create the world the protagonists inhabit and, just like in real life, help set the tone for how they feel. While the plots and characters change, the homes in rom-coms are bright, light-filled, and have a universally welcoming feeling that invites you, the viewer, in. The spaces often reflect the spirit of the early 2000s heroine, too: slightly quirky, often unabashedly feminine, and always highly polished.
There’s a lot of nostalgia around these movies that makes them appealing, too. For those who lived through them the first time (and maybe even saw them in theaters), they can be pleasant reminders of the past. These are the stories many of us grew up on, and many of these romantic films have shaped how we picture their future lives, creating strong emotional ties to the decor and other visual elements that appear in them.
“It’s as if you are stepping back in time to your own childhood home,” says Nicole Regan, founder of the lifestyle blog Cedar and Rush and content creator behind the witty tribute account What Would Nancy Meyers Do. “There’s something familiar and cozy with Nancy Meyers’s sets. Lots of layers. Perfectly imperfect. Classic and traditional with a splash of coastal. Approachable and timeless.”
For Gen Z, the spaces that appear in classic rom-coms are time capsules to a simpler, pre–social media era that they never truly experienced. For these younger viewers, it’s less about recreating the past and more about taking the fun, carefree energy of the period and running with it. And that impacts how they’re adapting the design themes, too.
How to Get That Classic Rom-Com Look in Your Home
Rom-com core is an idealized version of the everyday. Even if the main character is a young woman just starting her career, she will have nicely framed artwork, a styled coffee table, and an apartment that feels like a home (and probably a quirky roommate or two).
The spaces we see in these movies are always spotless and clutter-free, and anything left out on a counter or vanity is purposeful and pretty (you can take some hints from the clean room aesthetic to copy the look!).
The Nancy Meyers–Style Home
The Nancy Meyers homes show an idealized adulthood, so if you’re a millennial who wants to create the dream home you’ve fantasized about since you first saw Father of the Bride (parts one and two!), channel your inner Diane Keaton and trade trendy pieces for traditional decor in soft, warm colors.
“You want your home to feel alive and lived in,” Regan says. And focus on the details: “Pretty labeled olive oils. A stack of books. Slipcovers. Dim lit lamps always (way more flattering, too!). Homemade treats on cake plates. Candles. And the most important item of all ... a fab white kitchen!”
There are also some things that Regan says you would never see in this genre of film.
“Bright overhead lights. Big brand baked goods in plastic containers. Furniture purchased from all the same store. Faux plants,” she says.
The rom-com core look is authentic and collected, so take your time putting together a look that you’ll love for years. These films are the perfect inspiration for a family forever home, so don’t rush your happily ever after decor.
Rom-Com Decor for Early Adulthood
Since Gen Z has different reasons for being drawn to these rom-coms—and are in a different stage of life—they may be attracted to other aspects of rom-com decor.
If you want to lean into the more youthful take on the theme, look for inspiration in movies such as 13 Going on 30, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, or Legally Blonde. (You could even look to recent rom-coms that pay homage to the classic movies of the ’90s and 2000s, like Do Revenge or To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.) These blockbusters show starter apartments filled with feminine patterns, pastel colors, and pops of pink, and although they might not be realistic budget-wise for someone just starting out, they can still lend a lot of inspiration.
Cara Newhart, interior designer and founder of the website Never Skip Brunch, says you can mimic the looks from these movies with thrifted furnishings that are original to the era—think a wood vanity or velvet tufted sofa—and new inspired-by pieces to help get the look on a budget. And Newhart says not to be afraid to embrace the funky style of the early 2000s with “unique and playful design choices like bold, kitschy decor items,” including disco balls and fluffy accent pieces that also feel very in line with the currently popular Y2K clothing trend.
Rom-com core decorating is all about those details that create a cinematic look.
“[Try] romanticizing small moments in your home through vignettes and styling: Think an aesthetic coffee corner, styled bathroom shelves that house essentials [and] luxurious spa-like treatments,” Newhart says. “[Take] an overall focus on enhancing these small areas of the home that are part of a daily routine to bring in ‘main-character energy.’” Because that’s what designing your home is all about: creating an environment that allows you to write the story of your own life.