How Rainbow Décor Became the Latest Cool-Girl Design Staple

Updated 11/01/19

Rifle Paper Co.

Somewhere over the rainbow, a new design trend is being born. And, trust us, this one has no shortage of fun pops of color. 

Like most people, we’ve had an affinity for all-things rainbow from the time we were kids. We’d douse our coloring books in a funky, multi-hued medley. We proudly wave our rainbow flags during Pride month—or every month, really. And, for the sake of the ‘gram, will whip out our cameras anytime we see those beautiful hues in real life. But incorporating our love of rainbows into our home décor? Never. If we’re being honest, it felt a little, well, juvenile.

Until now, that is.

Over the past few months, we’ve been seeing rainbow décor everywhere—and we mean everywhere. Scrolling through our Instagram feeds, in our furniture choices, and even in those chic co-working spaces. 

So what’s the deal? Why is rainbow décor the design trend du jour? 

According to Joy Cho, founder and creative director of color-obsessed site Oh Joy!, rainbow décor is a breath of fresh air from the endless news cycle, heart-wrenching headlines, and polarizing political climate.

“I think we all want to feel happy and inspired,” she explains. “Sometimes the world has sad days and things happen that are out of our control. But we can choose to surround ourselves with people and things that make us smile.”

Erica Majdandzic, founder of a color-fueled feed called the Majdandzics, seconds this notion, arguing rainbow décor is a form of escapism. 

“Modern life is so busy with long days at work and childcare, and weekends full of sports and other family commitments,” she says. “When we’re at home it’s nice to escape into a playful and not-so-serious space, that encourages us to daydream, read, create or just slow down for a while.”

When we’re at home it’s nice to escape into a playful and not-so-serious space, that encourages us to daydream, read, create or just slow down for a while.

“All of our interior walls are brown bricks which brings a drab darkness to our home that can be quite depressing without color,” says Natasha Webb of the Colour Tribe, a popular Instagram account with over 92K followers. “Color and rainbows bring happiness and joy!”

But like Cho and Majdandzic, Webb finds rainbow décor to be visually pleasing and heart-warming. When Webb purchased some rainbow pillows for her home, she couldn’t help but notice how cheery this simple purchase made her space appear. 

“I realized they make me happy,” she adds.

While home décor that makes us happy should never go out of style, rainbow décor runs the risk of feeling too ubiquitous. We mean, there’s only so much you can do with rainbow décor. But according to Cho, it pays to think outside of the box. 

“Rainbows don’t always have to be translated in the traditional way, and I think creating your own take on the rainbow will keep it fresh and always-evolving,” she says. “In some of our décor projects, we were inspired by rainbows but didn’t follow the conventional primary color palette or color order that you’d expect.”

But no matter what decorating approach you take, no space is complete without some great rainbow-drenched products. Ready to add a little color to your space? Check out a few of our grown up-friendly finds below.

rainbow print
Birch Bliss Neutral Rainbow Print $18
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Dipping your toes into the rainbow world for the very first time? Start your collection with this cool-girl approved print. Between the iconic rainbow arch and pared-back color palette, this option from Birch Bliss teeters nicely between subtle and statement.

rainbow tray
Jonathan Adler Dripping Rainbow Trinket Tray $98
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Jonathan Adler’s cheeky trinket tray is the perfect place to stow small pieces of jewelry or your apartment keys.

rainbow rug
Ruggable Absida Polychrome Rug $139+
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We love the retro vibes of this area rug from Ruggable. Best of all? It’s machine washable, so your rainbow will always look its best. 

rainbow rug
Rifle Paper Co Painted Stripe Multi Braided Rug $50+
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Another rug you’re bound to love? This round style from Rifle Paper.

rainbow lamp
Pottery Barn Kids Ceramic Rainbow Lamp $149
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When in doubt, check out the kid’s section for some refreshing rainbow décor. Sure, this lamp is technically from Pottery Barn’s kids department; however, it has our adult seal of approval.

rainbow pillow
Oh Joy! Dancing Rainbows Hook Pillow $40
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We can’t help but smile whenever we see this sweet pillow from Oh Joy! 

rainbow wall hanging
Xavi and Me Rainbow Macrame Wall Hanging $93
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Want to add some texture to your walls? Feast your eyes on this sweet macrame piece from Australia-based brand Xavi and Me.

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