It was probably somewhere in 2007 when I first heard the word hipster & googled it. It was a confusing thing to discover. I hadn’t heard the label before, but suddenly I could strongly identify with it. And people didn’t seem to like hipsters… why are lifestyle choices suddenly open for everyone to judge & mock? Should I change? I’m happy I’ve changed a lot since then, in the sense that I couldn’t care less what other people think of me.
In the past few years the hipster has become a reviled creature, with almost every young comedy show (think Perfect Couples & more recently New Girl) having episodes centered around obnoxious, ridiculously dressed caricatures who talk about everything ironically.

Refinery29 did a hilarious post called ‘32 signs you’re living in a Hipster Apartment‘ I knew I had to share the photos & list here. There is no doubt that the term hipster has become far too ubiquitous, & that almost every 20-something (or their grandparents!) own. But since I seem a lot like this, I see no harm in ‘taking back’ the word.

But I thought we could set all of that aside for a bit & just see what we all own from these pictures? The second picture is most like my home, but I identify with all of them on some level. Lots of stuff that I either already own, or want.

Full list of stuff

Picture 1

1. Decorative antlers adorning the wall, with bonus points if the animal they’re attached to is mythical — like a Jackalope or a unicorn. I like rooms that look like this, but I can’t bring myself to decorate my home with dead things (except leather furniture). I came close to picking up an almost-intact bird wing in Goa, but I couldn’t do it!

2. A chalkboard wall (passive-aggressive roommate notes, optional). Definitely considered doing this. Maybe not a whole wall but a small section at least.

3. A “Keep Calm And Carry On” poster. Meh. Too mainstream.

4. Ironically bad art including, but not restricted to: kittens, Anne Geddes, Thomas Kinkade, Fabio. When did kittens become ‘bad art‘?!

5. Light-up or neon wall art. Neon is lovely! I need to get my hands on some.

6. A French bulldog named something inanimate, like Snack, or too-human, like Derrick. I can’t keep pets, BOO. 🙁  But if I could, I’m a pure cat lady.

7. Wood-sanded floors covered in over-dyed Kilim rugs. Tiles are yuck. I’ve wanted wooden floors since foreverrr.

8. A terrarium collection. A plant nursery visit had been pending for a while. Definitely wanted to get my hands on some succulents, not as a terrarium but in mini planters.

9. A vintage record player setup — or, for the hardcore, a tape deck-only situation. I have a decent record collection, but no turntable.

Picture 2

10. A rolling clothing rack stocked with vintage sundresses and varsity jackets. I think these are awesome but not so practical in dusty Mumbai. I’ve had one of these pinned to home board on pinterest for a while.

11. Skateboards used as decorative wall art instead of transportation. I have a skateboard in my room. But it was actually bought to learn (never happened) & I don’t plan on using it for décor. In fact I’m looking to give it away, would any of you want it?

12. A vintage movie poster from Labyrinth. This one gave me goosebumps. Of all slightly obscure 80s films, how did they zero in on Labyrinth? Of course I own a Labyrinth poster (still waiting to get framed) I love that film have an unhealthy obsession with it. I own a Labyrinth t-shirt too.

13. A collection of analog cameras. OK, as most of you know I have a big collection of vintage cameras. But almost all of them work, & I know to use them, so I exempted from this one, right?

14. A (non-functional) vintage typewriter scavenged at a junk sale. I recently acquired one, a white Brother 210. It works! I just need ribbon, can’t wait to type stuff with it.

15. A tangle of white Apple cords for charging all of your iDevices. Guilty!

16. A “Believer” subscription, because, like, how good is that design? I haven’t heard of Believer, but all my favorite international magazines are too expensive to subscribe too. 🙁

Picture 3

17. Obviously expensive tumblers and wine glasses, but coffee mugs exclusively bought at garage sales. I’m just starting a collection of glasses, so I can drink every cocktail in the right kind of glass. And I do have a coffee mug collection, they’re all new & not from garage sales though.

18. A Momofuku cookbook. This only counts if it is prominently displayed. Big NO to this one. I like cooking, but don’t own a single one. The internetz always come to rescue.

19. An ironically tacky clock from a grandparent’s home. May also come in the form of a hula dancer, a plate of bacon and eggs, or a walleye. I wish!

20. Black-and-white photographs clothespinned onto twine. I’ve been hoarding materials to make these photo hangers for a couple of years, to be hung ‘after we paint the the house’.

21. A vintage anatomy prop. No thank you. I have considered getting a wooden hand mannequin (traditionally used by artists). 

22. Oh look! Another terrarium. Again? Come now.

23. Any home-brew operation. May include DIY beer, kombucha, or moonshine. I like my alcohol store-bought (or occasionally made by sweet Catholic aunties). But I recently made cold brewed coffee that was so good it tasted illegal, so I’m totally calling this one.

24. A repurposed farm table surrounded by the ever-popular “ghost chairs.” This may sound silly but I’ve really been wanting to get a table with a rustic wooden top made, but we already own a teak & glass dining set, so not happening.

25. A fridge packed with assorted green juices, craft beers, kale, pickles, truffle oil, Annie’s burritos, and slightly graying produce from the co-op. Vintage-style fridges (such as smeg) are gorgeous but sadly not available here. I love stocking it with foreign sodas (like Bellot) & am definitely guilty of sometimes leaving vegetables there to dry up.

Picture 4

26. Art created by “my friend Geoff” that he let go for $75, even though “it’s worth at least, like, double that.” Don’t have any friend-made art, but I do have a lovely light house painting (on chart paper, no less) bought from a street artist in Kovalam.

27. A hanging bike contraption…complete with suspiciously clean wheels. I don’t know to ride a bike. 🙁 I would have made a sincere attempt if I didn’t like in Mumbai (Mumbai=road hell).

28. Cross-stich pillow featuring a swear word, like “Home, F******-Sweet Home.” This is such an awesome idea! 😉

29. Reclaimed movie theater-style reclining chair. Nope. But a bulky & extremely comfortable leather Lazyboy for dad & a more petite hot pink velvet recliner for me.

30. Midcentury furniture. Or, at least, modern furniture designed to look like midcentury furniture. All I want for Christmas is a local Ikea store.

31. A perfectly mint ’80s Nintendo console, complete with the awkward little bro of the Mario series, Mario 2, in the slot. Not much of a gamer, I prefer using my laptop. Nothing beats AOE III.

32. A couch throw purchased on a recent trip to an “exotic” locale, like Mexico City or Istanbul. How could I ship furniture from abroad? Freight is expensive!

So there you have it. 32 ‘hipster’ items with my comments. How much of this do you own? Do you consider yourself hipster?


Pictures & list taken from Refinery 29. Original article by Connie Wang & Leila Brillson, collages by Ammiel Mendoza.