written by
Lynn Dittel

Healing the Inner Child with 46month’s Home Decor

design Fashion 5 min read

Exploring the whimsical world of the Korean design studio and what it means.

If you have been searching for furniture that looks like it comes straight out of a Studio Ghibli movie, look no further: Korean design studio 46month offers exactly that. While their designs are mostly kept simple, as is the current standard in interior design, it is interesting to look at the way they “dress” their products. Using delicate ribbons on billowy shapes and little charms on bright furs the brand sets itself apart in the world of homeware design.

The inspiration behind 46month’s product range reads like a cat and her cat lady designed home decor together, consequently settling on base elements like ribbons, pillows and furs. They offer fuzzy plant pots, house boots and tables, cushioned lamps, stools and cat boxes as well as cat-print- and mirror-pillows. Entering their online-shop is like entering another universe in which girls and cats reign supreme. 46month incorporates femininity in their use of materials and details in an interesting way. Ribbons have been at the forefront of the balletcore and coquette trends and fur is a vital element to the mob wife aesthetic – all very girly fashion trends.

The Ribbon Cushion resurrects a Maryjane ballet flat in the form of a pillow. The throw-pillow is dressed in fabric held together by ribbons in the front, creating three commesurate cut-outs. The two hanging lamps they offer are reminiscent of a ball of yarn you would dangle in front of a cat for them to play with. It comes in chrome and “strawberry” – the lampshade consists of a light-blue fabric with holes all over, mimicking strawberry seeds.

Why not have a pillow that’s as coquettish as your fashion style? Source: 46month Website

The most bizarre product, however, has to be the Cat Tail Goblet, that comes with a furry square coaster. For 29€ you can drink from a glass that has a cat tail printed on and then place it on a piece of faux fur to avoid any water marks around your home. Just like the cat-print pillows, these are obviously humorous designs but they do speak to an audience.

If you want to share your drinks with an imaginary cat, the Cat Tail Goblet might be an essential for you. Source: 46month Website

It comes as no surprise that the customer base is mainly women with “little girl tastes” and “big girl money”. And who could blame them? It seems rather healing for the inner child to own a furry plant pot adorned with little bright plastic charms. However, behind the kind of silly decor the brand sells is a bigger movement. Since before the pandemic many Korean Influencers have started creating videos about homemaking and seemingly mundane, everyday tasks. Their calming and aesthetically pleasing videos show how they clean, cook or fold their laundry. These videos have only increased in popularity over the past few years. Often, the clips aren’t just about chores but come with voiceovers talking about the thoughts and philosophies of the creators. They show the wisdom female homemakers have held for millennia – a wisdom that has often been overlooked due to their gender.

Thuy Dao, whose Social Media channels look like what a live-action Studio Ghibli movie would be, writes “We exist in moments, nothing more” in the caption of one of her reels. Her content centers around her life in the countryside and strangely, just looking at it provides a sense of calm and relaxation. Lee Dah-yeon, the woman behind YouTube channel Ondo, shares with the New York Times that she doesn’t want to be famous and just wants to show her everyday life. Creators like Bak Hae-ri, author of “23, And I Live Alone Now”, appeal to young, single women who are homebodies, especially. She shows how she spends time by herself in her vlogs and how to cook for one (in a tasteful, soothing manner, of course).

Homemaking has long been deemed a feminine duty, with societal norms confining women to domestic roles up until only around 70 years ago. Even in modern times, married women in South Korea disproportionately shoulder household chores, averaging three and a half hours daily, compared to the hour that their husbands put in. On average, single women put more work into their homes than single men. Thus arises the need for spaces that reflect and celebrate individual preferences of Korean women. Given this, it's understandable why a brand catering to young, feminine homebodies would emerge.

Creator umie.haus drinking orange juice from her 46month wineglass.

In addition to their whimsical homeware offerings, 46month extends its world into the realm of self-care. The Safe Cat Set, featuring Palo Santo, pink matches, and an ashtray, caters to those seeking moments of tranquility and mindfulness in their daily routines. Meanwhile, the Ribbon House Set, complete with a scrunchie, ballet flat-esque slippers, and sleeping mask, invites individuals to embrace comfort and relaxation in every aspect of their lives.

In a recent collaboration between 46month and fellow Korean brand Wooalong they have expanded their offering to include nightcap essentials. Their chrome wineglass comes with a denim coaster that wraps around the stem and is fastened by a ribbon. A matching denim winecooler with an oval mirror, a tissue box and a mirror cushion can be purchased along with it. The brand does not just sell cute decorations for the home, they are selling the opportunity to turn a home into a safe haven for young women, where they don’t have to fear ridicule for their interests but can indulge in them.

46month’s unique fusion of whimsical charm and practical homeware design, has captured a growing audience of young Korean women seeking ways to turn their living spaces into sanctuaries. Their cushioned world of fur, ribbons and cats that is more than just homeware, but a retreat into the simplicity and innocence of childhood. The perfect place to come home to after a day in reality.

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