I am a grown woman who does not need a lamp shaped like a baguette. And yet, it’s been six months since I first laid eyes on Pampshade’s bread-inspired light fixtures, and I’m still experiencing a serious carb craving. The ingenuity really gets me: A functioning lamp, made out of real bread? What a world we live in.
Carb-related decor seems to be popping up more frequently, with certain niche products enjoying a kind of internet fame usually reserved for items with certified designer backing. Take, for example, Smoko’s adorable dumpling ambient light. Or how about the bread pillow that took the Amazon bestseller list by storm?
For Yukiko Morita, the artist behind Pampshade, it all boils down to a very simple (and relatable) passion for bread. The inspiration for the designs came to her while she was working at a bakery and noticed all the unsold bread going to waste. “The more I [got to know] the bread, the more I fell in love with its beauty and power,” she says. Asked who her target consumer for the carb creations is, Morita has a similarly uncomplicated response: “People who love bread. I would be really happy if someone who ‘just likes bread’ could be changed to [think], ‘bread is amazing!’ via my Pampshade,” says the artist.
The whole thing is very wholesome. Carb decor may just be the most literal manifestation of a growing design movement that champions irreverent, tongue-in-cheek decor; design that is playful, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is above all else personal. Everything about these bread-inspired products has this in spades.
Even the product description for Smoko’s dumpling light, which will have you wanting to adopt it as a pet, exhibits this mentality: “His glow creates an atmosphere reminiscent of a romantic candlelit dinner. Except it’s just you, eating dumplings alone while watching Netflix.” Personally, I feel both called out by and instantly drawn to this little lamp, which says something in its own right. I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud at a product description—likely because that would make me look like a maniac, but also because I (as I suspect is the case with many) have been conditioned to consider functionality first when it comes to buying home goods rather than the emotional response they elicit. Perhaps the virality of carb decor proves that we’re ready to shift away from this approach to design.
“I think people who are tired of such common products seek products with a story. Products that have a story enrich people’s lives.”
That’s certainly Morita’s theory on the matter. “Mass-produced products are helpful for people’s lives, however, they have no further meaning because they are already overflowing in the world,” she explains. “I think people who are tired of such common products seek products with a story. Products that have a story enrich people’s lives.”
While this niche trend doesn’t mean that sleek minimalism or high-end design is disappearing, its prevalence does seem to indicate that, as a whole, we’re ready to have more fun at home. If you want to have a croissant lamp perched above a bread-shaped pillow, go for it. After all, your home should make you happy, and what is carb decor if not comfort food for your home? We could all stand to indulge a little.