Please Don’t Actually ‘Do’ My DIY Style

Interior Design TikTok TayBeepBoop Kaarin

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This week’s TikTok drama involves a mossy mirror, green squiggly paint, and a fair few monster heads.

Yes, we’re diving into the eclectic world of interior design. And if you haven’t lurked around this corner of the internet for a while, let me get you up to speed.

In accordance with the great burning of skinny jeans circa 2021, interior design has also adamantly moved on from its obsession with millennial grey and sad beige décor to the decidedly more colourful and expressive style we see trending today.

And it’s here in this whimsical world of flora framed mirrors and brightly painted ceilings that we find ourselves in the thick of the latest TikTok drama. Even though the actual creators involved seem to have resolved the whole issue themselves, the conversation continues.

What Happened On Interior Design TikTok ?

Last week, @TayBeepBoop (an incredibly popular interior designer on TikTok) uploaded a now-deleted video where she starts off already conceding that she’s “about to be so petty”. It appears the aim of the video is to call out a fellow creator @KaarinJoy for being a little too inspired by her own design style.

Tay broadcasts a series of clips that show her designs, including a moss-framed mirror, a wavy green painted design used as a gallery wall, a blue and green colourway, a gradient-themed room, and— perhaps most controversially —Kaarin using wallpaper that Tay created in collaboration with wallpaper brand Otto. How dare she?

Kaarin then uploaded a response where she expressed her unhappiness of being called out publicly despite having friendly interactions with Tay in private and seemed to be genuinely confused about what she had done wrong. She pointed out that Tay’s videos were often framed as DIY interior design trends, implying that you can indeed ‘do it yourself’.

To Tay’s credit, she then uploaded an apology calling out her own behaviour as “wild and inappropriate”, and even stating that she was grateful for the hate and criticism to point out where she went wrong.

Commenters were unconvinced. Otto themselves even announced they were dropping their collab with Tay. Her apology video is now full of people voicing their support for Kaarin in the comment section, accusing Tay of apologising because Otto dropped her wallpaper collab, and suggesting she uses a ukulele . Ouch.

Can Personal Style Be Copyrighted? 

Watching Tay’s first video is, admittedly, a little unbearable. It’s giving teenage queen bee energy, like not being allowed to wear certain colours because the popular girl has dibs. And the irony in marketing yourself as a DIY girlie but getting mad when the girlies actually do it themselves  seemed to be the biggest nail in the coffin in this particular saga.

Considering the two creators have hashed it out themselves, I think the anti-Tay sentiment is a little harsh. But why public opinion has swung so heavily against Tay is interesting, as is the reason why Tay perhaps felt compelled to speak out in the first place.

Personal style is usually, as implied, a completely personal thing. Our style is developed in response to trends, inspiration, and occasionally ripped straight from a fashion blogger’s feed or out of a magazine. Interior design, too, is a style that’s developed over time. But if I had a chance to have Emma Chamberlain’s exact kitchen, I would not hesitate. Unless I had to choose between that and Dakota Johnson’s one. Hell, sometimes I feel like my entire personality is bits I’ve copied and pasted from my favourite TV shows or cool people I’ve met at a party. Who am I? Sorry, I’m getting distracted.

If Kaarin didn’t have her own sizeable following and even if she did copy Tay’s style to a T, it wouldn’t even be a blip on Tay’s radar. Even with her following, the TikTok audience has made it clear that interior design style cannot be copyrighted, especially if you benefit from people emulating it.

And what have I learned from this whole debacle? Honestly, I’m just impressed people have a style that’s specific enough to be imitable. That’s something I could only dream of, as I haul myself to Kmart’s home section to pick up yet another stock-standard lamp. Plus, this whole saga shows once again how easy it is for a mild disagreement to turn into an all-out flame war online. When this all blows over, I might finally redecorate.