young woman crying with caption 'my boyfriend died falling to his death from his apartment. The galvanized steel and eco friendly veneers couldn't support his weight' (inset) galvanized square steel (background)

saweang.w/Shutterstock @nutmaster2269/TikTok (Licensed)

Unhinged home design: The weird animated homes built on galvanized square steel and eco-friendly wood veneers

If you’re confused about all those references to galvanized square steel and eco-friendly wood veneers, here’s what you need to know.


Stacey Nguyen

Pop Culture

Whether you’re renting or buying, we all know how absurd the housing market can be these days. The Unhinged Home Design parody videos tackle this pressing social issue with an equally absurd approach.

This series has overtaken the Internet with bizarre animations, surreal scenarios, and ridiculous home renovation hacks to demonstrate the plight of those who need to make do with tight spaces.

In Body Image

Need your small home to fit your one billion children? Make sure you have some galvanized square steel and eco-friendly wood veneers handy.

What is the Unhinged Home Design meme?

The Unhinged Home Design videos are satirical home renovation animations most prevalent on TikTok. A majority of the Unhinged Home Design meme videos come from three TikTok accounts: Home Design (@homedesign369), designer_bob (@designer_bob), and balla (@dy02449xjp).


Transform a 0 square meter space into a fully function space #roommakeover #roomdecor #housedesign #bedroom #bedroommakeover #bedroomdesign

♬ original sound – Home Design

These videos aren’t simply about maximizing small spaces with clever designs and appliance placements. They also feature humorous and trippy animations with heads floating through ceilings, people walking through walls, and pet tigers pouncing about.

The Unhinged Home Design videos include many generic characters like nameless wives, siblings, and grandparents. But the primary character in these videos (particularly those by @homedesign369) is Little John, a man in a flamboyant green and pink floral outfit. One of the key storylines involves Little John moving into a tiny (“coffin-sized”) apartment after saving enough money to get his own place.

Other plots lean into extra bizarre scenarios, like how to design a room for 1 billion children.

@homedesign369 Bedroom for 1 billion children #interior #interiordesign #decor #decorations #housedesign #housedesignideas #bedroom #bedroomdesign #bathroommakeover ♬ Morsmordre(莫斯莫多) – Crazy Donkey

The home remodels are notably impractical (or unhinged), including things like a shower stall with a bed right above it, a wall-mounted toilet in the shower, and an in-unit fishing pond. Often, the renovations involve excessive modular storage systems and bump-out additions that protrude awkwardly.

Another memorable element of this meme is, of course, the sick beat. The videos are typically (but not always) set to the electronic song “Morsmordre” by Crazy Donkey. 

What do eco-friendly wood and galvanized steel have to do with it?

To maximize and expand these small spaces, Little John (or some other character) relies on galvanized square steel and eco-friendly wood veneers. While these are indeed real construction materials, they’ve emerged as a running gag in the Unhinged Home Design series. Along with using galvanized square steel and eco-friendly wood veneers, Little John also often borrows screws from an aunt.

Here’s more on galvanized square steel as an IRL construction material from educational content creator Francesca Eugénie (@francescapalabrica). Galvanized square steel is basically a steel tube that’s been dipped into zinc to prevent corrosion.

@francescapalabrica Will you be the galvanized square steel to my eco friendly wood veneers #Littlejohn #galvanizedsquaresteel #homerenovation #meme #edutok #eduwow #learnitontiktok #homerenovation #bedroommakeover #housedesign ♬ Morsmordre(莫斯莫多) – Crazy Donkey

And, of course, there has to be a follow-up on eco-friendly wood veneers. Basically, wood veneers are thin wood slices that have been pressed onto manufactured wood to reduce costs. They’re “eco-friendly” in that they usually require less natural wood resources than solid wood or come from managed forests.

@francescapalabrica Replying to @thatone.guy69420 how long did you save up for a 3 m2 home? #Littlejohn #galvanizedsquaresteel #ecofriendlywoodveneer #homemakeover #bedroommakeover #meme #homerenovation #housedesign #learnitontiktok #edutok #eduwow ♬ Morsmordre(莫斯莫多) – Crazy Donkey

Unhinged Home Design meme origin

These trippy animated videos first emerged as serious room renovation videos, but they soon took a satirical turn and earned a spot in the Internet memedom. We can trace the meme’s more earnest beginnings back to TikTok user designer_bob’s 2022 video on building a room for a brother and sister. 

@designer_bob brother and sister can live in a room ☺️#fypシ #foryoupage #roomdesign #kidsroomdesign #designer_bob #bedroomdesign ♬ The Show – Lenka

The first mention of galvanized steel comes from a video by TikTok user Home Design in December 2023. The video basically details a mom who “accidentally gave birth to triplets” and needed to maximize her home to accomodate her children. 

@homedesign369 Small bedroom design for 3 kids #decor #decorations #housedesignideas #housedesign #interior #interiordesign #interior #interiordesign #longervideos ♬ Way Back Home (DJ热播版) – 南辰Music

How does the Unhinged Home Design meme go beyond the animated videos? 

As any proper Internet dweller knows, memes are quick to spread beyond their source materials. This meme has certainly found a life of its own outside of the absurdist animated videos that spawned it.

Cheeky TikTok users have already started referencing the Unhinged Home Design meme outside the context of Little John’s world. Buildings with extra noticeable cantilevered structures, balconies, and bump-out additions definitely won’t beat the galvanized square steel accusations. 

@guappapapa i heard people pay their whole life savings for one of these… #fyp #meme #interiordesign #renovation #galvanizedsteel ♬ original sound – Custodian
@groggymenn2 Finally #littlejohn #galvanizedsteel #galvanizedsquaresteel ♬ Morsmordre(莫斯莫多) – Crazy Donkey
@cg_eclypse #galvanizedsquaresteel #house #housebuilding #meme #viral ♬ Morsmordre(莫斯莫多) – Crazy Donkey

Many have also been eager to detail how they would remodel their own spaces with galvanized steel and eco-friendly wood veneers.

@joshandmattdesign This is going to make zero sense to a lot of people lmao 💀 please find the right audience 😭 #homedesign #galvanisedsteel #design #littlejohn ♬ original sound – Josh & Matt
@sspencerevans I love galvanized steel. The design is very human. #homedesign #bf #pranks #fypp #galvanizedsteel #woodveneer #meme ♬ original sound – spencer

Others have spoofed all the things that could go terribly wrong when you expand your apartment with galvanized steel and eco-friendly wood veneers. 

Like your landlord catching you in the act.

@roberttolppi This didn’t work out #galvanizedsquaresteel #ecofriendlywoodveneer ♬ Morsmordre(莫斯莫多) – Crazy Donkey

Or your boyfriend perishing from the precarious building materials.


♬ Break – alex_g_offline

Unhinged Home Design meme examples

Now, we’ll leave you with a few essential Unhinged Home Design meme videos to get you all caught up on the lore.


Transform a 0.1m2 space into a function house! #roommakeover #roomdecor #housedesign #bedroom #bedroommakeover #bedroomdesign #creatorsearchinsights

♬ original sound – Home Design

0m2 house design #roomdecor #housedesign #bedroom #bedroomcheck #bedroomdesign #bedroommakeover #bedroomdecor

♬ original sound – Home Design

a son a daughter a room design#bedroomdesign #kidsroomdesign #roomdesign #designer_bob #foryoupage#fypシ

♬ Up Beat (Married Life) – Kenyi

#tiktok #fyp #homedecoration

♬ original sound – balla

Design a 0.1 square meter apartment! #roommakeover #roomdecor #housedesign #bedroom #bedroommakeover #bedroomdesign #creatorsearchinsights

♬ original sound – Home Design

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