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Everything You Need to Know About the New Cluttercore Home Décor Trend

If you hear the word clutter and feel like it’s a bad thing—think again! When used correctly, clutter-focused design can completely personalize a room. In fact, it’s become such a movement that there’s now a word for it. Introducing Cluttercore!


But what exactly does that mean? How can you achieve this complex look without going too over the top? If you need questions answered or room-by-room inspiration, look no further than this handy guide into the busy world of Cluttercore.



What is Cluttercore?


For some people, decluttering is an annual spring-cleaning tradition—an effort to rid their homes of “too much stuff.” But, for lovers of collections and maximalism, the word clutter is turned on its head, becoming the central idea in an entire home décor style! Cluttercore is all about artistically embracing, arranging, and displaying everything you love all at once. 


Of course, there’s more to it than leaving a pile of books scattered on your desk or all your makeup on a counter. In this case, clutter is not synonymous with mess—it’s a carefully curated way to show off pieces in your home that make you happy. When done correctly, Cluttercore is an irreplicable style that is completely unique to you, your tastes, and your collections.


Why is Cluttercore Popular?


Clear bottles displayed on shelf

Cluttercore is a direct response to minimalism. While clean marble counters and neutral wall colors reigned supreme a few years ago, many people have grown bored of this void-of-personality aesthetic. Surrounding yourself with items that make you happy helps make your home feel like your own space. 


It’s also a popular design aesthetic because it rarely involves buying anything new. The goal for Cluttercore décor is that you have a personal connection to every item on display, rather than spending money on trendy pieces at your local retailer. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything—but visiting somewhere like our antique malls, where every item is rich with sentimentality, is key. 


When Did Cluttercore Emerge?


If you’ve never heard of this term before, you’re not alone! Compared to other design trends, Cluttercore is relatively new, emerging during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. With people spending all their time in their homes, many began searching for ways to make their spaces feel more comforting. 


People worldwide realized they could redecorate with what they already had, from high school art projects to vintage sports memorabilia and more. After accumulating and displaying meaningful collections and décor in their rooms, many people (mainly Gen Z) began advertising the highly personalized and over-the-top style that is Cluttercore décor on TikTok. It soon took the interior design world by storm and was featured everywhere, from BBC articles to online trend blogs! 


Top 3 Inspirations for Cluttercore Décor 


Bookshelf cluttercore collection of antique cameras

In a Cluttercore bedroom, you can tell that every object has been chosen because the decorator loves it. With three main inspirations behind this one-of-a-kind aesthetic, anyone can learn how to embrace the art of clutter:


1. Sentimental Maximalism


If Cluttercore had a sister, her name would be maximalism. Maximalism is an aesthetic that can be seen in every design era and is known for celebrating excess, eclectic colors, and bold patterns. From over-the-top gallery walls to mixing and matching seemingly clashing fabrics, maximalism is not for the faint of heart. 


The differences between the two styles are slight, with both adopting a “more the merrier” lifestyle, but what sets them apart is that Cluttercore takes the core ideas of maximalism and makes them more distinctive to each individual. The items you see in Cluttercore décor are designed to be personal. Often, every work of art, figurine, or book displayed is a comforting memento to the person’s life rather than a mass-produced piece.  


2. Cluttercore Curated Collections


Cluttercore décor is not strewn about without care—every item is carefully curated. The central idea of this aesthetic is that you love these items so much that you don’t want them hidden away in cupboards and boxes. Everything should be out and on display—but curating these collections is the key to making them work together.


Toy and nostalgic book collections

The word collection is often defined simply as “a group of things,” and that’s certainly necessary in a Cluttercore room! True clutter involves multiples, so whether you’re setting out a collection of Sesame Street figurines from your childhood on a bookcase or filling a side table with spare candles, it’s important to showcase any and all collections you have. 


3. Organization of Cluttercore


At first glance, it may seem like Cluttercore décor is pure chaos. However, to accomplish a livable, cluttered home, organization is key. From knowing exactly where each item goes to playing around with intentional blank spaces near the most filled-to-the-brim sections, designing with Cluttercore takes an extremely organized mind. 


With the right style tips and tricks, you can create a Cluttercore bedroom that feels comforting and cozy—not overwhelming. The key is determining which items feel like they belong in certain places so every surface feels intentionally decorated, not conveniently stuffed. The method to your madness is a personal discovery, so feel free to play around! 


5 Essential Design Elements for Styling a Cluttercore Home


Have you fallen in love with the idea of Cottagecore décor but have no idea where to start? To pull off this crazy and whimsical style, consider these five crucial design elements as you shop for collectibles in Indiana


1. Choose Nostalgic Pieces


Bookshelf cluttercore collection of green vintage items

Clutter without the nostalgia is just junk—and we don’t want that! Since the goal is to have each room feel like an extension of who you are, you should have a personal connection to every item on display. This can include anything from displaying your grandmother’s hand-sewn quilts to hanging your collection of guitars on the wall.  

Ideas for Sentimental Cluttercore Décor

Feeling stumped? Before you shop at a vendor mall event, take a look around your room and storage spaces to see if you have any collections lying around—you’d be surprised what you can find: 


  • Vintage toys

  • Concert posters

  • Elementary school art projects

  • Homemade crafts

  • Perfume collections

  • Favorite vinyls

  • Rocks and seashells


2. Play with Scale


As is common in all design aesthetics, scale is one of the most important visual elements you can play with. If everything was the same size, nothing would stand out—and your Cluttercore bedroom would seem stagnant. As you decorate your shelves and pick out fabrics, make sure to have items of varying heights and widths to create depth in your Cluttercore décor. 


Pro tip: If you’re a fan of mixing bold patterns, by all means, pair together unexpected throw blankets and wallpapers! Just make sure that you have an equal mix of larger prints and intricately detailed prints so that they complement each other while still standing out. 


3. Focus on Negative Space


Collection of vintage books

Just because clutter is the name of the game doesn’t mean every single space has to be covered to achieve the aesthetic. Cluttercore rooms can toe a fine line between interesting and overwhelming, so it’s important to remember to balance “stuff” and the absence of stuff. Leaving a few areas of the room blank can help draw attention to your prized possessions, making them even more meaningful. 


Negative space in a Cluttercore room can be achieved in a few different ways. Leaving one wall blank in a room with a busy art wall, showcasing bare wood floors, or decorating a breakfast table with simple linens are all popular ways to let the Cluttercore décor pop. 


4. Create a Color Scheme


As Cluttercore is all about showing off your personality in your home décor, your color scheme can be anything you want it to be. But, if you do crave a cohesive aesthetic, color is a great place to tie together your variety of collections and home goods. Use the larger furniture pieces in a room as a focal point for your colors, whether it be your bedding or a tablecloth. Let your curated pieces be the accent colors!


Don’t forget that there’s no limit to how many colors you have. Each room of your house can be an entirely different palette. Don’t let any previously believed design rules scare you—in a Cluttercore room, every hue is yours to choose. 


5. Start Small


Gold and copper toned collection on shelf

If you don’t have hundreds and hundreds of collections waiting to be used, don’t worry! There’s no need to rush your Cluttercore home. As you’re beginning your Cluttercore décor journey, start small. Decide on a few key surfaces in your home where you can try out this aesthetic, such as a large bookcase or mantle. That way, you can build your collections over time by visiting different Illinois antique malls, estate sales, and flea markets to create your dream home. 


How to Decorate Different Areas in the Home with Cluttercore


With the tips above, anyone can decorate a Cluttercore room! If you’re looking to dip your toe in the water of this home décor style, try starting with these spaces: 


Gallery Wall for Cluttercore


A gallery wall is a timeless home-décor staple, from ‘70s maximalism styled spaces to family photo walls. With Cluttercore rooms, a gallery wall is all about immortalizing personal memorabilia. Anything can be framed, such as college degrees, ticket stubs, hometown maps, Polaroid photos, personal art projects, and more, to create a mural of all that represents you. 


Cluttercore gallery wall

In order to make your sentimental pieces pop, make sure to add items with texture. Anything can be framed and hung: that embroidered fabric with your favorite saying, a hand-me-down wedding veil, a spare coffee bean bag from your local roaster—the options are endless. 


Cluttercore Bookshelves


In Cluttercore, your bookshelf is one of the most accessible places to show off your style—and we’re not just talking about books. If you have a particularly beautiful collection of Shakespeare’s works, now’s the time to show it off! But amongst your favorite literary finds, feel free to set up your most beloved knickknacks, tchotchkes, and collectible figurines

Ways to Spruce up a Cluttercore Bookshelf:


Kitchen


Often the most organized room in the house, there are plenty of ways to show off Cluttercore décor in the kitchen. Start by taking the cabinet doors off their hinges—crazy, we know! This bare-bones look allows all your favorite dinnerware, serveware, and glasses to be displayed 24/7.


Next, don’t be afraid to fill any space with trinkets, plants, or kitchen collections. Hang all your souvenir mugs near the coffee bar for grab-and-go drinking, switch out the boring lighting for a vintage light fixture, and hang as many ferns and pothos plants near the windows as possible. With a few shown-off collections, your kitchen will feel inviting to all who enter.  


5 Expert Tips for Shopping for Cluttercore Décor


Shelf decorated in cluttercore style

Whether you’re visiting an antique mall in Chicago or attending your favorite vintage event in Florida, these helpful tips should guide you as you shop for Cluttercore décor: 


  • Tip 1: If you don’t love it, don’t buy it! Every single item in your Cluttercore room should be something you love seeing every day, so if you’re not 100% sold on an item found at a Melbourne vendor mall, leave it. 

  • Tip 2: Be bold with mixing and matching. With Cluttercore, you can lean into bold combinations that would otherwise never work—there’s no harm in trying it!

  • Tip 3: Buy vintage pieces and antiques. The same-old, dime-a-dozen items found at big-box stores aren’t going to have any sentimental weight. Even if you don’t have a personal connection with a piece of second-hand décor, they’re still full of history and sentiment. 

  • Tip 4: Look for pieces you can upcycle. With a little guidance, you can paint or stencil furniture, reupholster a chair, or use something in a new way to achieve the look you’re going for.

  • Tip 5: Always buy a good frame! If you come across a sturdy and high-quality picture frame, buy it regardless of whether you currently need it. Eventually, you’ll end up with a movie poster, family photo, or other paper memory you’ll want to display. 


What could be better than living surrounded by your favorite memories and décor every day? Nothing! Embrace the collections that make you, you, and lean into the newly emerging Cluttercore aesthetic for a look that’s all your own. 



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Viola Gray
Viola Gray
21. Apr.

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