Cluttercore Is The Anti-Minimalist Design Trend That Embraces More

More is more.

Cluttercore
Photo:

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins

If you have read Southern Living at all in the last few years, you have undoubtedly seen at least one article on decluttering. We've published articles on conquering clutter, decluttering for spring cleaning, how to declutter before the holidays, how to get a clutter-free home in just 31 days. We're pretty anti-clutter. That said, there is a new interior trend sweeping across the internet that we are a wee bit curious about—cluttercore. This decorating style is the opposite of minimalism and allows you to embrace—and show off—all the things you love in your home. Find out if you fall into the cluttercore category.

What Is Cluttercore?

Cluttercore is a maximal approach to decorating where more is more. It's not about making a mess or filling a room with piles of stuff that would make the folks on Hoarders jump into action, but about displaying and arranging what you have and love. As the BBC put it, "cluttercore is not about filling rooms with tat; it's about loving what you already own." It's about artfully arranging a museum wall worth of family photos, instead of one tasteful Tiffany framed print. It's about displaying all your Depression glass or vintage milk glass instead of saving it in the china cupboard for special occasions, just because you love it.

Credenza and Gallery Wall with greenery for Christmas
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins

i-D magazine explains cluttercore as a design aesthetic where "you can tell that the objects have been chosen and displayed with love, their owner keeping them for reasons that may not matter to you, but matter utterly to them."

It's an approach that expresses individuality. Items are carefully curated mementos of a person's life that provide comfort, rather than popular items that everyone has and that aren't nostalgic.

Why Is It Popular?

People have really taken a fancy to cluttercore and social media is filled with mentions. The #cluttercore hashtag has racked up more than 73 million views on TikTok at the time of writing, and more than 29,000 posts on Instagram. Why has clutter taken off after years of minimalism and Maria Kondo preaching the gospel of tidying up? Well, according to Jennifer Howard, author of Clutter: An Untidy History, who spoke to the BBC, the rise of cluttercore may have been connected to the pandemic. "We want to feel safe, we want to feel comfortable, we want to feel protected and taken care of—stuff can act like a literal cocoon," she said.

How Do You Decorate with Cluttercore?

If the word clutter sends you running for the trash and donation bins, you're not alone. But in this context, clutter isn't a negative word. It's just more. This is the kind of clutter that shouldn't stress you out. Showing off those prized collectibles that took years of thrift store hunting should be a point of pride. And you can keep collecting with joy. The knickknack collection you've been building since you were a teen deserves time to shine. The blue and white china that was handed down to you through the family doesn't deserve to only be brought out on special occasions. Stack and stand those pieces on shelves for display and use, and let the colors help set the tone for your room. Remember that walls aren't just for pictures, though a collage gallery wall can be a delight. You can hang baskets, plates, instruments, and kitchen items ranging from pans to rolling pins. Cluttercore can be more and still be organized.

Whatever the reason for the rise of curated clutter, it's a fun excuse to try something new (and bring all that cabbage ware out of storage). But pretty soon, some of us will be back trying to make decluttering a breeze.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles