Minimalism is followed by excess: with the cluttercore trend, many young people in particular are following a furnishing style that could hardly be further removed from Marie Kondo. This could also have something to do with the pandemic.
It is often said that the condition of our living spaces can be a mirror of our soul. In the last few years, so-called home accounts on Instagram have often featured beige and light tones, rather empty walls and lots of free space – the only thing that is somehow standing around is usually at most a vase with pampas grass (in beige, of course). Marie Kondo left her mark – the minimalist furnishing style seemed to have caught on and found its way into homes around the world.
Getting by without odds and ends and not hoarding things that you obviously don’t really need shows that you have your life under control. But if you want to be a bit more critical, you could also say that very minimalist living areas quickly look boring and bare, and above all often uniform.
Cluttercore trend: orderly chaos instead of minimalism
For some time now, young people in particular have been turning to a trend that’s pretty much the opposite of the minimalism obsession. Under the hashtag #cluttercore you can find rooms and entire apartments on TikTok and Instagram that are packed with pieces of furniture, pictures and various small objects in bright patterns and colors. “Clutter” is roughly the English word for odds and ends, “core” means core. Other furnishing trends are named according to the same principle, such as “Comfortcore” or “Cottagecore”, which, like Cluttercore, make a feel-good atmosphere their main feature.
In living rooms that are furnished according to the “Cluttercore” aesthetic, this feel-good atmosphere is created by the motto “More is more”. Photographs and posters often hang on the walls next to colorful post-its, snippets cut out of magazines or framed concert tickets. Small plastic figurines and books are collected on shelves, with plants climbing between them. Whole colonies of cuddly toys and colorful cushions on patchwork quilts are enthroned on sofas and beds.
Will Marie Kondo now be followed by overcompensation in the form of random chaos? In fact, “Cluttercore” is much more. If you take a closer look, you can see that everything is not as random and thrown together as it seems at first glance, but still follows a kind of common thread. Even if colors and patterns are usually colorfully mixed, small things are lying around everywhere or hanging on the walls – everything usually follows a certain color scheme and a certain aesthetic. Where something has its place is carefully curated and coordinated.
Corona pandemic has changed the meaning of your own four walls
Some proponents of the furnishing style on TikTok themselves take the view that the cluttercore aesthetic is not pure maximalism, i.e. a random accumulation of things. A user explains on TikTok: It’s more of an “organized chaos”. “It’s about proudly displaying your favorite things.” These are often various small objects that tell a story and have a special meaning for the owner. With the furnishing style, you want to create the same feeling that you get in a cozy antique shop. So the trend also has a nostalgic background, which is about preserving and displaying souvenirs that say something about yourself.
The trend emerged in 2021 and could therefore also have something to do with the corona pandemic. After all, everyone was spending more time at home, and the need to provide more color and nostalgic memorabilia in their own four walls for a greater sense of well-being could have grown as a result, especially among young people. They felt the restrictions the hardest in their everyday lives. In the meantime, the pandemic is no longer so present in everyday life and in the minds of many, the restrictions in most countries are no longer an issue. Cluttercore is still a trend, however.
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I am a 24-year-old writer and journalist who has been working in the news industry for the past two years. I write primarily about market news, so if you’re looking for insights into what’s going on in the stock market or economic indicators, you’ve come to the right place. I also dabble in writing articles on lifestyle trends and pop culture news.