Have you ever looked at cottagecore and really loved the idea of it but just found it a bit, well, unrealistic and unachievable with your real life demands? Maybe you treasure trinkets and valuable items you’ve found on your journey but don’t really want to give up all of humanity and become a goblin? Well, then, may I introduce you to the visual aesthetic for your bedroom that’s taking over TikTok, Instagram and Twitter: cluttercore.
As i-D explains, last month, TikTok user @mDugy, real name Micah, shared a video using the famous excerpt from the Howl’s Moving Castle soundtrack used in cottagecore montage videos, confessing that “people always ask me what my aesthetic is, may I present: cluttercore.”
Cluttercore, as he demonstrates seconds later, is the antithesis to Marie Kondo’s minimalist lifestyle, inspired by the organised chaos and over-decorated environments of Studio Ghibli’s magical homes. Rooms decorated in Victorian and Edwardian furniture, walls covered in old time-y frames, tapestries, photos, dry flowers and viney plants, bookshelves from floor to ceiling stacked with books, records, trinkets and treasured items, all closely stacked next to each other in a cluttered yet organised chaos.
From a glance, it may look like mere hoarding or a bit “stressful,” but for Micah and others, it’s not about that. Rather, the aim of cluttercore is to show off as much of the things you love and that represent you, decorating your room with as many vintage things that bring you joy.
“Cluttercore is in no way a promotion of unhealthy hoarding of material objects and garbage, but rather an appreciation of things we can call our own,” Micah explained to i-D. “Something about rooms that have pictures and paintings on the walls, books stacked, knick-knacks on the surfaces. It just gives a space a sense of security and cosiness.”
“To me, it’s about maximising your space and creating an organised mess where you can let your creativity flow,” added TikTok user @virghoexox, Amanda, 18. “Having weird knick-knacks and other items I’ve collected is one of my main motivations to even create and make art on a daily basis.”
Although please, for the love of God and Facebook Marketplace, don’t decorate your cluttercore home with vintage cursed dolls like one TikTok user’s lil twin demon dolls. As TikTok user @spaceoddititty, real name Marissa and owner of the cursed items, 18, explained her room setup to i-D, “I personally drew inspiration from Victorian gothic styles. I love collecting antique photos and prints from local artists and I had a lot, so it just made sense to display them all.”
“It’s very relaxing to have a room that feels as though it’s entirely made for you, because you’re surrounded by things you enjoy.”
That said, if you do fancy this approach to home design but don’t want to live in a room home to you and a family of four Victorian ghosts, you can have a modern cluttercore living space. Others on TikTok have simply just decorated their room in posters, nifty knick-knacks and obscure vintage furniture.
So, fellow cluttercorists, dark academics and Victorian furniture fanatics, we look forward to seeing your new cluttered-yet-chaotically-organised setup.