What is Cluttercore? Embracing a Beautiful Mess!

Cluttercore is a design trend that embraces organized chaos, and encourages us to fill our homes with an abundance of mismatched but meaningful things that make us happy. Cluttercore is not be confused with clutter or hoarding! It’s not about making a mess or filling a room with piles of stuff straight out of an episode of Hoarders. It’s about displaying and arranging what you have so that the details of your most loved possessions stand out! The result is a happy home where we are surrounded by a lived-in mis-mash of things we love. A home that showcases each of our unique personalities. I love that cluttercore encourages us to express our individuality through the things we decide to keep and display in our homes. I’m sharing some of my favorite homes, including mine, that joyfully embrace cluttercore … a beautiful mess!

What is Cluttercore? Learn more about this decorating trend where more is more! kellyelko.com

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What is Cluttercore Aesthetic?

Jennifer Howard, author of Clutter: an Untidy History, was inspired to write her book on clutter after clearing out her late mother’s house and finding “bags of bags, pickle jars, jars of pennies, jars of rubber bands, records … So much stuff!” 

“Forced inside, some people have been decluttering, absolutely, but I’ve noticed others actively re-embracing their stuff. The pandemic has forced us to reevaluate what we have, make better use of objects and space … and also see their value, often for the first time.”

What is cluttercore? This design trend is sweeping the internet and is about displaying more of what you love in meaningful ways kellyelko.com

It’s time to embrace an organized mess, hit the thrift stores and flea markets, then hang those photos, display a favorite collection, surround yourself with lots of keepsakes, books and plants and sentimental mementos and other treasures and knickknacks to create a literal cocoon for yourself in your home.

I’ve been collecting for decades and each thing I choose to display in my home truly brings me joy and also brings back memories of where I bought it, who I was with, or who gave it to me.

It’s time to have fun arranging your favorite things and surrounding yourself with all those quirky objects collected over a lifetime and realizing that sometimes, more is definitely more.

Love this shelf filled with an eclectic assortment of vintage finds including vintage loving cups, paintings and glass jars kellyelko.com #fall #falldecor #falldecorating #shelfstyling #vintagedecor #eclecticdecor #collections #homedecor

Daniel Mathis of Not a Minimalist is the king of cluttercore! He embraces maximalism and says, “I ultimately realized that for me minimalism was a constant battle because collecting is in my blood … and so why fight it? It’s what I love to do. So, I just completely gave in to my passion, and have been collecting with reckless abandon ever since.”

Not a Minimalist Home Tour Here

This home is a perfect example of cluttercore! He displays his favorite finds in meaningful ways

Thoughtful displays are what makes this table look intentional, not messy.

Love this cluttercore coffee table with an artful display of unique vintage finds

This cozy corner in the home of interior designer Jennifer Dengel is filled with some of her favorite things including decorating books piled high and meaningful pieces of art collected over a lifetime.

Jennifer Dengel Interiors

Cluttercore - love this cozy corner filled with art, books and prized possessions

Lala Saks is an interior designer who is passionate about collecting vintage milk glass and she’s dedicated an entire wall of open shelves to show off these pastel hued accessories.

Lala Saks Home Tour Here

Eclectic Home Tour Lala Saks kellyelko.com - this milk glass collection is stunning!

Doesn’t this room scream joy! Zig and Co. displays her favorite collection of vintage rugs turned pillows, blue and white pottery and lots and lots of plants.

Zig and Co Home Tour Here

Love this maximalist home filled with color and pattern

Some of her favorite things include books and blue and white china and Our 1842 Home displays them beautifully all throughout her home.

Our 1842 Home Tour Here

Eclectic Home Tour Our 1842 Home kellyelko.com Love this beautifully collected home in blue and white

Molly in Maine is the queen of cool collections and she beautifully displays her love of oars, vintage art, mason jars, and shoe lasts in her mudroom.

Molly in Maine Home Tour Here

Eclectic Home Tour Molly in Maine kellyelko.com - love this coastal mudroom with dog shower and lots of vintage displays

My plant filled sunroom is my sanctuary and the perfect place to recharge with a good book. I’m always making room for natural elements like plants and unique finds like the vintage swan table and cowhide covered African drum because these things make me abundantly happy!

Cluttercore - love this plant and vintage filled sunroom kellyelko.com

My favorite thing about cluttercore is that it shines a light on the personality of the person who lives there.

Oh no, what do all these vintage drinking glasses say about me?!

Cluttercore - love the way she displayed her collection of vintage drinking glasses kellyelko.com

Cluttercore is all over TikTok and Instagram and I love that millennials and Gen Z are embracing this decorating philosophy. Just search #cluttercore on social media to see lots of examples of people embracing meaningful objects and organised chaos in their homes.

Whether you embrace cluttercore, cottagecore, bohemian style, minimalism or any other decorating aesthetics, always remember that whatever decorating style that you prefer, there is no wrong answer if you surround yourself with what you love and embrace self-expression.

So move over Marie Kondo because cluttercore is here to stay!

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  1. I’m all about cluttercore! I love the cozy feeling my home has when I display my favorite things in a deliberate way. The whole minimalist trend is overrated and makes homes look sterile and uninviting, in my humble opinion. :o)

  2. What an interesting post. I think I land somewhere in the middle. I have several collections but not too many. I’ve always loved collectors. Its in my families blood as well. I love these homes and how they are embracing their collecting bug!

  3. Cluttercore sounds like a clever name for having too much stuff in too little a space. I used to decorate the same way, but as I, and my home, have aged, I have come to appreciate that less can mean more. These homes are lovely to look at in pics, but I would feel absolutely suffocated in some of those rooms (never mind the tripping hazards : ) Don’t get me wrong, I still do have some favorite collections, but I have whittled them down by keeping only a few favorite pieces in each group.

    1. That’s the beauty of decorating … to each their own! I love lots of stuff too but sometimes feel overwhelmed with how much stuff I actually have. It’s all about the art of display and enjoying what we have.

  4. OMGOODNESS!!! This post actually makes me tear up. This weekend we cleaned out my parent’s home. They both passed away recently just three months from each other. I am not a minimalist but also felt taking so many things to put in my house would clutter it too much. I think this might be a wink from my mom in Heaven to say it is ok. Thank you for this post!

  5. That was fun, so glad you did this blog and now I can call my style Cluttercore. I always enjoy your blog, and know it’s a job you enjoy but it’s also hard work, thank you.M

  6. Great post about embracing the stuff we live with and how to display. So often the minimalist look seems to be the way society wants us to go, aka the Marie Kondo thing, but folks like us love what we love and want to live with them. This inspires us to keep doing what we’re doing.

  7. Thank goodness you’ve finally found my description, Kelly! I.Am.A.Cluttercore.Personality!! And all this time, I thought I had a problem with loving stuff…beautiful…detailed…ornate…stuff! And rotating my stuff around for displaying and loving my stuff. My stepdaughter always says my house reminds her of a beautiful antique store with all my beautifully displayed “stuff”. Thanks for letting me know I’m OK!! =) Embrace loving your stuff, Kelly!! Ally

  8. Wow, this exactly describes my style. I didn’t know there was a name for it. I hang way too much on my walls. 🤣

  9. Well.
    I have found my decorating style, I just didn’t know what it was called. Now I do – cluttercore! I have always embraced having my most special and beloved objects out where I can see them, touch them, and remember why I love them. Thank you for putting a name to this way of life.

  10. in the vintage drinking glasses pic…is it possible 2let me know where you got kitchen table ? get it thru you ?

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