Want a trendy home? Cover it in clutter like Princess Anne! Gen Z TikTok users are putting all their ‘stuff’ on display in #cluttercore trend inspired by posh British homeowners
- The English country house has long been a source of interior design inspiration
- Princess Anne is the poster girl with her delightfully cluttered living room
- Gen Z TikTok users are celebrating the trend with #cluttercore
- Aesthetic involves putting all of their favourite trinkets, prints and vases on show
With her penchant for sensible suits and a hairstyle that’s remained unchanged for decades, Princess Anne might not seem an obvious Gen Z style icon.
But young TikTok users are embracing an interiors trend loved by the 71-year-old royal and giving it a new lease of life on social media.
So-called #clutterecore unashamedly celebrates ‘stuff’ in the home, with everything from vases to animal trinkets all proudly put on show, rather than tidily tucked away in a cupboard.
Think busy gallery walls, clashing fabrics and desks so full of figurines there is hardly any space left to work.
‘If ever there was an interiors trend to set your inner magpie loose, #cluttercore is it,’ interior designer Benji Lewis explained in an interview with FEMAIL.
‘A great one for collectors of anything from ceramics to silver and glass, furniture, books, random artwork and textiles – the antithesis of minimalism, this is the moment to bring it all out and show your personality.’
Unlikely style icon: Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence at home in their delightfully cluttered living room. Cluttered homes, where display cabinets, sideboards and tables are full of knick-knacks, have found a new generation of fans on TikTok
TikTok fans: Interior design enthusiast Vicky is behind this #cluttercore abode in Dublin. The TikTok user celebrates clashing fabrics and quirky trinkets in her joyful design
Bright and beautiful: A woman shared a video of her busy and vibrant #cluttercore home
Who cares if it’s practical? In some cases Cluttercore is about style over substance, as illustrated by this busy desk full of animal figurines and crystals from an American TikTok user
The idea has proved irresistible to young TikTok users looking to express themselves on a budget. Videos tagged #cluttercore have 35million views and can rack up tens of thousands of ‘likes’ from fans looking for inspiration.
Yet the origins of #cottagecore date back to the delightful eccentricity of the English country home and counts Princess Anne among its unlikely fashionable forerunners.
The royal’s living room at Gatcombe Park, in Gloucestershire, is a shrine to clutter.
The walls are decorated in paintings and photographs hung in mismatched frames, while sideboards and display cabinets showcase figurines and family heirlooms.
It seems part of the reason #cottagecore is so popular with young TikTok users is that it is relatively affordable.
It has similarities to maximalism – the ‘more is more’ aesthetic currently in vogue and loved by the likes of Carrie Johnson – and has been described as it’s ‘cousin’, but does not require the same budget.
‘Maximalism, having been embraced by the world’s uber decorators has an implied opulence attached to it,’ Benji continued.
‘Cluttercore says that with a trip to your local thrift shop and careful thought on what you buy, the look is achievable.’
Teenagers living at home can use #cluttercore to personalise their bedrooms, as can university and college students, while first-time renters have an inexpensive way to make the space ‘theirs’ without making major changes.
Always elegant: Interior designer Benji Lewis, who designed this room, shared his tips for chic #cluttercore style, explaining: ‘With the artful positioning of a pair of objects in your decorative arrangement, you’ve got the perfect structure to clutter up as much as you like around them’
Get creative: Benji explained clashing patterns and textures are key to cluttercore, as seen in this room he designed. He added: ‘Pattern on pattern is going to suit a lover of Cluttercore, but get creative with how you do this. Unquestionably a bunch of mismatched scatter cushions on a sofa play to this aesthetic but explore extra ways of emphasising the trend too’
TikTok makes #cluttercore seem like a new idea, but Mr Lewis points out the style is rooted in the delightful eccentricity of the English country home, which has been a source of interior design inspiration for generations.
‘The love we’ve long had for grand country house style – crystalised by the popularity of Downton Abbey – has done heaps to assist our wish to embrace the Cluttercore mood,’ he says.
‘The pleasure to be found in Cluttercore has its basis in the suggestion of heritage items offering some kind of anchoring calm, the sense that a piece once belonging to Granny is going to bring reassurance.
‘Events of the last two years helped to nurture the desire for the trend, none of us knowing quite where to look for stability so we sought to create it in our homes.’
Putting it all on show: Fans of cluttercore love gallery walls and open bookshelves, as seen
Memories: Benji explained that #cluttercore allows people to display priceless keepsakes
While in some instances #cluttercore can look like all-out chaos, Benji insists this doesn’t have to be the case.
‘Whilst it might be assumed that Cluttercore eliminates the prospect of a sense of elegance, think again; with the artful positioning of a pair of objects in your decorative arrangement, you’ve got the perfect structure in place to clutter up as much as you like around them.
‘Take the mantelpiece for example; position a pair of candlesticks at each end of your mantel, and then knock yourself out by including a random selection of objects in between.
‘Alternatively for a cluttered yet controlled look, create a sense of sophistication by arranging your bulging bookshelves according to colours on the book sleeves.’
Here, Benji shares his tips for creating a chic #cluttercore look at home.
Want to try #cluttercore at home? Interior designer shares his tips for making it look ‘elegant’ and stylish
Expert advice: Interior designer Benji Lewis
Here, Benji Lewis shares his tips on how to achieve an elegant take on #cluttercore:
Pattern on pattern is going to suit a lover of Cluttercore, but get creative with how you do this. Unquestionably a bunch of mismatched scatter cushions on a sofa play to this aesthetic but explore extra ways of emphasising the trend too.
Look not just at colour and pattern but add interest with different textures too and why not include some fancy fringe while you’re at it.
Pieces of furniture in a combination of period, style and size with ornamental ceramics, bright coloured glass and a stack of books – this all plays to the Cluttercore vibe.
Cluttercore’s not just a homely way of decorating your space, it also offers a golden opportunity to use objects as talking points; souvenirs from travel to far flung climes and framed family photos should be on display alongside a stack of glossy magazines and a plant or two, a modern vase beside a Chinese antique.
For the dust phobic, Cluttercore can still work and glazed cabinets are the solution.
There’s nothing lovelier than a Victorian dresser packed with a collection of blue and white ceramics seen through charmingly wavy old glass.
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