You may have heard the term "cluttercore" in relation to home design, but what exactly does living in a cluttercore-style space entail? To find out, we spoke with Instagrammer Paula Truscott, who runs a home decor Instagram account with her partner, Martin, and proudly embraces all things cluttercore in her living room. "I enjoy looking at things that make me smile or spark good memories," she says. "Embracing cluttercore in a designated space in our home makes it the perfect spot for zoning out and daydreaming."
Below, Truscott chimes in on the basic tenants of cluttercore, comments on the reasons why she appreciates the aesthetic, and shares guidance for those looking to embrace cluttercore in their own homes (hint: it's best to contain the look to solely one room of the house).
Meet the Expert
Paula Truscott is an Instagrammer based in Perth, Australia, who runs the account @mismatchedhome alongside her husband, Martin.
What Is Cluttercore?
First of all, do not confuse the word "cluttercore" with the concept of displaying items that have no significant meaning. "To us, cluttercore is all about displaying collections," Truscott explains. "In our case, it's collections of art, photos, travel mementos, books, music, and thrifted finds. Basically, cluttercore is a way to display the things we have an emotional or aesthetic connection with."
Truscott greatly enjoys shopping for home decor pieces while visiting secondhand stores or on trips. "Basically we just buy anything that we like and figure out how to make it work later," she notes.
As such, Truscott finds that embracing cluttercore in her home means that her space better reflects her personality and interests. She says, "I think the cluttercore aesthetic is a great way to express yourself, not just what your style is. You'll learn a lot about us in five minutes in our living room!"
Not having to pare down her belongings allows Truscott and her husband to have plenty of creative freedom. "We like a lot of different art and music," Truscott adds. "Cluttercore lets us showcase all of that without having to constantly edit ourselves."
Additionally, Truscott believes that a cluttercore home has a cozy, sentimental feel to it. "There's also something nice and nostalgic about having a wall filled with art, books, and things that we love," she says. "It reminds me of being a teenager and plastering the walls with posters."
Cluttercore Versus Maximalism
Maximalism has been a popular design aesthetic for quite some time, but being a maximalist isn't exactly the same as embracing cluttercore. Truscott does believe that cluttercore is a form of maximalism, but she offers some distinctions.
"Maximalism is about excess, but not necessarily about quantity," Truscott says. "Maximalist designs might just be excessive in its use of print or colors, whereas cluttercore is more about the sheer quantity or an excessive display of things."
How to Embrace Cluttercore
If you're drawn to the cluttercore aesthetic, it's never too late to incorporate it into your space.
"To be honest, I only discovered the term cluttercore after I'd already been doing it," Truscott shares. She became a cluttercore enthusiast three years ago when she and her husband purchased their current home. "We intentionally searched for a house with a large blank wall so we could create a huge gallery wall and shelf below it," Truscott explains. "We'd seen gallery walls done on a bigger scale and wanted to try that. Once the bookcases went below it, it just became cluttercore."
Contain Cluttercore to One Space
Not every room of Truscott's home reflects the cluttercore style. "I would say we only apply the idea of cluttercore to that one space; cluttercore is perfect for our living room wall because it lets us showcase our likes and loves without playing favorites. When we're over something, we just swap it out."
After all, you won't want your home to be bursting at the seams! "Contain the cluttercore to a designated space; too much cluttercore is probably just clutter," Truscott reiterates. "Make sure there's a common thread; whether that's the collection itself, the colors, or the style, make sure something brings it all together."