Live Your Best Main Character Life With This Lived-In Decorating Trend

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the chic apartment from "Friends" or the cozy loft from "New Girl"? These apartments all have in common the notion of being comfortable and cozy, yet still stylish. While part of this is due to Hollywood magic, it's also partially due to decoration and design that reminds us of nostalgia and warmth. This decorating trend that made these sets famous has become one of the easiest and most fun ways to inject personality and coziness into your home decor. Not only is this trending decor style a fun way to make your space feel like home, but it can help give you that main character energy that only a lead character in a sitcom could have. 


Decor plays a significant role in creating a comfortable and welcoming environment in our homes and workplaces. The way we decorate our spaces can impact our moods and emotions, influencing how we feel and behave. From the calming effects of cool blue hues to the energizing vibes of bold reds, the colors we choose can set the tone for our entire day. And let's not forget about the power of texture and lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that promotes relaxation. So if you're looking to create a space that feels pulled together yet personalized to you, look no further than clustercore.

What is clustercore?

Clustercore, also known as cluttercore, is all about bringing you into the world of the main character by creating a space that looks straight out of a rom-com. Clustercore is a relatively new and emerging home design style that celebrates maximalism and embraces the beauty of clutter and eclectic mix-and-match decor. It's characterized by a bold and playful aesthetic that features an abundance of vintage items, trinkets, collectibles, and other objects that are often displayed in a chaotic yet purposeful way. The style is all about layering different textures, patterns, and colors to create a cozy and lived-in vibe that feels authentic and personal. The term clustercore came about thanks to content creator, @acnugs, who posted a TikTok video explaining how the design aesthetic is all about clustering your space with all of these small and large items.


Unlike minimalism, which emphasizes simplicity and a lack of clutter, cluttercore encourages homeowners to embrace their love of objects and create a space that reflects their unique personalities and interests. While clustercore may not be for everyone, it offers a refreshing alternative to more traditional and restrained design styles and allows individuals to express their creativity and individuality through their home decor. The purpose of clustercore is to make use of those small mementos or knick-knacks you have stored away to create a space that is personal to you.

How you can achieve clustercore

Clustercore is about embracing the beauty of clutter and creating a space that feels authentic to you. To create your personal cluster space, you need to find what pieces symbolize you the most. As Hannah Martin, a contributor for Architectural Digest told the publication, "When you look at a cluttercore space you learn something about the person who created it and you want to know more." The best way to achieve the clustercore look is to know what you want to show off. While many go with a themed decor, your design can be a mix and match of various items.


Clustercore is about embracing an eclectic mix of decor. Don't be afraid to combine different patterns, textures, and colors to create a vibrant and visually interesting space. Whether it's vintage cameras or figurines, this trend celebrates the beauty of collections. Display your favorite items in groupings, on shelves, or in cabinets, to create a cohesive and curated look. Clustercore is heavily influenced by vintage and retro decor. Scour thrift stores, flea markets, and antique shops to find unique pieces that add character to your space.

An organized mess

Although some find the clustercore trend attractive to all senses, many find it overwhelming. Part of the criticism of clustercore comes from those who state the trend simply excuses disorganization. Although clustercore does involve having more displayed out in the open, it's all done so in a curated method. Like other maximalist trends, clustercore is an organized chaos that can be carefully curated to create a visually stunning and personalized space. Rather than simply piling on clutter, maximalist interiors often feature carefully arranged groupings of objects that create a sense of order within the chaos. This can include displaying collections of art, books, or other items, or layering different textiles and patterns to create a visually dynamic space.


Like in life, everything can be chaotic but beautiful in its own way. Clustercore understands this and embraces the beauty in the chaos. Ros Byam Shaw, an author and interior design expert, tells Home & Gardens, "Random clutter is a bit visually confusing, so always best to corral your clutter — in cabinets, on shelves, grouped on a table, or a mantelpiece. Hang lots of small pictures in a group, line up jugs on top of a kitchen cupboard, and collect shells in a bowl. Clutter should be a joy, not a burden — things you love, things that have meaning — whether architectural prints or pink luster china." To prevent your cluster or cluttercore from looking messy, concentrate your decor in one area and with purpose.


Don't limit yourself

Even though everyone has their own unique aesthetic, the best way to get a cohesive and curated cluttercore design is by mixing anything old and new. Combining vintage and new pieces can help you achieve the eclectic and unique look that characterizes this design style. Mixing and matching pieces can be overwhelming but when done perfectly, it can give you a stylish clutter worthy of its own show. To best match your pieces, ​​choose one piece as the focal point of the room and build the rest of the decor around it. For example, a vintage record player could serve as the focal point, with modern speakers and a bookshelf that incorporates vintage albums helping to tie together the different eras. If you are looking to build a clustercore space around one color or theme, this styling trick can help you bring it all back into focus and make it look cohesive.


One reason why many struggle with creating a versatile and dynamic clustercore space is that they are afraid to take risks. Don't be afraid to mix and match different patterns and textures to create a visually dynamic space. You might pair a vintage floral print wallpaper with a modern graphic print pillow. As long as these pieces all revolve around a singular purpose or meaning, they will match perfectly. Clustercore is about embracing the unexpected and fun, by mixing old and new pieces, you can easily embody this trend.

Clustercore is more than a trend

Clustercore is all about embracing boldness, uniqueness, and eclectics. While this design trend is slowly growing, the reason behind its popularity is more than just a home design fad. As Amber Dunford, a design psychologist and style director at Overstock, told Better Homes & Gardens, "Surrounding ourselves with special objects that have meaning can [bring] a large sense of comfort. ... After years of uncertainty and tension brought on by a pandemic, it makes sense that people would gravitate towards elements that feel like an emotional security blanket in a sense." The psychology behind this trend is to help us surround ourselves with our favorite memories, items, or collections. When one scans a clustercore-inspired room, it should be a passage of items that bring sentiments and not just a random assortment of items.


With many world events and situations occurring almost daily, clustercore gives value to your possessions and makes your space more about you rather than a trending design aesthetic or home decor. As opposed to minimalism, clustercore focuses on what your cluster of items represents and why you've chosen to display them. More of a curated collection, clustercore is a continuation of trends that are all about personal style and self-expression. While the process of curating and gathering these items will not happen overnight, it can be a wonderful experiment that brings you closer to knowing more about your style and preferences.