Pop Culture dictionary


[ kluht-er kawr ]

What is cluttercore?

Cluttercore is an interior design aesthetic based on densely filling a space with many personal belongings and decorations, especially an eclectic assortment with intentionally contrasting visual elements.

Despite the use of the word clutter, spaces thought to be examples of cluttercore are usually arranged intentionally, as opposed to simply being messy.

Spaces decorated in the cluttercore style are often filled with things like books, art, furniture, and small decorative items, especially ones considered meaningful and representative of the person’s interests, as opposed to ones simply used to fill the space.

Cluttercore is often described as being related to or part of the maximalist aesthetic, which is the opposite of a minimalist aesthetic—one focused on minimizing the number of objects and design elements.

However, unlike other forms of maximalism, which may use matching or harmonious colors and patterns, cluttercore typically involves intentionally contrasting or mismatched colors and patterns.

Cluttercore was popularized on social media, especially TikTok, beginning in 2020.

Related words

KonMari, adorkable, aesthetic, L + ratio, normie

Where does cluttercore come from?

cutesy sign decorations in a store

The term cluttercore is a combination of the word clutter, “a disorderly heap or assemblage,” and the suffix -core, which is used in the names of other aesthetics and styles that have become popular through social media, such as cottagecore and normcore. The word clutter is usually negative, but in cluttercore it’s used somewhat ironically—as a way of asserting that more is better when it comes to interior design.

The cluttercore trend, which is often thought to be a reaction to the minimalist aesthetic, emerged on social media early in 2020. Posts involving the topic (which is often used as the hashtag #cluttercore) frequently include photos and videos of rooms or homes considered to be examples of the cluttercore aesthetic.

Examples of cluttercore

I'm not messy, my aesthetic is just ✨cluttercore✨
@emdorkable, March 24, 2021
For those of us who identify with the aesthetic, there’s no method to the madness though; you either have it or you don’t. Cluttercore is not something that can be taught, it’s simply a way of being.
Sydney Gore, Architectural Digest, May 2022

Who uses cluttercore?

The term cluttercore is most commonly used by those who prefer the aesthetic, which is particularly popular among younger social media users. Sometimes, people use the term jokingly as a way of describing their messy room or home.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of cluttercore like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of cluttercore that will help our users expand their word mastery.