ALL THE THINGS – Afternoon Light
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#CLUTTERCORE AND THE RISE OF NEW MAXIMALISM  

After years of being told to scale back, dispose of non-functional items and prioritize neutrality above all, maximalists are coming out the woodwork to declare themselves exuberantly in love with excess. Recently, the #Cluttercore trend has taken the internet by storm, knocking down established barriers of good taste and ushering in a new wave of abundant decorating. We’re talking rows of framed puzzles ornamenting the walls, a canopy of plants suspended from ceilings, melted disco balls on coffee tables, wall hooks that resemble beckoning hands, thrifted crystal decanters displayed en masse on the mantle. No offense to the minimalists (all respect to Ms. Kondo and her fans!) but an emphasis on modesty can put a damper on those for whom joy is sparked by tchotchke and knick-knack, the collage-oriented folks, or anyone attracted to the eclectic, funky and just plain odd.

We understand the resistance to clutter, which can conjure overwhelming images of mess and stress, especially in small spaces (looking at you NYC real estate). And yes, having too much stuff can be a physical representation of an overcrowded mental landscape. But collecting does not have to equal hoarding - in fact, chaos can be organized and systematized in many sensible ways. And, in fact, individualism, not materialism, is the driving force behind this school of design. The beauty of Cluttercore is that it cannot be summarized by any singular concept, color scheme or series of items. Cluttercore is defined by your core, by the images, obsessions and niche media that sets your heart aflame and sends an enthusiastic YES! rumbling up from the depth of your spirit. The sole mandate of the trend is to reject a one-size-fits-all attitude towards aesthetics and, instead, embrace what suits you - even if it suits just you.

There’s something radically non-conformist and freeing about electing to surround yourself with objects, art and decor that sings to your specific tastes, to choose what makes you happy, whether or not that appeals to every guest, the style of the times, or an aesthetic that someone else has determined to be “in good taste.” Maybe visual quiet doesn't match the exuberance of your interior self. Maybe chaos is your comfort zone. So go ahead, make your house a treasure trove of trinkets, splash color all over the place, buy out the whole flea market, cover your walls in layered visual stimuli till there’s not an inch of paint to be found. Whatever you do, remember it's your world, and nobody else has to live in it (except maybe your roommates).

Words by Kai Naima Williams