The cluttercore TikTok trend has a surprising connection to Victorian England

You’ve heard Is maximalism alive and minimalism gone? The rooms explode at the seams with surrounding flowers, colorful furniture, and loads of decorations, this is what defines the clutter of the new interior trend (or bricabracomania).

Some say it is a war between Generation Z (born 1997-2012) and the minimal millennial generation (born 1981-1996), bearing the sign of greater differences. Others say it’s a lockdown response, where our domestic prisons become cuddly pods, stimulating our senses and connecting us to other people and places. . But what really lies behind the choice of messing up or destroying?

Why are some people raving about novel egg collections? Or are there so many framed images that you can barely see the background (heavy busy)? And why do people on the other end of the spectrum refuse to have even the essentials visible in their home, hiding it behind thousands of pounds of anonymous cabinets?

One key reason for the clash between minimalism and maximalism is simple: fashion’s constant twists and turns. Whatever psychological or cultural theorists might suggest, fashion has always been a love of what makes us feel new or different.

This struggle may seem new but it is just history repeating itself, encapsulated in the inner struggle between less and more that began between the Victorian commoditization culture of class-impression and the dream. seem sane and egalitarian of modernism.

Maximalism: A lot of things

Victorians love what they can display. These represent their status through solid evidence of capital, connections, signs of exotic travel and colonial power. Think antique antique cabinets and Chinese ivory animals. Then imagine the labor required to not only create but polish, dust, manage, and maintain these myriad assets.

But this massive amount of stuff has become possible for more people as mass-produced goods – especially those created from synthetic materials – become cheaper.

All of this has created a new and enduring problem: how to choose and how to organize a world with many aesthetic possibilities – how to “go together” “. Defenders of culture and the “common good” of the 19th and 20th centuries were just as concerned about the mental turmoil of so much confusion as modern “organizational consultants” like Marie Kondo.

In response, they founded schools of design and educational displays, such as the Great Exhibition of 1851, the World’s Fair in New York in 1930, and the British Festival of 1951.

Minimalism: Very few items

The minimalist mantra “less is more,” courtesy of the German art school the Bauhaus was founded in the 1920s. To some modernists, “unnecessary decoration” is a signs of an “uncivilized” mind (read as feminine and non-white). However, they also look to “primitive” cultures for bold aesthetics and authenticity that surpass the West.

Modernists believe that elegant simplicity and functionality, supported by mass production and cost-effective new materials (such as tubular steel and plywood), can promote Social equality in interior design. They had a point. Without employees, who in fact can keep the “organized” mess looking cool (and clean)?

But, what about “coziness”? That feeling, described in the 1990s as a “cocoon” or a “warm welcome” for guests?

An American study of the 1980s found that the desired “coziness” in the interior was achieved by successive circles – from the white fence to the wisteria flowers on the exterior walls, the paper Wall stickers, pictures and bookshelves line the interior walls, and then arrange the furniture. also in a nearly circular form.

These layers will then be overlaid with decorations and textures, forming the icon entry points as well as the wrappers. Aesthetically speaking, “Homey” stands in stark contrast to modern minimalism, where “functionality” is seen as cold, unfriendly, and unwelcome.

Despite this popular rejection, modernism became the post-war default to European “good taste,” as seen in design HQs and high-end interior magazines. But isn’t it all, not only annoying but also a little boring? And, unfortunately, everything is unforgivable without a lot of cash and a team of cleaners?

Modernism based on cheapness is just depressing (see the concrete blocks of 1960s British council flats). Sleek built-in cabinets cost a lot. And the smooth, unadorned surfaces show every grain of dirt.

Resisting the mantras of modernism, 1980s design sought to put “fun back into action” for connoisseurs. However, ordinary people always buy interesting things, from plastic pineapples to luxurious vintage pieces of jewelry.

Can’t all happen

Today, the main option is “safe” and defaults to a broadly defined “modern” interface that is typical of Ikea. But it’s not really minimalist. This look encourages the accumulation of things that are never quite functional or fits together and still fills a room with the ethos of coziness – even though each item may “look modern”.

It can’t tell a convincing story about itself or stay organized, prompting the purchase of more “storage solutions”. Minimalists remove this back to the bare minimum of objects with a neutral color palette. Make fewer mistakes by spending less. Less things equals less change when you feel tired.

But minimalism is harder than ever. We’re powerless against the wave of half-wishers and half-consumers – especially if you have kids – which makes achieving minimalism all the more impressive. Those who get there will carefully frame the photos and they leave a lot of things out.

Making a more elastic aesthetic is also difficult, possibly harder. Lovers of clutter range from pathological petty hoarders to aristocratic eclectic upper-middle-class people, to virtuous “keepers”. The mess of anesthetics can seem like a loss of control, identity, or hope. It takes a lot to create harmony away from all that latent noise – and keep it tidy.

Cluttercore is perfect for now, a vehicle for the curated, “interesting” and “authentic” self-expression demanded by social media. And it hides behind the idea that whatever happens, when in fact, maybe some things must happen.

This article was originally published on Conversation via Vanessa Brown at Nottingham Trent University. Read the original text here. The cluttercore TikTok trend has a surprising connection to Victorian England

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