How ‘Clustercore’ design could boost mental health

IIf there’s one word that can make a maximalist shudder, it has to be “clean up”. Anyone in this camp probably won’t like the idea of ​​storing (or throwing) their collections — whether they’re hand-picked stones, vintage knick-knacks, paintings. inappropriate or otherwise — on behalf of the organization. But at the same time, research has proven that clearing out clutter and organizing items in your space can boost your mental health, productivity, and creativity. So, what is a maximalist looking to create a health-promoting home for? Enter: clustercore.

This new design trend emerging from social media combines the best of both liberal maximalism and blank minimalism, applying a layer of organization to the former. As the name implies, clustercore encourages you to group and display your items carefully cluster—and it can improve both the design of your space and the way you feel in it.

What is clustercore?

Clustercore is a design style that involves creating textures of different items in your home in a way that feels intentional and authentic. In doing so, you are encouraged to sort the items you display (which do means storing or putting things out of sight that don’t suit your taste), so that the things you love most can really shine in your space.

That means you can collect your favorite trinkets or tchotchkes from a trip into a few clusters on the coffee table, collecting items that remind you of loved ones on a tray in the living room. Or group your favorite pieces of jewelry along the windowsill. So instead of hiding bits and bobs in drawers or other arrangement surfaces (as many modern decorating trends might suggest), clustercore involves highlighting the things you already have. be in the display.

“Clustercore is about finding a way to bring all the things that are important to you into one thoughtful design aesthetic.” —Laura Britt, interior designer

“Clustercore is about finding a way to bring all the things that are important to you into one design aesthetic,” says Laura Britt, an interior designer who specializes in wellness-based design. “It’s about embracing a palette, objects of interest, or a theme that resonate with you, and then building a sense of layers, patterns, and colors.” And in that way, it’s the complete opposite of a sterile or modernist approach, she added.

Britt said: While clustercore certainly involves the inclusion of a bit of clutter, don’t confuse it with chunkcore, another design trend that emerged from TikTok, which adopts a “controlled chaos approach.” ,” Britt said. Cluttercore is less managed and has more of a purposeful conflicting aesthetic (think: the more the better), while clustercore is purely aimed at generating thoughtful collections. And the process of organizing your space (á la clustercore) can be particularly beneficial for your mental health.

5 ways applying clustercore in your home can benefit your mental health

1. It promotes good energy

Because clustercore involves filling your space with things you appreciate and enjoy, it can evoke positive energy and a sense of well-being. “Moral benefit comes from the spark of positive emotion,” says Britt. “Seeing a bunch of things from a trip or from a loved one [can serve as] a reminder of a happy experience or time in your life, evoking [warm] emotions.”

2. It encourages organization (loose)

With clustercore, you can define what the organization looks like to you and the level of organization you want to embrace. This gives a greater sense of control over what’s in your space.

And this feeling of control has a ripple effect on your mental health. “Take control of your own decor and create bright textures or arrangements,” says Reena B. Patel, LEP, BCBA, board-certified behavioral and educational psychologist. Creating your own can boost your self-esteem by giving you a sense of accomplishment. analyst.

3. Inspire you to be a more conscious consumer

For better or worse, maximalists tend to collect everything. Because clustercore is concerned with displaying your ever-growing collection, it asks you to consider whether each new purchase can go hand in hand with or enhance your existing selections.

If the answer isn’t clear or there’s a chance that the new item will take away the things you already treasure and display in your home, there’s no point in spending money on it. In this way, clustercore encourages more discretion when it comes to spending, which in itself can be deeply beneficial.

Finally, there is a big difference between collecting things for the sake of possession and thoughtfully displaying cherished treasures. When you eliminate or stop buying items that don’t really work for you, the things you really love will be more prominent in your home for you to enjoy.

4. It makes you curious and full of questions

One of the reasons maximalists collect is because they are filled with a sense of wonder and curiosity. This is true whether they are mesmerized by oddly shaped rocks, old watch faces, colorfully bound books or special items that might make you think twice. Showcase things in your home that evoke a genuine, “Wow!” will amaze you as long as they are within sight.

“Customers almost always comment on how they look everywhere [in my office], there’s something interesting to see and this helps their mind wander,” says licensed therapist Bonnie Scott, LPC, who decorates her space in a clustercore style. She adds that her groups of items and textures are also often great conversation starters for visitors.

5. It allows you to be yourself

At the heart of clustercore is the idea of ​​creating designer clusters, however Friend found suitable. And while giving you the license to express yourself, design trends also have the power to promote creativity and comfort—both of which support moments of happiness and good mental health, says Scott. .

“The carefully curated minimalist space that we consider a long-standing aspiration is great for people who want that style and who are comfortable with it,” says Scott. “But for those who aren’t like us, the pressure to keep that perfect [can be] overwhelming and limited.” Conversely, a style that encourages you to fill your space with items you love can feel incredibly liberating.


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