An artful mess: Here's how to make your clutter look amazing

·4-min read

Watch this: Clutter Decorating is the anti-minimalist trend taking over

Bore off Marie Kondo - this year, it's all about embracing cluttercore - the maximalist, lived-in interiors aesthetic which celebrates, well, clutter.

Many people are rejecting the 50-shades-of-grey meets Midcentury Modern furniture look in favour of bold prints, playful design, bright colours and - most importantly - things.

Read more: More is more - here's how to make the 'cluttercore' homes trend work

But how to make clutter look meaningful and artful, and not like a digger has just dumped the contents of a flea market stall directly onto your living room carpet?

Considered clutter should be something to celebrate. (Getty Images)
Considered clutter should be something to celebrate. (Getty Images)

"Clutter stops your home being a reproduction of everyone else's," enthuses Lu Fitoussi-Findlay of @thehousepotnoodlesbuilt, an interior designer and stylist. 

"It will (in most cases) bring you joy because it connects to your life in some way and it's comforting. 

Clutter can be something unexpected, beautiful and unique, or useful things you use every day, but these can also be attractive if you just give them a little extra thought. 

If you aim to make even the smallest, everyday items in your home the most beautiful option possible you'll never see them as bad clutter, and you'll also hang on to them longer."

Grouping clutter together in collections can look very effective. (Getty Images)
Grouping clutter together in collections can look very effective. (Getty Images)

Nevertheless, there are some rules when it comes to making your clutter look stylish, rather than messy. 

"It's all about grouping and collections," says Fitoussi-Findlay. "Grouping objects together so that they look more like a 'collection' rather than just clutter is a good start. 

"This doesn't mean things have to be the same - they could be the same size or the same colour."

What's more, it's important to give everything a home. 

"Be inventive," she suggests. "Think shelving that's just for one kind of trinket (for example, just for flower vases, or everything you own that's blue). 

A drinks trolley can be a really attractive way to display something unexpected, even your kid's art items!" 

You might also want to try a design technique called 'making moments'. 

"Tea paraphernalia, for example, can be grouped together on a tray," says Fitoussi-Findlay. "Having these out and arranged is a hotel trick that helps with low storage space and also creates a really inviting atmosphere."

'Making moments' is a great way to display clutter. (Getty Images)
'Making moments' is a great way to display clutter. (Getty Images)

Embracing clutter doesn't have to mean having everything on show - it involves showcasing the things you like to see all the time, and hiding the rest. 

"If clutter isn't that 'attractive' think about using attractive boxes or baskets to house things in," she suggests. 

When it comes to sourcing your clutter, it's important to be purposeful and considered - it will be better for the environment, and your wallet, if you resist buying anything new, and anything that you don't truly love and need. 

When it comes to clutter, it's all about vintage finds. (Getty Images)
When it comes to clutter, it's all about vintage finds. (Getty Images)

"Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Etsy are great places to find second hand and vintage items," says Fitoussi-Findlay, who also recommends charity shops and junk shops, plus online auction sites such as The Saleroom

"Don't buy too fast, and dwell on your purchases a little," she says. 

"Think before you buy, where will it go? Do you need it? Do you LOVE it? Can you afford it? If all answers are yes, go for it. But be purposeful in your clutter. Be tidy, organise, display. And celebrate!" 

Yahoo's (acting) senior lifestyle editor Flic Everett is a huge fan of 'grouped' clutter. 

"I love vintage things, and spend my spare time in charity shops and at car boots - I used to own a vintage clothes boutique but now I look for household items instead. 

"We live in a small cottage, so I have to find clever ways to display things, to avoid being buried by a heap of stuff."

She recommends using vintage cabinets, shelves and printers' trays to show off your finds. 

Flic's clutter
Flic's teapot collection, displayed on a vintage revolving bookcase. (Supplied)
Flic's clutter
Flic collects coloured glasses for the her 1950s cocktail cabinet. (Supplied)
Flic's clutter
Display little items like shells on a printer's tray on the wall. (Supplied.)

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful," said William Morris, the key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, back in the 19th century - and it's still great advice today. So, go forth, and clutter in style! 

Watch this: Tips for picking out vintage furniture

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