I am about 80% done with my open concept living and dining room makeover so naturally I am adding more things to my plate (because is a room ever really finished??). I’ve sourced most of the furniture, window treatments, art, and decor so waiting for shipping and installing everything is the final step. Now, as if I am not on a deadline, I have this urge to make one more pretty big design decision. I have this feeling that I really need a wallpaper moment. More specifically, a bold patterned wallpaper moment.
Around the time I started complicating my design process with this idea, I heard of this new wave the kids are calling #cluttercore. It’s basically a Gen Z aesthetic that is about surrounding yourself with things you love so it feels as warm and inviting as “walking into a hole-in-the-wall antiques shop on a rainy day.” Images you’ll find on Tik Tok and google are mostly of teenagers’ bedrooms with books, clothes, plants, and other tchotchkes stacked all around the room in an “organized mess”. It’s probably every parent’s nightmare and yet I relate to it A LOT. It’s not the adult design aesthetic that I am striving for now but I’m pretty sure I was an OG #cluttercore teenager which explains my adult leanings toward a maximalist eclectic style. My style is the adult version of clutter core–it’s the same idea just more sophisticated and intentional.
My version includes decorating with patterns, books, colors, and vintage finds in a way that isn’t messy but curated and visually exciting. I love having things I love surround me and it’s in large part about how I want a room to make me feel when I walk in.
With this style, I feel pattern mixing is done most effectively with textiles. Mixing patterned wallpaper, window treatments, and upholstery can be risky but when it works it WORKS so damn good.
Now you might already know my living room is already painted this color by Clare so you may be wondering where the hell I’d fit in some wallpaper. It’s not the ceiling (I WISH) but this tiny built-in shelf that provides the only architectural interest in our home:
I am a firm believer that shelves look best when they are full top to bottom with books. Unfortunately, our built-in nook is a little too shallow for this purpose. Only the pocket-sized books fit properly so the shelves will be styled with some books, vases, and other objects. Knowing that it won’t be full of books, I started to feel underwhelmed by the plain white break in my beautiful moody green walls. I mean, it’s fine, but it doesn’t excite me at all. When going for sophisticated #cluttercore, pattern mixing is a way to create visual interest without crowding every surface with “stuff”. Instead of surrounding myself with stuff, I am aiming to surround myself with pattern and color that excite me and art and decor that inspire me.
When I told my fiancé about my wallpaper idea his response was, “that would be sick but probably a pain in the ass to do”. So far, a few of our installations have gone amiss and he’s been “Mr. Fix It” while I panic in the background. I know he has no desire to watch me attempt to wallpaper this myself, do it wrong, and then need him to step in and save the day BUT I can’t shake the nagging feeling that it would be a missed opportunity if we don’t go for it.
For now, let’s table the discussion on whether Rocky thinks it’s a good idea and move onto the wallpaper options I am eyeing:
1. Stripes Wallpaper Roll | 2. Magnolia Home Wallpaper | 3. Marchmont Check Wallpaper | 4. Greer Burgundy Gingham Check Burgundy Wallpaper | 5. Palatine Stripe Wallpaper | 6. Acadia Stripe Wallpaper | 7. Tempaper Black and Ivory Plaid Removable Wallpaper | 8. Textured Stripe Wallpaper | 9. Tulip Wallpaper
Stripes and checks are bold but not too visually jarring. Not that I am going for anything too subtle, clearly, but I also don’t want to complicate my design with a pattern or color that doesn’t make sense. These options excite me and feel safe enough to execute.
And then we have the floral options that make my heart sing:
1. Magnolia Home Wallpaper |2. Floral Wallpaper | 3. The Cottage Blue Wallpaper | 4. Heirloom Rose | 5. Smoky Rose Wallpaper | 6. Ray Bird Trail Wallpaper | 7. Flower 3D Embossed Wallpaper | 8. Floral Toile Wallpaper | 9. Rose Calico Floral Rose Wallpaper
Botanical wallpaper makes the most sense with our style and the direction our living room is going but it is more of a risk. I love the idea but am a little nervous about the execution and how well it will pair with the other patterns we already have in our design.
So, now I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think we should go for it or is wallpaper going to drive Rocky to end our engagement?? Suggestions, comments, and concerns welcome! xx