The biggest interiors trend of 2022 could be stopping you from getting a good night's sleep – here's why

There's a time and a place for cluttercore

ikea cabinet from spring summer 2022 collection
(Image credit: IKEA)

Love it or loathe it, 'cluttercore' isn't going anywhere. This divisive, more-is-more home decor trend championing a maximalist approach has almost 20,000 Instagram posts tagged to its name.

Plus IKEA's spring/summer collection features a range of furniture specifically designed to help people display their 'curated clutter' at home. But does filling our homes and bedrooms with all this stuff bode well for us when it comes to getting a good night's sleep?

ikea cabinet from spring summer 2022 collection

(Image credit: IKEA)

Suzanne Roynon (opens in new tab) is an expert Interiors Therapist and author of Welcome Home, how stuff makes or breaks your relationship, available at Amazon (opens in new tab). She believes that clutter will impact sleep quality 'at the most basic level.' 

However, she also says that the key is to distinguish between indisputable clutter you need to get rid of and items that genuinely promote happiness. 'It’s well known that a cluttered space can represent a cluttered mind and a cluttered body,' Suzanne says. 

'Mental health experts recognize that too much stuff in the home can cause anxiety, confusion, and pressure to the point of overwhelm. If the clutter is in the bedroom it can lead to insomnia and depression,' she shares. 

ikea cabinet from spring summer 2022 collection

(Image credit: IKEA)

In a similar vein, a 2021 study by cpap.com (opens in new tab) revealed self-confessed messy people got more sleep than tidy people, but that tidier people enjoyed a higher quality of sleep. Clean people were twice as likely to report being happy with their sleep.

Dr Alex Dimitriu (opens in new tab)sleep expert and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine adds that there is 'some evidence that clutter (as well as the procrastination that can lead to clutter) leads to elevated stress hormones, and reduced overall life satisfaction. 

'Neither the annoyance with clutter, nor the elevated stress hormones it can cause, are good for sleep,' Dr Dimitriu says. But cluttercore-inspired interior design ideas and just being messy and disorganized are two very, very separate things. 

Shelves brimming with well-thumbed books, carefully tended houseplants teetering on window ledges, and walls covered in meaningful artwork will all make for an empowering space. They just belong in hallways, living rooms, kitchens... anywhere but the bedroom. 

ikea cabinet from spring summer 2022 collection

(Image credit: IKEA)

Even die-hard maximalists will recognize that our bedrooms need to be more subdued. A bedroom full of decor pieces and mementos will simply be overstimulating. 

'When you find a balance and get the energy right in your bedroom it’s easy to relax and love being there,' Suzanne adds. 'Sleep, mood, and wellbeing automatically improve. 

'The challenge I foresee with cluttercore is the constant stimulation and distraction of a crammed and highly individual bedroom space will make that hard to achieve,' says Suzanne. Even if you're a maximalist, cluttercore obsessive, don't underestimate the power of pared-back and simple bedroom ideas if you can't get to sleep at night. 

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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