Interior design trends are a dime a dozen these days. Before you know it, cottagecore is morphing into grandmacore, and suddenly there’s a prevailing seaside motif underlying it all. But where is the whimsy? The fun? The grandiosity? The answer may lie in “carnivalcore,” the latest decor sensation taking social media by storm.
Anyone that’s tired of tried-and-true decor styles should definitely take note of this playful new trend emerging as the fun, party-time alternative to the contemporary minimalism that feels all too common in spaces today. As designer Nicoló Bini says, it’s a bit like “ushering in the house of fun.”
As usual, celebs have been some of the first to get on board with the carnivalcore craze. Stars like Cara Delevingne have embraced the trend’s Alice in Wonderland appeal by decking out her Los Angeles home with circusy accoutrements like a costume room, tented poker room, ball pit, and, of course, trampolines. Decidedly maximalist and fantastically fun, some could see this as a classic case of celebrity overindulgence. However, there is something to this overreaching opulence that’s undeniably appealing. As Bini explains, the trend itself “has to do with nostalgia…bringing aspects of childhood, fantasy, innocence, and playfulness into our homes, which are now becoming real sanctuaries.”
It’s easy to see the appeal of turning one’s home into a livable, enjoyable space to spend time in. After a couple years of lockdowns and pandemic fatigue, transitions to remote work, and more time actually spent at home, who wouldn’t want a bit of pizazz and panache to make their space pop?
So how does one transform their home into a daring (but not clownish) version of a carnival without splurging on an actual midway or Delevingne-esque ball pits? There’s no better place to start than some carefully curated textures and colors — think less over-the-top and more playful. After all, you don’t need to throw out all your existing decor to make your home feel a little more fun. Work in a touch of drama with bold shapes, patterned prints, and anything else outside the norm that brings you joy.
While carnivalcore itself may seem like a niche trend destined only to exist as brightly-colored content on celebrity IG feeds, it’s always a good idea to bring a touch of whimsy into one’s home — because who wouldn’t benefit from bringing a bit of the extraordinary into their day-to-day routine? Whether it’s with a statement-making centerpiece or a whole room devoted to circus chic, anyone can get on board the maximalist merry-go-round that is carnivalcore.