If Cottagecore Isn’t Your Vibe, You Might Want to Try the Playful Carnivalcore Trend

Carnivalcore home trend

Products featured are independently and objectively selected by our editors. From time to time, things you buy through our links may earn us an affiliate commission.

Carnivalcore is latest design aesthetic taking over homes both abroad and, as demonstrated most recently in Zoë Foster Blake’s home, here in Australia.

Like its name suggests, the trend taps into designs from carnivals — think checkerboard patterns, red and white stripes and disco balls.

“After the last few years, people are looking to be more playful, creative and distinctive in their home aesthetic,” says Alice McMullin, Founder and Creative Director at Sydney-based furniture, homewares and design studio McMullin & co. “This has given rise to this animated new trend that encourages maximalism with bright pops of colour, polished surfaces and non-linear shapes.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vogue Living (@vogueliving)

Related: Elevate Your Supermarket Chrysanthemums With This Specially Designed IKEA Vase

Related: Biophilic Design Aims to Improve Well-Being, But Can It Help the Planet, Too?

Lucy Fenton, Director of Melbourne-based interiors design boutique Fenton & Fenton, says she’s really come to see the trend post-pandemic. She says that because our homes were our sanctuaries over the past few years, we’re now wanting them to spark joy and have a light-hearted feel, rather than take our interiors too seriously.

“People have started to create interiors that are bright, colourful and also have a sense of nostalgia for the good old times,” says Fenton. “Also, unique, quirky pieces create intrigue and make for great conversation.”

Fenton and Fenton
Image: The After Party with Maxine Wylde for Fenton & Fenton

McMullin says the trend shows people are becoming more forward and confident in their homes and willing to push the boundaries. In a way, she says, the carnivalcore trend is also almost a return to our grandparent’s homes, which were always eclectic and had a mix of interesting art, photography and memories.

So, how do you go about incorporating carnivalcore into your own home? Both Fenton and McMullin suggest starting slowly and small, with one or two statement pieces.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Architectural Digest (@archdigest)

“These pieces stand out most when less is more so look for a clean or open space where a pop of colour, texture or shape would make the most impact,” says McMilliin.

Fenton says you may be surprised by how addictive adding some quirk to your home can be. She herself appreciates pieces that create curiosity, adding that sometimes objects that aren’t the prettiest things in the room are the ones that make you stop and think or even have a giggle.

“If you’re feeling game, go all out,” she says. “Sometimes more is more and it actually becomes easier to cast doubt aside and make a space that really stands out for all the right reasons.”

Scroll down to shop our picks for home décor that tap into the carnivalcore trend.

Kip & Co. Coastal Breeze Tartan Beanbag, $149

Kip & Co Tartan Bean bag

Fenton & Fenton Oracle Sculpture, $450

Oracle Sculpture

Jones & Co. Rosine Vase, $150

Jones & Co rosine vase

Kip & Co. Peace & Love Towel Range, $25 – $79

Kip & Co Peace & Love Towel

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.