The maximalist interior style trend Carnivalcore is all about fun and whimsy where rooms are dressed up in full technicolor. The only limit to this design is imagination. If you have that in spades, you can build a home that may be surreal to some but who cares as long as it is real to you.
This trend was brought to my attention by this blog’s artist when she read an article in Architectural Digest. This photo made me stare and got me curious about this interior style. This is a far cry from Scandi, Japandi, and contemporary tropical design.
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Job Smeets, Belgian contemporary conceptual and sculptural artist and designer, designed this house for Rolf Snoeren, half of famed Amsterdam luxury fashion house Viktor & Rolf, whose fashion aesthetic is avant-garde, glamorous, and provocative. So seeing this home interior style is not surprising.
Smeets channeled his childhood memories of Efteling, the largest theme park in the Netherlands with a traditional Brothers Grimm fairytales allure, when he created Snoeren’s penthouse. The fireplace is an open bronze mouth with teeth perched on a shiny red ledge. A slick white cabinet with pops of primary colors sits against a rock wall (that looks painted but I could be wrong). A bird, swan, globe, goblet, and naked ladies draped on a chaise longue, are part of the treasure trove of objects found around the room. What one can be certain of when seeing this home is to expect the unexpected.
Mad, Crazy Adult Playhouse
Adult playhouse with an Alice in Wonderland theme (specifically Mad Hatter’s tea party) is how model Cara Delivingne calls her house. She said she had mad and crazy ideas and her award-winning architect Nicoló Bini was able to make her a home incorporating all that.
Cara mentioned that this 1930s house was done mostly in black and white by the previous owners. She wanted to brighten everything up with colors and she got that and more.
Cara’s house is a mix of so many ideas—from having bright Gucci wallpaper in a heron motif, a pink-lit Hugh Hefner-inspired pinball machine, a vagina tunnel with its hot pink labia entrance that exits out of a washing machine, her favorite bathroom in the house which is a David Bowie shrine, a David Lynch-inspired poker room, and so on. There are just too many themes and things, so watch the video if you’re curious enough to explore Carnivalcore further.
Architect Nicoló Bini has this to say about Delivingne’s house:
It has to do with nostalgia and bringing aspects of childhood, fantasy, innocence, and playfulness into our homes, which are now becoming real sanctuaries.
After years of lifestyle changes because of the pandemic, we are now actively re-imagining how we want to live and how we want to organize our homes. We want to have lightheartedness back in our lives and what better way than to express that in our homes and be surrounded by a style that we associate with the joyous and fun things in life.
References to fantasies and carnivals are not the only things that are brought into this design. Circus references like tents, thick red stripes, animal motifs, can also be found in this interior style.
Some say that there is an element of escapism to all these. If that’s the case, then so be it. We all are entitled to deal with life the way we want to as long as we don’t harm other people.
What about you? Does Carnivalcore interest you enough to explore this aesthetic for your own home? It’s a style where colors play an important part so if you want to see paint colors, visit the Boysen Color Trend website.
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