Why you should avoid trying this popular interior trend in your bedroom, according to experts

Carnivalcore is the latest trend sweeping the interiors world - but it's not best for your sleeping space

Orange chairs with striped curtains
(Image credit: Future PLC / Jon Day Photography)

There’s a fun new trend hitting the interiors world, and it might not be what you expected. Enter: carnivalcore, an alternative modern decorating idea that'll likely divide opinion.

Inspired by (evidently) all things carnivals and clowns, this colorful and cheery trend is making waves in the world of home design. But according to experts, if you want to guarantee a calm and peaceful slumber, you’d be best to keep it away from your bedroom.

What is carnivalcore?

Carnivalcore essentially encapsulates the zany, pattern-filled, colorful fun of the carnival. 'Think funhouse-inspired mirror frames, disco balls, stripe prints, and checkerboard patterns - it’s a trend that’s working its way into homes everywhere.' Andre Kazimierski, CEO at Improovy Painters St Louis explains.

Yellow and white bathroom

(Image credit: James Merrell)

It's said to be a return to the nostalgic, innocent fun of childhood, before the idea of 'sensible', neutral design was a concern.

Why should we avoid it in our bedrooms?

But however carefree it appears, this theatrical and impactful trend should probably stay well away from your bedroom. Marco Bizzley, an interior designer at HouseGrail, told us, 'If this design trend is something you love, then absolutely bring it into your home. But keep it out of your bedroom.'

a wavy mirror in a colorful room inspired by the carnivalcore trend

(Image credit: Schoebstaub)

He continued, 'To get a good night's sleep, you want to make your room a calm and relaxing environment. You should use soothing natural colors, like light blue, grey, green, lavender, and neutral shades.”

Carnivalcore is arguably the opposite - encapsulating bright and colorful themes, as opposed to soothing neutral vibes.

Marco explained further, 'The carnivalcore design trend channels playfulness, creativity, and nostalgia - it's loud and in your face.' And for many of us, loud colors and bright, interesting prints can actually do the opposite of sending us into a peaceful slumber, tending to arouse our senses, rather than calm them.

maximalism house of hackney living room

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

How to add the carnivalcore trend to the rest of your home

So while decorating with neutrals in your bedroom is probably best to ensure a good night’s sleep, there’s no reason why you can’t add the carnivalcore trend to the rest of your space. In fact, it could just be the injection of fun we all need.

Disco ball in a modern home

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Nadja Stäubli, designer and owner of Schoenstaub, said, 'My personal opinion is that after the dark phase of the pandemic, people are ready for some fun, and are finally bold enough to live in grand prints, designs and colors. To implement it, I always suggest starting with smaller accessories like blankets and pillows, before moving into bigger pieces like carpets and art.'

Marco agreed, explaining that you may well have been inspired by the carnivalcore trend already! 

'This theme may already be part of your decor, and you're just unaware of it. Disco balls, harlequins, and striped prints on pillows and rugs are just a few of the more subtle ways you can sneak this design into your home,' he said.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is a freelance journalist and editor covering a range of lifestyle topics including homes and interiors, work and money, travel and wellbeing. She has written for a range of publications including Ideal Home, woman&home, My Imperfect Life and T3. When she's not busy writing or editing features, you'll often find her shopping for new homeware items, running, or diving into a good thriller.