The new year’s crop of design magazines and blogs are full of articles declaring a new age of opulence, a resurgence of colour, or a re-discovery of Maximalism, and this self-confessed maximalist aesthete could not be happier! At Design Intervention, we have been championing this Modern Maximalist Style for a few years now. But 2019, is seeing the Maximalist look becoming mainstream. Even Ikea (yes the purveyors of stream lined Scandinavian lines) has launched a new collection with distinct Maximalist leanings. And quite frankly, after well over two decades of clean lines and neutral palettes, a change is long overdue.
So what exactly is this New Maximalism? This design style mixes eras, patterns, textures and materials, incorporates elaborate detailing and showcases treasured artefacts. These interiors are multi-layered, delivering a dynamic and multifaceted environment that is uplifting, revitalising, empowering and always utterly unique.
The Minimalist interior has dominated the design landscape since the mid 1990s, and the New Maximalism could not be more different.
Minimalist interiors imbue serenity, Maximalist ones radiate energy. Minimalist interiors embrace simplicity, Maximalist delight in unexpected elements. Minimalist rooms are understated, Maximalist ones are luxurious. Minimalist interiors include only what is functional, Maximalist ones are filled with details and embellishment. Where Minimalists celebrate the uncomplicated, Maximalists celebrate life with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies. Minimalists follow the less is more mantra, while Maximalists espouse if it makes you smile, it can’t be wrong.
But there is one important similarity and it may astound you… Everyone knows that Minimalists are all about removing clutter. It may surprise you to learn that decluttering is essential for a chic maximalist interior too. Maximalism is not chaos, it is a result of deliberately curated choices.
The great Artist Joan Miro once said:
The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness
– and there could not be more perfect a guideline for the would be maximalist. With Minimalism there is a distinct aesthetic and clear, easy to follow rules. Maximalism embraces everything, all eras, all colours, patterns and textures- and that can be a little daunting.
1. COLOUR One of the easiest ways to bring energy to a room is with colour. The Minimalist look was about neutrals. Maximalism, is about all colours, in any combination. There is no right or wrong. Just pick a colour or colours you love. If your choice is a mix of bold colours, make sure you incorporate some neutral elements to add balance. 2. PATTERN Either through rugs, upholstery or wallpaper or a combination of all three! Experiment with layering patterns of different scales… Ensure, sufficient negative space, so your eye has a place to rest.
3. TEXTURE Combining different texture can take Maximalism to the next level. Metallic elements, sumptuous velvets, feather trims and tassels can all be combined to bring a visual and tactile diversity.
4. SYMMETRY With so much visual stimuli, symmetry will keep the room looking balanced and allow you to add multiple layers and yet still retain a harmonious feel…
5. A COHESIVE ELEMENT It is important to retain a link, or visual thread that runs throughout the scheme so the interiors feel connected even with a mix of colours, patterns and textures. This could be a colour, or a motif.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly 6. RESTRAINT
At Design Intervention our mantra is “just because we can, doesn’t mean we should”.
Successful Maximalist Style is a meticulous balancing act. These rooms can be bright, bold and mismatched yet each element is carefully curated to achieve a style that inspires and revitalizes rather than overpowers.