Jessica Delaney; Design by Megan Hopp
Just like fashion, home decorating is meant to be a thrill. It’s a way to express yourself without any restrictions or fear of deviating from classic design guidelines. It is therefore not surprising that maximalism is gaining ground. While it’s not for everyone, it’s a sure-fire approach to getting an Instagram-worthy home that’s full of style.
What is maximalism? A brief history and some examples of the style:
To put it simply, maximalism calls for being bold. Rooms filled with patterns upon patterns. A myriad of unique color combinations. Lots of texture. These are just some of the hallmarks of the bold style favored by many interior designers, including Beth Diana Smith and Eleanor Trepte of Dekay and Tate interiors.
“It’s a style, like many others, that has regained popularity and evolved over the years, but has existed in many different guises, from Victorian to Memphis design to the modern twist we see now” , Explain Diana Smith, which is known for its “eclectic maximalist” aesthetic. “It’s fun and brings energy and visual interest to a space.”
Trepte says the design style dates back centuries. “I think it started to take off as early as the 1930s in the Hollywood Regency style, and again in the 1970s and 80s until today. The term ‘less is more’ is dead and ‘more is is more “took off.”
Thirty count Patrick Mele as one of his favorite maximalism designers, for example, noting that he “breaks the rules” and “makes you think about design in a very different way”.
How to incorporate the maximalism trend into your home:
Today, Diana Smith notes that examples of maximalism can often be found in bedrooms, living rooms and especially powder rooms, as people tend to be more willing to take design risks in spaces smaller. When it comes to easy ways to experiment with the trend, she recommends incorporating things like sculptural stools, strikingly patterned upholstery, and oversized large-scale artwork into a design scheme.
Maximalism is not conducive to restraint, says Trepte. “It’s about being as daring as possible. It’s also a form of personal expression without limits or rules, which is always fun in interior design.” Trepte likes to showcase unexpected colors, whether through art and accessories or furniture and wallcoverings. You don’t have to be matchy-matchy when it comes to displaying decorative items, either. “They just need to sink,” says Trepte. In his opinion, the living room is the ideal place to adopt the principles of maximalism. “It often reads like the centerpiece of the home, and as such it’s a place where you can strongly express your true style statement and then spill out into the rest of your home.”
But also let your eye rest, warns Diana Smith. Don’t overlook careful editing during the design process. “I usually start with all the pieces I’d like to see in the space, then modify them – take them out and move them around – until it’s my perfect version. Incorporate pieces that are bold or can be stand out as their own moment in space and then build around that.”
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