In a world where the Kim and Kanye’s stark LA monastery is considered #homegoals, we ask ourselves, is it time to maximalise?


Are we over minimalism yet?

Take a look your Instagram feed. If all the plant-filled jungalows, Memphis-inspired spaces, colour-blocked rooms and candyfloss-topped waffles aren’t a hint of what’s to come, maybe the Museum of Ice Cream or London’s Sketch restaurant (above) could tell you; maximalism is here. And *gasp* maybe we’re already enjoying it?

It’s a tricky one, as we’ve all just Marie-Kondo’ed our houses to stark perfection à la Kimye. But, a blank canvas is the best place to start, so, silver linings.

Maximalism has had a bad rap in the past. It’s often, and understandably, confused with mindlessly accumulating junk. This association with consumerism and its effects on climate change is particularly off-putting and has subsequently often been the moral driving force behind minimalism.

But, being a maximalist doesn’t mean you’ll be on the next episode of Hoarders. It’s visual delight, expression, freedom and individuality. What separates a hoarder from a maximalist is deliberate curation, and tidiness, I guess.

If minimalism is subtly confident, maximalism is unabashedly so. Though, it does share one common ideal with its unadorned counterpart, which is putting things into a space that make you happy — the only difference is there’s no limit. Maximalism thrives when personalisation is realised and the rule book is biffed.

Amusingly, the trend for ‘a powder room with punch’ has been an increasingly popular one. It seems we just can’t quite help ourselves; even in the most minimalist homes, the desire for a bit of colour and creativity is too strong and the bathroom is the canvas upon which we unleash.

Now, one could argue this small, controlled dose is enough to quell most appetites. But what if it’s a sign of a greater need? More often than not, it’s the thought that maximalism can never be ‘stylish’, like minimalism can, which makes people hesitate at the De Gourney wallpapered door.

Kelly Wearstler’s designs (above) are a great example of how maximalist style doesn’t have to mean garish colour and pattern combos but instead a sleek, modern approach to luxury. Where it once would’ve been (and sometimes still is) floral wallpaper with patterned curtains and colourful furniture, Wearstler — a master of pattern play — shows that geometrics, paint strokes and the natural patterns in wood and marble are ways maximalism is less eccentric and more cohesive.

Her four tips to maximalist style are fairly straight forward; colour is currency, accessories are the sum of a room, bigger is better and put patterns everywhere. Her application of old-Hollywood-glamour-meets-modern-mastery laughs in the face of white-walled, white-floored rooms.

Colour, pattern, collection and charming eccentricity — it’s something we can all get on board with to a certain extent. If anything, take a leaf out of modern European interior style, being ‘extra’ is not something to apologise for.

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