The Pendulum is Swinging: Minimalism to Maximalism

Includes excerpts from an article by Karen McCartney, Interior design: the new trend for decorating with ‘lots of stuff’

Beautifully proportioned minimalism, inside and out, has been the benchmark for refined décor for many years, however the pendulum is swinging and the highly decorated interior is de rigueur again. Believe it or not, lots of stuff is the up and coming trend.

Some are calling this new trend maximalism. Some are suggesting this is a new way of saying ‘eclectic’ – a word banned from some lifestyle magazines for its flagrant overuse.

So what are we talking about here? It’s layers of strong colours and patterns; adding extra tables to hold multiple vases and florals and such; increasing the number of different heights of furniture in a space; surfaces filled with decor items; and overall an organized chaos. For example, a design tip suggested in the article is to place a console table behind a sofa to hold vessels and flowers to fill the dead space below artwork. I know some of you are jumping up and down with joy at this vision, and some are thinking, “No way.”

Mastering the burgeoning art of maximalism requires subtle skill. Within the seeming disarray, you will find a steely sense of order, be it through repetition, scale, or colour. What looks like an accident, is actually deeply layered and three-dimensional and exploits a tight tone-on-tone palette that has the illusion of great variety.

Maximalism looks like a trend set to continue. Design journalist and blogger David Harrison observed that the excitement at the recent Milan Furniture Fair was around complex colour combinations (such as green and pink) which shouldn’t work, but do. There was a similar fascination for the mismatching of eras, with furniture, lighting and printed fabrics from modernism onward placed in interesting, if sometimes uncomfortable, dialogue with one another.

You know the old saying: the only thing constant is change. In my own home, I think I’ll ride out this particular trend, however it will be fun to achieve for clients who are going to love it.

Read the full article here.


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