Styling and decorating your home is a very personal thing; it’s a unique expression of who you are, how you wish to live and the kind of ambience you like to surround yourself with. That said, we are all influenced by prevailing trends in fashion and design – and for many years, minimalism has reigned supreme.
Now there’s a new kid on the block: maximalism is everything that minimalism is not. Where once less was more, now more is definitely more. And the louder and bolder the colours, patterns and eclectic mix of clashing styles, the better the result.
Most people are instinctively drawn to one or the other side, so which one do you think would feel right for your home?
Are you a fan of minimalist interior design?
Minimalist interiors are all about neutral tones and clean lines, space and simplicity. Visualise if you can a room with pale, naturally toned walls offset with perhaps one feature wall hanging or picture. The furniture will be functional and beautiful but definitely neither fussy nor ornate.
Nor will the room be full of stuff. Instead, the surfaces will be devoid of clutter, displaying only what is necessary. It’s about attracting attention to a handful of carefully chosen items that live up to the well known William Morris maxim: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
Concealed storage is a key element of minimalist interior design. Having everything out and on display creates visual ‘noise’ that interrupts the calm, zen like ambience of minimalist rooms. What’s more, minimalism is not about not having things, it’s about minimising the focus on disposable ‘stuff’ and redirecting attention to a small selection of items that have true meaning.
Tip: Start with a blank canvas and choose a light neutral colour palette for walls, ceilings and floors to maximise the sense of space and light in the room. In minimalist terms, you can never have enough hidden storage; it’s your secret weapon to keep mess and clutter at bay.
Select a few chosen objects that are both useful and decorative to highlight and complement the overall ambience of the room, and display them prominently. Borrow from Mother Nature and introduce structured planting and natural textures to provide both warmth and serenity.
Do you feel more at home in a maximalist home environment?
Source: Elle Decor
One look at a maximalist room might have you believe that it’s all about excessive clutter when actually, a more accurate description is that “maximalism is the epitome of the passion, power and joy that can be expressed through a room”, in the words of interior designer Marilynn Taylor.
There’s an emphasis on bold colours and interesting patterns that make the interior a veritable feast for the eyes, with interest and variety wherever you turn. It’s a space that’s brimming with life and history, telling a personal story that goes way beyond the room’s purpose or functionality.
Every bit of space is up for grabs – there are no rules or restrictions of what should go where and no set ‘room scheme’ where things have to match. Comfort and creativity rule the waves. In terms of design, the room is never ‘finished’; it constantly evolves over time. In fact, maximalist interior design often feels like a knee jerk reaction to the calm order and strict discipline imposed by minimalist design principles.
Tip: If you’re thinking of restyling your home according to maximalist principles, the golden rule is to find things you really love rather than going with what’s currently on trend. Be honest with yourself about your tastes and preferences for anything from colours and patterns to furniture and furnishings, artwork and decorative objects, pot plants and architectural features.
Choose items that have meaning to you personally without worrying about whether they complement the rest of the room, and trust in the result being an eclectic mix that creates a beautiful home.
Is your interior design style somewhere in between?
Let’s be realistic – for most people, the ideal solution will fall somewhere between the two extremes of maximalism and minimalism. How practical is it to maintain a totally tidy, minimum mess home environment at all times, particularly for families with children or pets?
On the other hand, in order to avoid descending into home chaos, some degree of organisation is necessary. Compromise may not only be unavoidable in real life – it may in fact produce the most individual interiors of them all.