Before the pandemic, there was a time when it was hip to keep interiors as minimalist as possible. Whether it was Kim Kardashian West’s completely beige house or her friend’s new preference for throwing things away that no longer brought joy – minimalism was definitely “in” in 2019.
But last year people weren’t so interested in the less-is-more lifestyle. Especially those who live in small houses or apartments were less enthusiastic about it. Data from the Pinterest platform shows that people are now looking for “maximalist decor” much more often instead. A quick look at Instagram or TikTok reveals an abundance of small, colorful rooms that are more in keeping with maximalist furnishings. In an interview with NewsABC.net, experts said that the rise in maximalism is likely due to people spending more time at home.
Maximalism is a “more-is-more” furnishing style
As the name suggests, maximalism is a furnishing style that is based on “more”. A house or apartment should feel like a home. This style combines brightly colored walls with artwork, plants, and statement furniture. It is the exact opposite of minimalism, which became popular in 2019 through programs such as “Tidying up with Marie Kondo”. And although there are certainly positive things about clearing out, Michelle Fahmy, an interior designer at Apartment Therapy, for example, thinks that maximalism is often more practical in people’s daily lives.
“Minimalism is beautiful when it is lived properly. But there is also something austere, uninhabited and museum-like about it. That makes it less practical when you go about your day-to-day life, making your home a haven, trying to raise a family or setting up an improvised home office, ”said Fahmy. “By contrast, there is something about maximalism that allows people to be free. You can experiment and have fun with the items in the room, ”she added. “With maximalism you can express yourself through your immediate surroundings.”
Megan Zietz, who has furnished her home in the spirit of maximalism, agreed with Fahmy. “For me, maximalism encourages us to use our small space in the most daring ways,” she said. “It gives me the opportunity to play with colors, prints and textures that you wouldn’t normally use together.”
Maximalism has become particularly popular in the last year
Experts believe it was no accident that maximalism came into vogue during the pandemic. “When people are stuck in their apartments, they want to decorate their home in such a way that they feel comfortable. They want to be reminded of special moments – hence the rise in maximalism, ”said Swasti Sarna, Senior Insights Manager at Pinterest.
Danielle Blundell also agreed. Blundell is “Home Director” at Apartment Therapy and said that maximalism has a cosiness factor. This is very important for people who spend a lot of time in their living spaces. “It’s the idea of filling a room with the things you love – in a way that makes you happy,” she said. “When your home is filled with all the things you like, it can lift your spirits and make you happier. It can offer many different incentives that let your eyes wander around the room. “
Fahmy also said that maximalist décor can actually make a house look bigger if used properly. That makes it a great design style for small living spaces. “The eye can only cover a certain area in a small room. So designing with well thought-out elements actually helps to make the room appear larger, ”she explained.
Experts said that people who live in small spaces often combine maximalism with modern décor from the mid-20th century. This one is known for being able to be a simple and grounding style. “The mid-century style serves as a strong ground in a small space because of its streamlined aesthetic,” said Karina Lameraner. She is the creative stylist for the online interior design service Modsy. “The maximalism creates a nice contrast by integrating playful and adventurous elements into the room.”
The most important thing for maximalism to work in small spaces is a conscious design
Maximalism is effective in a small space when the elements in a room don’t look random or jumbled together. It is therefore important to focus on the overall effect of a room when choosing the furnishings for it. “The trick for a maximalism that works well is to ensure that all colors, textures and patterns harmonize with one another,” said stylist Karina Lameraner. “Small rooms require stratification instead of widespread expansion. That means the pieces you choose have to play together. ”She suggests choosing items that have similar patterns or shapes to create a sense of unison. For example, your couch and bookcase could both have rounded edges. Or you could choose pillows that match the pattern of your carpet.
Danielle Blundell said it was important to remember that even maximalist spaces need to have some negative space. A negative room can help prevent the room from looking too crowded. You can create space by leaving some parts of the walls blank. Blundell also suggests buying simple furniture to ground a room and leave the maximalist accents to decorative pieces.
Interior designer Michelle Fahmy encourages people who want to maximize their homes to slowly decorate. It is better to integrate the elements one at a time rather than buying everything at once. You can add a statement piece to the room and then see what else you want. “As you add more, take a moment to stand back and look at the room,” she said. “There is a necessary amount of restraint that it takes to be a maximalist.”
Likewise, Fahmy thinks it is important to remember another quality of maximalism. He gives people the opportunity to display things that are important to them. “Bring out the souvenirs from your travels that you have put away. Group them as a fun show piece on your mantelpiece or shelf, ”Fahmy gave as an example. Maximalism can help you turn your home into a huge memento. This literally transforms a house or apartment into a home to feel good.
This article was translated from English and edited by Julia Knopf. You can read the original here.