Maximalism design is versatile, and perhaps that's why this decorating trend has begun to take off in the design world. But is the mainstream ready? The idea that “Maximalism is yet to really ignite at a consumer level” is attributed to Allyson Rees, self-described LA-based fashion, retail, and design journalist, a former Senior Retail Lifestyles Editor at trends forecasting service WGSN.
She did not mean Maximalism had no place, and she did imply it would ignite at a consumer level, in time. Rees goes on to say for Interior Design, “I imagine everyone around the world is looking for extra comfort and reassurance, the home as a safe haven in a world that is so politically and ecologically turbulent." Other influential design voices agree.
What is Maximalism?
Maximalism is a logical reaction to the arch-minimalism of the past decade. It rejects the discipline, the monotone, and Scandinavian simplicity. It lavishes color on color, pattern on pattern, and texture on texture with a Babylonian extravagance.
Designer Jennifer Welch uses color, space and pattern to create a maximalist space
It would be easy to offer examples in Liberace’s taste or Zsa Zsa Gabor’s style. But, the powerful choices made by comedian Joan Rivers, fashionista Iris Apfel, designer Gianni Versace offer better examples. Maximalism refers to the multiplication and confusion of elements in a chaos that somehow works.
Will it go Mainstream?
Interior design trends often relate to the economy. With an improved and stabilizing economy, those who can are inclined to assemble and display their possessions, preferences, and passions. They are not likely to collect quaint Hummel figurines or sentimental Thomas Kincaid works. But, they will collect artworks, exotic masques, sculpted oddities, and other standout items.
Furthermore, they will arrange and display these favorites with a studied carelessness among plush pillows, flowing fabrics, and glittering glass. Tassels, fringe, and plumes are common in the confusion considered lush and extravagant.
Now, the question remains if the consumer level will embrace the Maximalism trend. If this trend ties to the economy, the average consumer, even the upper-middle-class homeowner is not likely to buy in. The consumer will not find Maximalism affordable or truly representative of their lifestyle and values.
Maximalism, in Real Life
For example, consumers in the market for new light fixtures are favoring lamps that add a touch of luxury, a sense of the unique, or a source of engagement. They are looking for contemporary fixtures that incorporates many diverse elements into a dynamic harmony.
The Alba chandelier features a retro Art Deco silhouette with more modern and contemporary elements. Eight sweeping arms stretch out to support a delicate white globe shade. The body of the fixture is made of luxurious satin brass, while the arms feature a matte black finish.
The arms feature both shapely curves and more rigid, clean lines. There is something minimalist in its no-nonsense simplicity, but it can create a maximalist interior theme with it's repetitiveness and varying color options.
Or, there’s the Isla. Strikingly modern and minimalist at first glance, Isla has an unexpected luxurious touch. This shade is 32-inches across, making a stark impression in black faux linen.
But, it’s the spill of glass beads jutting out from the center that reinvents this piece. Those beads surprise the eye and redirect the illumination. They are a touch of the genius and selectivity typical of Maximalism.
Where Maximalism is an extravagance beyond functionality or riches, light fixtures such as these can add a dynamic to your décor to your contemporary combination of forces.