Maximalist decor is beginning to disrupt the polished scandinavian style that has commonly become known as "minimalism." Over the years, designers and homeowners found a sophisticated ambiance with minimalism --its pale neutrals enlarged the spaces, and the “less is more” approach to furniture and collectibles reduced clutter. But after almost a decade of prevalence, it seems that designers and homeowners are largely looking for something more.
In today’s world of Instagram-ready moments, designers and consumers seek one-of-a-kind pieces to create truly memorable interiors. Lively patterns and bold colors adorn upholstery, wall treatments, draperies and tiles. Furniture and décor should be unique in silhouette, and have a story to tell.
Left: A bedroom layered in maximalism--patterns, dark hues, textures, etc. Right: A bathroom in the home of Brooklyn Decker showing a more paired back interpretation of maximalist accents
It can’t be forgotten that a blank canvas is best friend to creative artists—and this may be the reason we’re now seeing an explosion of cultural themes and artistic styling across all disciplines of design. It seems the style of New Minimalism allows white walls and clean lines to serve as a blank slate to showcase the best of maximalist aesthetic. It takes vision and control to mix the two competing décor styles, but it’s a challenge the best designers want to beat.
So, is Minimalism Over?
Minimalism is not over—instead, designers hold fast to its original values, while doing something new with it. They focus on putting the neutral canvas to new use with bold statement furniture, wallpaper, colors, etc. The key is careful selection and control. A limited number of well-selected pieces is the key to upgrading yesterday’s minimalist home with today’s maximalist theory. From bold tiling to weathered antique furniture and statement lighting, there are so many options for mixing today's maximalist trends with yesterday's minimalism.
Using Color to Awaken Crisp Walls
Blank walls and the stark white on white chill was a staple of minimalism, however designers are once again finding value in adding color to an accent wall. Wall paper or tiling adds personality to the room. Select a single wall to cover, and choose a pattern with this season’s deep colors, ice cream hues, or jewel shades. You must remember the dark, deep, or bold color will alter the room’s perceived dimensions. That makes a difference when you estimate proportion and balance.
You still have limitless pale palettes to explore (you can’t seem to run out of variations on beige) but if you spend some time with the paint swatches, you’re sure to find a shade to perk up the walls. Just be sure to choose something that favors the other design elements in the room.
Let Unique Lighting be your Centerpiece
Selecting a unique light fixture is one of the easiest ways to incorporate statement accents in your home. In the height of minimalism, metallics like chrome fit the concept, while warmer metals like brass and bronze did not.The Jazzee Art Deco style chandelier is the perfect fit to update your home!
Leaves of cast brass and rivetted glass create something truly sculptural, suitable to be the centerpiece of the room. In keeping the rest of your décor neutral, you create a central impression towards the fixture, drawing proportions and balance. See how Jazzee makes a strong impression but also centers the room.
If you’re looking for a more minimalist-inspired light fixture to set the tone while other design elements take center stage, the Ursa, is a striking choice. It has elements of Mid-century Modern, Industrial mechanics, and Minimalist geometry. The slick Black Pearl chrome finish adds a special twist to a room that may be decorated in a black and white color scheme. Each light has rounded corners and white acrylic shades the 40-watt bulb within.
The Tremaine suits the best of both worlds, bringing majesty, romance and drama to a dining room. Without frills or crystals, it dismisses the details of classic chandeliers. Still, the flowering layers of linen evokes nostalgia of a romantic era while the almost-black oil-rubbed bronze creates contrast. The materials and welcoming light are elements that suit the Minimalist concept, while the artful design and structure offers something more.
Vintage-inspired arm chairs and a green tufted sofa are complimented by clean white walls, adorned with only a black and white modern painting
Make a Memorable Impact with Bold Art
If you want to upgrade your home, a fine piece of art will work perfectly. Minimalism left little room for art with visual substance because it disrupted the flow. But if you spend time browsing a gallery or antique mall you’re sure to find something to perk up your walls.
Whatever your instincts, you should only select just one work to provoke conversation about the choice and its placement. You might favor pencil or charcoal sketches on paper, or something with color to pop from the wall’s neutral background. You don’t want to cater to the painting with more bright colors, but perhaps select one more piece in the same color scheme to tie everything together.
Statement Furniture for every Design Style
Designers rarely opt for the big box store sofa and chair sets. Instead of matching color and space to bundled furniture sets or the other way around, designers now prefer to work with unusual pieces—both new and high end, and antique. It’s still a question of scale, but assembling an assortment of unique items adds a distinctive touch. It’s still a question of proportion, so you don’t want to use too much furniture. A particularly unusual, antique, or foreign item will interest and engage.
Furniture with curved features and rounded edges are particularly popular this season because they help soften the geometry and straight-laced Mid Century pieces that are saturating homes and retail spaces.
Interior designers have learned much from Minimalism. It speaks to Americans with its simplicity and utility. It helps us to keep things in perspective, and reminds us to prioritize what is truly important and enjoyable in our lives rather than feed an endless vacuum of consumption. The best part about it is that it offers a flexible canvas, welcoming various other design elements. Updating your Minimalist house does not mean tearing it down—you only need to tweak here and there to create an entirely new experience.
Written by Chelsey Loya