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Forget playing safe - this trending design style is all about breaking the rules.

| By Rachael Thompson | Interiors

Maximalism is Having a Moment: How to Nail the 'More is More' Look

Forget playing safe - this trending design style is all about breaking the rules.

Bold, brave, and brimming with character, maximalism is the unapologetic rebel of the interior design world – minimalists, look away! Forget about playing it safe, this design philosophy is all about sustainable expression and defying conventional design rules.

There's a real art to maximalist design. This seemingly unthoughtful style is actually one with great intention that allows you to proudly display your favorite things to create unique spaces that reflect your personality. Embracing the maximalist style provides an opportunity to authentically explore who you are and use interior design to showcase your personality.

The maximalist movement is delivering some of the most innovative interiors of the moment, so we're delving into what it is, why it's popular, and how you can embrace it in your home.

What is maximalism?

When you think of the word 'maximalism', it might conjure images of chaotic and cluttered spaces. But we're here to assure you that this design philosophy is much more than having lots of things – even if you are a die-hard minimalist!

Maximalism's beauty is associated with excess, eclecticism, and extravagance. It's loud and unapologetic and harnesses the 'bigger is better' ideology. It embraces individuality and encompasses looks that mix and match thrift finds, bold colors, patterns, and a variety of textures. It can create some wonderfully unique looks as well as visually rich and layered spaces.

Why is maximalism trending?

There's no denying that the pandemic shook up how we see our homes and gave us a deeper appreciation for surrounding ourselves with things we love, even if they don't match. Bright colors and bold prints feel like a refreshing and lively departure from the doom and gloom of several lockdowns. Maximalism makes way for us to be playful and creative, and its vibrance can have a mood-boosting effect.

Gen Z is embracing the maximalism philosophy more than any other generation. #maximalism on TikTok has racked up 1.3 billion views at the time of writing. An outlet for exploration and self-discovery, this aesthetic can be seen as a rejection of the minimalist look that's so popular with millennials. With their whimsical, over-the-top sets, popular TV shows such as Queen Charlotte and The White Lotus and films such as Wes Anderson's upcoming Asteroid City serve as a backdrop for this colorful cultural moment.

A surprising catalyst for the rise in maximalism is the increased focus consumers have on shopping more sustainably. While it might seem counterintuitive that an aesthetic which focuses on 'more is more' could align with sustainability, hear us out. Focusing on sustainable purchases means turning our attention to used goods from secondhand and vintage stores; both of which are brimming with unique pieces. Collecting secondhand and vintage finds is an easy way to build creative interiors while also being environmentally responsible. Thrifting brings life to older pieces, fosters a sense of fun, and encourages radical individuality. It lets us create a space that can't be duplicated, which is exactly what maximalism encompasses.

How to master maximalism

Keep a consistent color palette

The major thing that brings balance to the maximalist look is a harmonious color palette. Designers and maximalist enthusiasts Josh & Matt advise keeping this front of mind when diving into the whimsical world of maximalism. “Think about the color palette you’re wanting to express in a room or your home and keep that in the back of your mind when sourcing and curating," they share. "This will help create a cohesive home story that represents you without it becoming too chaotic and disjointed!”

Add lots of layers

Layers help make a room more visually rich. This can be achieved with a variety of colours, eye-catching patterns, textures, and statement accessories. Whether it's adding one of our two-toned quilts to your bed, mixing and matching different pillowcases, hanging up different styles of artwork, or embracing furniture from different eras, go in confidently and embrace different things you like, even if they don't match!

"My best tip for styling an eclectic room is to try mixing and matching colors, patterns, and materials throughout the room to incorporate different textures," shares interior decorator Dani Klaric. "Give your bedroom some dimension and personality by using different textures like velvet or fuzzy throws with crocheted pillows or fringe rugs. You can also incorporate it with bigger pieces like a velvet headboard, texture lamps, or a bamboo nightstand."

Avoid color clumping

Josh & Matt recommend you steer away from color clumping unless you're going for a monochrome look. "We try and spread shades of the same colour evenly throughout the room so that it’s easier to introduce other colors into the room over time.”

For fashion content creator Maxine Wylde, understanding colour theory is the key to her maximalist looks both clothing and interior design-wise. "Color theory helps people be less afraid of color and understand the “why” certain colours work so well together," she explains. "

Get thrifting

Thrifting is a great way to find unique, one-off pieces that inject personality into your home while being sustainably minded. “Most of the time we source vintage and pre-loved furniture so we may not ever come across an exact find again and that’s an important aspect we consider when curating for our home,” share Josh & Matt.

Don’t take it too seriously

One of the beautiful things about maximalism, and arguably the most important, is that it allows for an authentic and unique creation. It’s all about embracing pieces you love and you feel reflect your style and personality. This is at the heart of the spaces Josh & Matt create. “Maximalism to us is all about more opportunity to inject personality into your home so if it feels right for you then you’ve done a good job.”

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